Master of Laws Degree Regulations - Postgraduate Study - Course Advice - School of Law - University of Canterbury - New Zealand

Master of Laws Degree Regulations

Master of Laws (LLM) Regulations

This is a plain language summary of the regulations and is not definitive. Please refer also to the University's General Course and Examination Regulations, found in the UC Calendar.

Qualifications required to enrol in the degree

A candidate for the Degree of Master of Laws must, before enrolling for the degree

  • Either qualify for the Degree of Bachelor of Laws or be admitted ad eundem statum as entitled to enrol for the Degree of Master of Laws, and
  • Be approved as a candidate by the Dean of Law.

The relevance and standard of undergraduate studies will be criteria for approval.

Structure of the LLM degree

The degree may be taken in any one of the following three ways:

  • The candidate may take the degree by thesis alone.
  • The candidate may take three courses.
  • The candidate may take two courses and write a dissertation.

A thesis is a substantial and original contribution to the exposition of law, prepared under the supervision of a university teacher, in which the candidate must provide a critical appraisal of the original and secondary sources relevant to its subject matter.

Each course referred to above comprises two research papers, each of which will normally be not less than 10,000 words.

The dissertation referred to above will not normally be less than 20,000 words. It must be prepared under the supervision of a university teacher. The candidate must show proficiency in the exposition and application of legal principles and familiarity with the published work relevant to the subject-matter of the dissertation.

With the permission of the Dean of Law, a candidate may replace one research paper in up to two courses with appropriate coursework that will be subject to examination or other form of assessment. Read more about coursework>>

Award of Honours

The LLM degree may be awarded with Honours, which may be First Class or Second Class (Division 1 or 2).

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Full-time and part-time study

Full-time study

  • A candidate shall normally be enrolled as a full-time candidate.
  • The minimum period of enrolment for a full-time candidate is one year.
  • The maximum period of enrolment for a full-time candidate is two years, which shall be consecutive unless the candidate’s enrolment is suspended under the appropriate regulations.

Part-time study

  • With the approval of the Dean, a candidate may be enrolled as a part-time candidate.
  • A part-time candidate is one who, because of employment, health, family or other reasons, is unable to devote his or her full time to study and research.
  • The minimum period of enrolment for a part-time candidate is two years, which shall be consecutive unless the candidate’s enrolment is suspended under appropriate regulations.
  • The maximum period of enrolment for a part-time candidate is four years, which shall be consecutive unless the candidate’s enrolment is suspended under appropriate regulations.

Changing between full and part-time study

After the commencement of study and research for the degree a candidate may, with the permission of the Dean, transfer from part-time to full-time status, or vice versa. In granting such permission, the Dean shall determine the minimum and maximum periods of study and may impose other conditions.

Extensions

In special cases the Dean may suspend the enrolment of a candidate, and may extend the time for submission of a research paper thesis or dissertation. In such a case the Board shall determine whether the candidate remains eligible for Honours.

Courses

The courses for the degree are as defined in the prescriptions. List of all postgraduate law courses>>