Study the UNSW Juris Doctor to develop your legal knowledge in a challenging and dynamic learning environment under the guidance of the 13th best law faculty in the world (QS World University Rankings by Subject, 2021).

 

Faculty
Faculty of Law and Justice
Delivery Mode
Face-to-face (includes blended)
Award
Juris Doctor
Commencing Terms
Term 1, Term 3
Duration (Full Time)
3 Year(s)

The UNSW Juris Doctor (JD) is a flexible postgraduate degree that provides the basis for admission to legal practice in Australia, as well as a wide range of careers in government, business, legal and social policy and international relations. The JD offers a pathway to become a legal practitioner for graduates of disciplines other than law, or those with an undergraduate degree in law from an overseas institution.

You’ll be prepared for the future of law by learning about new and emerging topics while establishing a foundation in key areas of law. Our world-class researchers and teachers are leading critical debate in some of today’s greatest challenges, bringing their ethos and commitment to justice for all to their teaching. You’ll be part of a cohort of students that are engaged with social justice initiatives and driven to be the next leaders in legal practice.

What's the difference between the LLB and JD?
The Bachelor of Laws (LLB) and UNSW Juris Doctor (JD) are both professional law degrees, meaning they lead to admission to legal practice. The LLB is typically for those commencing law studies from high school, while the JD is for those who already have a degree or have studied at postgraduate level.

Key features

Student-centred Learning in Seminar Classes
UNSW Law & Justice is proud to have pioneered student-focused, seminar-style teaching in Australian legal education, as we believe our students learn best when they’re actively engaged. Be challenged through debate and interactive discussion to develop practical skills such as reasoning, legal research, analysis, argument and negotiation.

Academic Support
The Peer Tutor Program is a free program open to all first-year JD students. Senior students work with a small group for about one hour per week to develop and practice legal skills such as case-reading and statutory interpretation.
International JD students can also enrol in the specialised elective Legal Writing in Context to develop a better understanding of the Australian legal context.

Experiential Learning
As part of the JD, you can choose from an extensive list of electives that offer sustained and direct engagement with legal practice through internships and specialist clinics, as well as national and international mooting competitions.

You'll have the opportunity to experience clinical legal practice by working at the Kingsford Legal Centre (KLC), a community legal centre housed on campus providing free legal advice, casework and legal education for our local community.

Global Student Opportunities
Gain global perspectives by studying other countries’ legal systems through overseas electives in China, the USA, Switzerland, India, Vanuatu and Chile. Or you may wish to immerse yourself abroad through student exchange at one of UNSW’s more than 300 exchange hosts across 38 countries.

Why study at UNSW?

  • You’ll set yourself apart with a degree from the Law Faculty ranked 13th globally (QS World University Rankings by Subject, 2021).
  • Benefit from JD-only classes throughout the compulsory component of the degree to enable you to establish a strong collegial network with classmates from various backgrounds and experiences.
  • Graduate career-ready with UNSW Law & Justice’s in-house careers service, dedicated to our students and alumni. The service includes a jobs board and a range of resources, presentations and workshops to maximise your employability.
  • Commonwealth Supported Places (CSP) and full-fee places are available for Domestic students.

UNSW JD Pathway to Oxford
UNSW JD and Oxford University Faculty of Law have signed a memorandum of understanding to allow UNSW JD students to graduate with two internationally recognised qualifications in just three and a half years – the UNSW JD and the Oxford Bachelor of Civil Law (BCL) or Master in Laws and Finance (MLF). Students can apply directly to Oxford upon completion of 96 Units of Credit (UOC) at UNSW.

Pathway to HKU LLM Degree
UNSW Law & Justice and Hong Kong University Law Faculty have signed a memorandum of understanding that provides UNSW Law & Justice students studying a JD degree an opportunity to gain an LLM degree from HKU.

UNSW Law & Justice students will need to follow the standard student exchange application procedure and must indicate their interest in the Pathway Program on the application for the First Semester study at HKU.

 

Program Code

9150

CRICOS Code

068850G

Campus

Kensington    

UAC Code

910600 (CSP), 910601

Total Units of Credit (UOC)

144

Indicative Enrolments

767

Want to see more from UNSW Law and Justice?

Entry requirements

Entry into the UNSW JD is based on academic merit. Students must have completed a tertiary qualification at Bachelor, Masters or PhD level in a discipline other than law, or a degree in law from an overseas institution. There are no additional selection criteria.

Domestic Applicants
UNSW offers domestic applicants both Commonwealth Supported Places (CSP) and full-fee places in the JD. CSP are offered to the most competitive applicants and the remaining eligible applicants will be offered a full-fee place in the JD program. You should list both CSP and full-fee codes in your UAC preferences if you wish to be considered for both places.

As a guide, to be competitive for a CSP, you would have achieved at least a distinction average in your Bachelor or Masters degree. Your eligibility may be improved if you have completed an optional honours year or research degree. To be competitive for a full-fee place, you would have achieved at least a credit average.

If you’re in your final year and about to complete your bachelor's degree, please refer to the UAC guide for Admission Requirement Deadlines.

Alternative entry pathways

Transfer from a full-fee place to CSP (UNSW JD Awards)
UNSW JD students enrolled in a full-fee place can apply to transfer to a Commonwealth Supported Place (CSP) after completing a minimum of 48 units of credit (UOC). Applications will be assessed on the results of your UNSW JD study only. Awards will be offered to those students with the highest overall JD WAM and a minimum WAM of 75.00 is required.

The awards offer a fee reduction up to a maximum of the difference in fees between a full-fee place and a Commonwealth Supported Place for the remaining duration of the awardee’s JD program. Up to eight awards are available per year. Applications can be made through UAC Postgraduate. For further information please contact Law & Justice Student Services.

Transfer from another university
We welcome applications from law students wishing to transfer to the UNSW JD from other universities. You may be eligible for advance standing, however a maximum of 48 UOC (1 year full-time) may be awarded for completed law studies. Only completed Bachelors, Masters or PhD qualifications will be considered for admission purposes.

Students who have completed more than 48 UOC may receive an exemption for the additional completed law subjects but no credit. This means they will have to choose elective law courses at UNSW to make up these additional UOC. Students should apply via UAC Postgraduate (also refer to the apply section below).

Credit Transfer Policy
If you've completed prior learning at another tertiary institution or in another UNSW degree, you may be eligible for a credit transfer. Find out more in the Credit Transfer Rules and Regulations.

English language requirements

 

You may be asked to provide evidence of your English proficiency to study at UNSW depending on your educational background and citizenship. English language skills are vitally important for coping with lectures, tutorials, assignments and examinations - this is why UNSW requires a minimum English language competency for enrolment.

If you’re completing an Australian Year 12 qualification (e.g. NSW HSC or equivalent), you do not need to provide anything extra to prove your proficiency. Your qualification will be used as evidence of your English proficiency.

If you do need to provide evidence of your English proficiency, this will be indicated in your application. You can prove this by providing evidence that you meet one or more of the following criteria:

UNSW Global offers courses and programs designed to help you reach the English language level required for entry into your chosen degree. Different options are available depending on your current English language level. Learn more.

Entry into the UNSW JD is based on academic merit. Students must have completed a tertiary qualification at Bachelor, Masters or PhD level in a discipline other than law, or a degree in law from an overseas institution. There are no additional selection criteria.

International Students
The UNSW JD is open to international applicants who have completed or are about to complete a bachelor's degree in any discipline. Those who have a degree in law from a different legal system may also apply for the UNSW JD.

To be eligible, you need to have achieved an overall average of 70% or higher as determined by the UNSW Postgraduate Coursework Entry Calculator. You may also be eligible for advanced standing.

Pathway programs

Transfer from another university
We welcome applications from law students wishing to transfer to the UNSW JD from other universities. You may be eligible for advance standing, however a maximum of 48 UOC (1 year full-time) may be awarded for completed law studies. Only completed Bachelors, Masters or PhD qualifications will be considered for admission purposes.

Credit Transfer Policy
Credit Transfer Rules and Regulations information.

 

English language requirements


You may be asked to provide evidence of your English proficiency to study at UNSW depending on your educational background and citizenship. English language skills are vitally important for coping with lectures, tutorials, assignments and examinations - this is why UNSW requires a minimum English language competency for enrolment.

If English is not your first language, you’ll need to provide proof of your English proficiency before you can be given an offer to study at UNSW. You can do this by providing evidence that you meet one or more of the following criteria:

UNSW Global offers courses and programs designed to help you reach the English language level required for entry into your chosen degree. Different options are available depending on your current English language level. Learn more.

The UNSW Juris Doctor (JD) is a flexible degree that can be studied over three years full-time or on a part-time basis. The degree covers the study areas prescribed by the Legal Professional Admission Board and prepares you for admission to practice law, as well as a wide range of electives. Upon completing this degree, you’ll have a sound knowledge base in the discipline of law, enabling you to proceed to the practice of law or professional work in many areas.

Full program structure

In this degree, you’ll study 16 compulsory law courses, seven elective law courses and one prescribed elective that together will give you the depth and breadth of knowledge to set you apart in today’s competitive professional market.

Each course ranges from three to four hours of class per week. Class sizes will vary as you progress through the program, giving you the opportunity to experience a range of classes and teaching styles. You’ll be taught in a variety of formats which may include:

  • twice-weekly daytime or evening classes
  • weekly daytime or afternoon/evening classes
  • intensive classes (taught over a condensed time frame) offered during term, on weekends or over the Summer
  • a combination of weekly and intensive classes
  • interactive online learning activities

Below is an example of what you could study in a standard three-year full-time study plan:

First Year

  • 8 Core Courses
    • Introducing Law & Justice*
    • Crime & Criminal Process
    • Principles of Private Law
    • Torts
    • Principles of Public Law
    • Criminal Laws
    • Contracts
    • Lawyers, Ethics & Justice

Second Year

  • 7 Core Courses
    • Equity & Trusts
    • Administrative Law
    • Law in Global Context
    • Resolving Civil Disputes
    • Court Process, Evidence, Proof
    • Land Law
    • Federal Constitutional Law
  • 1 Prescribed Elective

Third Year

  • 1 Core Course
    • Business Associations
  • 7 Law Electives

*Introducing Law and Justice commences in Orientation Week (one week before the start of term). It’s taught in an intensive format during that week, helping you with the basic conceptual tools needed to study substantive law subjects. You’ll learn the principles of statutory interpretation and how to read and interpret case law, as well as essential legal writing and research skills. 

Graduates of the UNSW JD have a broad range of career options after university. You'll be equipped to enter the legal profession or pursue a career in a range of industries that benefit from the skills you’ll learn in the JD, including law firms, business, media, the arts, science, education, engineering, government and the not-for-profit sector, and many more.

End-to-end Legal Education at UNSW

Completing a Juris Doctor will take you a step towards becoming a lawyer, followed by Practical Legal Training (PLT). All law graduates in Australia must complete PLT to practise as a lawyer. UNSW’s PLT is the Graduate Diploma in Legal Professional Practice (GDLPP), so you can graduate from one place with all the qualifications you need to launch your legal career.

Step 1 – Complete your Juris Doctor (JD).

Step 2 – Complete your GDLPP at UNSW.

Step 3 – Apply to the Supreme Court for admission to practice.

For more information, visit UNSW Practical Legal Training.

Accreditation

This program is accredited by the Legal Profession Admission Board and satisfies academic requirements for admission to legal practice.

How to apply

Applications for domestic students (Australian citizens, Australian permanent residents, Australian permanent humanitarian visa holders and New Zealand citizens) are processed through the Universities Admissions Centre (UAC) Postgraduate.

To be considered for both a CSP and full-fee place, ensure you list both codes in your UAC preferences. UAC program codes for the UNSW JD are:

  • Commonwealth Supported Places (CSP): UAC code 910600
  • Full-Fee Places: UAC code 910601

Find out more information on how to apply.

Ready to apply?

To be considered for an offer, you must submit a formal application through our Apply Online portal. We encourage you to submit your completed application as early as possible to ensure it will be processed in time for your preferred term.

Some high-demand programs with limited places may have an earlier application deadline or commencement date. For more information, visit our international applicant information page.

Ready to apply?

2021 Indicative First Year Fee
$42,000*
2021 Indicative Fee to Complete Degree
$127,920*

^There is a limited number of Commonwealth Supported Places available for this degree. These places are awarded to students based on academic merit. The indicative tuition fee for domestic postgraduate students is for fee-paying students, not students in Commonwealth Supported Places. To find out more about the student contribution amounts for Commonwealth Supported Places, visit Postgraduate Commonwealth Support.

*Fees are subject to annual review by the University and may increase annually, with the new fees effective from the start of each calendar year.

The indicative fees listed here are based on an estimated average and are for tuition only. Other fees and charges are not included. The amount you pay will vary depending on the calendar year you enrol, the courses you select and whether your study load is more or less than 1 Equivalent Full Time Student Load (8 courses per year).

Indicative fees are a guide for comparison only based on current conditions and available data. You should not rely on indicative fees. More information on fees can be found at the UNSW fees website.

Indicative fees to complete the program have been calculated based on a percentage increase for every year of the program. Fee increases are assessed annually and may exceed the indicative figures listed below.

2021 Indicative First Year Fee
$46,320*
2021 Indicative Fee to Complete Degree
$143,880*

*Fees are subject to annual review by the University and may increase annually, with the new fees effective from the start of each calendar year.

The indicative fees listed here are based on an estimated average and are for tuition only. Other fees and charges are not included. The amount you pay will vary depending on the calendar year you enrol, the courses you select and whether your study load is more or less than 1 Equivalent Full Time Student Load (8 courses per year).

Indicative fees are a guide for comparison only based on current conditions and available data. You should not rely on indicative fees. More information on fees can be found at the UNSW fees website.

Indicative fees to complete the program have been calculated based on a percentage increase for every year of the program. Fee increases are assessed annually and may exceed the indicative figures listed below.

Indicative fees to complete the program include tuition plus an estimate of study-related costs of approximately $1,000 per year. 

Scholarships

At UNSW, we pride ourselves on rewarding excellence and making university life accessible to students from all walks of life. Whether you’re a local or international student, our range of scholarships, prizes and awards can support your journey.  

Featured scholarships

UNSW established two equity scholarships to support students undertaking the UNSW Juris Doctor:

  • AMP Capital Law Equity Scholarship
  • Juris Doctor (JD) Equity Scholarship

Featured scholarship

UNSW Law & Justice International Award (PUCA1028)

This award was established to empower the brightest and most passionate international students to achieve their goals through their studies at UNSW Law & Justice.


  • Top 50
    Worldwide

    QS World University Rankings, 2020.

  • Most
    Employable Graduates

    AFR Top 100 Future leaders Award.

  • Leading
    Innovation

    #1 Australian uni attended by start-up founders.

I‘ve gained an in-depth understanding of not only the law but the social implications of the law.
Student Catherine Bouris

Catherine Bouris

Juris Doctor Student

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