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Postgraduate course information

The UTS: Law postgraduate program has grown dramatically in recent years. Postgraduate course offerings are continuously being updated to ensure they are aligned with and meet the needs of the profession, industries and the community.

Close student interaction between the legal profession and UTS: Law offers students a first-class education and a marketable postgraduate legal qualification. Classes are taught by academics and practising professionals from a range of areas who ensure students gain specialised knowledge and training within their study.

UTS: Law strives to meet the expectations of its students to foster a collegial environment in which both academics and students are driven by a commitment to outstanding intellectual achievement and practice that is centred in a global, ethical and justice consciousness.

Internal course transfer

Students may apply to articulate up or down between graduate certificates, graduate diplomas and master's programs, within the same area of study. Students should apply for an internal course transfer before the program they are currently enrolled in is completed. Appropriate successfully completed subjects are credited to the new course if the transfer is approved.

Students are also permitted to apply for an internal course transfer across postgraduate courses of the same level. Only completed subjects relevant to the new course can be credited if the transfer is approved. Students are not permitted to apply for an internal course transfer between undergraduate and postgraduate courses.

Recognition of prior learning

Procedure

Recognition of prior learning based on previous studies may be granted subject to the UTS Recognition of Prior Learning Policy and Procedure, section 6 of the Student and Related Rules, and guidelines of the Faculty Board in Law. The granting of exemptions is at the discretion of the associate dean (education).

An application for recognition of prior learning (RPL) is accepted only in circumstances where the basis for credit for law subjects was successfully undertaken in a comparable course of study at a recognised university.

Credit granted for subjects must comply with the purpose, knowledge, skills and application of knowledge and skills requirements for the AQF level that the course in which the RPL will be applied is accredited.

For applications for RPL where topics within areas of knowledge are distributed across subjects differently to subjects offered at UTS, the Faculty assesses credit to reflect fulfilment of requirements of the nearest subject(s) offered at UTS.

Credit given for the subject taken at the other university can only be up the credit point value of the equivalent UTS subject.

Applied experience subjects are not typically considered for credit (i.e. internships, practice-based placements, exchange subjects, research-only subjects, and fulfilment of practical experience-type subjects).

The Faculty of Law assesses applications for RPL of law subjects from applicants in other faculties’ award courses.

Application

Students submit applications for RPL to the UTS Student Administration Unit (SAU). SAU reviews the application for completeness. If the subject on which the RPL is based appears on the currently published Precedent List, or the subject was completed in the year before or after the same subject that appears on the currently published Precedent List, SAU can approve the application under delegated authority of the Faculty of Law Board. A detailed subject outline and the subject reading guide (if relevant) is not required if a precedent can be applied.

If no precedent exists for the subject upon which the student is basing their application for RPL, the applicant must provide documentation as determined by SAU. The application is forwarded to the Faculty for assessment.

See futher information on how to apply for recognition of prior learning.

Credit point limits

The maximum overall amount of credit granted for a Faculty of Law postgraduate course shall not exceed one half of the credit-point value of that course.

Students transferring into a UTS law course from an incomplete UTS course may be granted credit for all subjects completed at UTS which are part of the structure of the destination course, even if the total amount of credit exceeds the general, course-level or course-specific credit point limits.

The maximum RPL available in a postgraduate course on the basis of an incomplete postgraduate course shall not exceed one half of the credit-point value of that course, except in the following cases:

  1. an incomplete nested qualification in a suite of UTS law courses, and
  2. an agreement between UTS with an overseas institution to recognise all or part of study completed at the institution.

The maximum RPL available in a postgraduate course on the basis of a completed postgraduate course shall not exceed one quarter of the credit-point value of the course, except in the following cases:

  1. a completed nested qualification in a suite of UTS law courses
  2. an agreement between UTS with an overseas institution to recognise all or part of study completed at the institution
  3. completion of the UTS Juris Doctor (JD) towards the LLM; credit based on completion of the JD at UTS, may be granted in respect of completed options, to a maximum of 24 credit points, and
  4. an assessment by the Legal Profession Admission Board of the NSW Supreme Court (LPAB) that an applicant's international legal qualification covers parts of the academic areas of knowledge as set out in Part 2 of Schedule 1 of the Legal Profession Uniform Admission Rules 2015 towards the JD; students who have completed a law qualification overseas, and have been assessed by the LPAB as requiring to undertake academic subjects equivalent to no less 72 credit points at UTS: Law, and have elected to enrol in the JD to complete these requirements, may be granted block credit to the value of up to 72 credit points.

Time limits

As a general rule, a limit of six years applies to law subjects used as the basis of credit, calculated from the date the subject was successfully completed to when credit is sought except in the following circumstances:

  1. where there have been significant recent changes in the law, an exemption may not be granted even though the subject was successfully completed less than six years ago
  2. applications for RPL for practical legal training subjects have a time limit of three years, and
  3. the Faculty Board in Law shall retain discretion to waive the application of the rule in cases where there is additional evidence of work or study experience.

Appeal of decision

A student who is dissatisfied with the outcome of their application for RPL may appeal the decision in accordance with section 6.2 of the UTS Student Rules.

Course-specific provisions

Juris Doctor (C04236), Juris Doctor Master of Business Administration (C04250), Juris Doctor Graduate Certificate in Professional Legal Practice (C04320), Juris Doctor Graduate Certificate in Trade Mark Law and Practice (C04364), Master of Legal Studies (C04264), Graduate Diploma in Legal Studies (C07122), Graduate Certificate in Legal Studies (C11264)

Recognition of prior learning in the Juris Doctor (and combined Juris Doctor awards) and Legal Studies program is only offered on the basis of completed study in a course recognised as leading to practice as a legal practitioner within a law school at a recognised university.

An application for unspecified credit towards the elective component of the Juris Doctor and courses in the Legal Studies program on the basis of having completed a core law subject at another university will not be approved, irrespective of if the law subject completed at another university was insufficient to warrant exemption from a UTS core law subject.

Core subjects

Applications for RPL of a core subject in the Juris Doctor or Legal Studies:

  • are assessed to ensure coverage of academic areas of knowledge as set out in Part 2 of Schedule 1 of the Legal Profession Uniform Admission Rules 2015 (the 'Priestley' 11), and
  • must include official information from the other university indicating where the subject on which the RPL is based fits into the overall course structure of the other course (i.e. the University Handbook, or similar).

An application for exemption from 70102 Foundations of Law must demonstrate that the basis for the credit addressed introductory content in legal method, legal research, contracts law, criminal law, torts and constitutional law.

Undergraduate law studies

Students in the Juris Doctor or Legal Studies program are not granted RPL based on undergraduate law studies for:

  • electives, and
  • subjects covering material in:
    • 70106 Principles of Public International Law
    • 70107 Principles of Company Law, and
    • Legal Theory options.

Further information is available at:

telephone 1300 ask UTS (1300 275 887)
Ask UTS

Concurrent study at another tertiary institution

UTS students may apply to undertake subjects at other universities for credit towards their UTS course. An application for concurrent study is considered when the concurrent enrolment is undertaken in a comparable course of study at a recognised university.

Concurrent study must comply with the purpose, knowledge, skills and application of knowledge and skills requirements for the AQF level at which the course is accredited in which the concurrent study is applied.

Applications for concurrent study should be made in advance of the study being undertaken. Subjects completed concurrently at another university without prior approval risk the subject not being credited to the student's course at UTS.

Students must complete a minimum of 50 percent of the credit-point value of their course at UTS.

Students are not approved to undertake concurrent study in core subjects and cannot undertake concurrent study in electives if the Faculty offers the equivalent subject during the proposed session of the concurrent enrolment. An exemption from an elective at the other university is not granted for the UTS core legal theory subject.

A currently enrolled UTS student who wishes to enrol in subjects at another recognised university and have these subjects credited towards their UTS award course must lodge a Concurrent Study application form with SAU.

Juris Doctor with distinction

It is possible for students to gain an award with distinction in the Juris Doctor and the Juris Doctor component of the combined Juris Doctor Master of Business Administration (C04250). An additional year of study is not required. See the rules for the course you are enrolled in, below.

To qualify for distinction in the current Juris Doctor (C04236), students must complete 77740 Research Paper as a subject within the degree.

To be eligible to undertake 77740 Research Paper, students must successfully complete not less than 96 credit points within UTS: Law, including 70717 Evidence and Criminal Procedure or 70109 Evidence; and attain a minimum weighted average mark of 73.00 across all subjects attempted.

The research subject forms part of the credit points required for degree completion. 77740 Research Paper has requirements that students must comply with in addition to the distinction regulations for the Juris Doctor (below). Further details are available in the online subject description.

Distinction regulations

The distinction regulations for the current Juris Doctor (C04236) are:

1. Awards

1.1 Award of the Juris Doctor degree shall be classified as follows:

  1. degree (with distinction), and
  2. degree.

2. Requirements of distinction

2.1 To qualify for an award of the degree with distinction a student shall:

  1. successfully complete 77740 Research Paper
  2. subject to requirements below, obtain a distinction mark, of no less than 75.00, calculated as a weighted average mark received in all subjects, in accordance with the formula 'sum of all' (UTS law subject credit points multiplied by mark) divisible by the 'sum of all law subject credit points'
  3. not fail any subject after the first session of study
  4. a student's distinction mark shall include the mark obtained by the student in 77740 Research Paper.

2.2 In exceptional circumstances the director (students) may modify or dispense with the requirements of regulation 2.1, subject to appeal to the Faculty Board in Law.

Refer to the honours entry in the UTS: Handbook 2014 for the pre-2015 honours rules and regulations for the Juris Doctor (C04236).

Juris Doctor Master of Business Administration

To qualify for distinction in the Juris Doctor Master of Business Administration (C04250), a student must complete 77740 Research Paper as an option within the Juris Doctor component of the degree.

To be eligible to undertake 77740 Research Paper, students must successfully complete not less than 96 credit points within UTS: Law, including 70717 Evidence and Criminal Procedure or 70109 Evidence; and attain a minimum weighted average mark of 73.00 across all subjects attempted.

The research subject forms part of the credit points required for degree completion. 77740 Research Paper has requirements that students must comply with in addition to the distinction regulations for the Juris Doctor component of the Juris Doctor Master of Business Administration (below). Further details are available in the online subject description.

Distinction regulations, JD MBA

The distinction regulations for the Juris Doctor component of Juris Doctor Master of Business Administration (C04250) are:

1. Awards

1.1 Award of the Juris Doctor component of the Juris Doctor Master of Business Administration shall be classified as follows:

  1. degree (with distinction), and
  2. degree.

2. Requirements of distinction

2.1 To qualify for an award of the degree with distinction a student shall:

  1. successfully complete 77740 Research Paper
  2. subject to requirements below, obtain a distinction mark, of no less than 75.00, calculated as a weighted average mark received in all subjects completed in the Juris Doctor
  3. not fail any subject after the first session of study
  4. a student's distinction mark shall include the mark obtained by the student in 77740 Research Paper.

2.2 In exceptional circumstances the director (students) may modify or dispense with the requirements of regulation 2.1, subject to appeal to the Faculty Board in Law.

Refer to the honours entry in the UTS: Handbook 2014 for the pre-2015 honours rules and regulations for the Juris Doctor Master of Business Administration (C04250).

International exchange program: Juris Doctor

Juris Doctor students participate in the international exchange program administered by UTS: International. Through the program, it is possible to undertake the following study options at overseas exchange partner universities:

  • Three or four law subjects from CBK90920 Options (JD)

To be eligible for the program, students should have a credit average or better and have completed 108 credit points of core subjects before going overseas. The number of places is strictly limited.

Results achieved in overseas study are recorded as a pass or fail grade without a mark. It should be noted that the pass/fail results for exchange subjects are excluded from the calculation of a GPA and in the calculation for honours.

Information and application packs are available from UTS: International.

Continuing professional development

Participation in postgraduate study may entitle lawyers to continuing professional development (CPD) points, if this particular educational activity is relevant to students' immediate or long-term professional development needs, particularly those related to the practice of the law.

Further information regarding CPD points is available from the Law Society of NSW.

Postgraduate coursework

UTS: Law offers a range of postgraduate coursework degrees to suit both law graduates and graduates of other disciplines. UTS: Law prides itself on its unique specialisations, flexibility and vocational relevance. Graduate certificate, graduate diploma and master's programs in law and legal studies, and specialised programs in intellectual property law, practical legal training, dispute resolution and commercial and corporate law are available.

Courses

Coursework programs are normally structured as follows:

  • master's degrees: 48 credit points
  • graduate diplomas: 36 credit points
  • graduate certificates: 24 credit points.

Exceptions to this include the Juris Doctor Master of Business Administration (C04250) (192 credit points), Juris Doctor Master of Intellectual Property (C04363) (168 credit points), Juris Doctor Graduate Certificate in Professional Legal Practice (C04320) (162 credit points), Juris Doctor Graduate Certificate in Trade Mark Law and Practice (C04364) (156 credit points), Juris Doctor (C04236) (144 credit points), Master of Legal Studies (C04264) (96 credit points), Graduate Diploma in Australian Law (C07073) (48 credit points), and the Graduate Certificate in Australian Law (C11211) (30 credit points).

Subjects

UTS: Law timetables subjects over three teaching periods: Autumn session, Spring session and Summer session. The full range of core and optional subjects available can be found under each of the course entries.

Core law subjects

All core subjects are taught in Autumn and Spring sessions and are offered as day and evening classes.

Optional law subjects

A range of optional law (elective) subjects is taught in each session. However, not all optional subjects are timetabled every session and some are offered on a two-yearly basis only. Timetabled optional subjects are offered subject to sufficient student interest and academic availability.

Postgraduate progression

In accordance with rules 10.2.3 and 10.4.1, a graduate certificate, graduate diploma or master's candidate shall be excluded if they fail to maintain a minimum rate of progress. To maintain a minimum rate of progress, a student must not fail:

  • two subjects in a graduate certificate
  • three subjects in a graduate diploma
  • four subjects in a master's degree, or
  • five subjects in the JD or JD MBA.

Students may appeal against such exclusion under rule 10.8.

Postgraduate students are advised that they may be excluded from a course if they exceed the maximum time allowed for completion of that course (see rule 10.5).

Postgraduate research

Higher research degrees provide an opportunity for law and non-law graduates to make a major contribution to knowledge by undertaking advanced-level research through the exploration of ideas and issues in a thesis. UTS: Law offers a Doctor of Philosophy (C02028) and a Master of Laws (Research) (C03024). These degrees are particularly valuable for students wishing to pursue a career in research or academia. Entry is on the basis of proven research achievement.

The Faculty of Law operates a pre-assessment process prior to the formal application process. This enables the faculty to give students advice about whether:

  • they are likely to meet the academic eligibility requirements
  • the faculty is able to offer supervision in the chosen research area
  • they appear to have a viable research topic.

The pre-assessment process provides you with an indication about whether you are likely to be recommended for admission if a formal application is submitted. Successful completion of the informal assessment does not guarantee acceptance into the program.

Information about potential supervisors and areas of supervision is available at Research.

Student research is coordinated through the director of higher degree research and the faculty research officer and governed by the Research Committee (RC) and the Higher Degree Committee (HDC). The faculty research officer can be contacted for further information about the faculty's research and higher degree research program.

Recognition of prior learning

The granting of exemption for higher degree by research courses is at the discretion of the director of higher degree research.

Support for research students

In addition to the support provided by the UTS Library and the UTS Graduate Research School, UTS: Law provides a range of facilities for higher-degree research candidates such as research support funding, work spaces, printing, email and internet access.

Contacts and inquiries

Faculty research officer
telephone +61 2 9514 3793
fax +61 2 9514 3400
email law.research@uts.edu.au
UTS: Law

Research interests of staff members

There is a diverse range of staff research interests within the faculty. The faculty has established areas of research excellence and research clusters that represent the key areas of the faculty's research interests.

The first point of contact for inquiries should be the faculty research officer.

Staff contact details are available via the UTS Directory.