Postgraduate Research Advice - Course Advice - School of Law - University of Canterbury - New Zealand

Postgraduate Research Advice

The School of Law offers advanced tuition to well qualified students wishing to embark upon postgraduate study in law. The academic strength of the School of Law gives the postgraduate programme a secure foundation and makes it an attractive option for students wanting to develop their research skills in law and to gain a valuable postgraduate qualification. Positions in the programme are limited and are allocated according to undergraduate academic achievement.

A range of postgraduate programmes is offered - the PhD, the LLM by thesis, the LLM by research papers (or a mix of research papers and approved course work - see the discussion below). The LLM by research papers / course work is the most popular, attracting students from many parts of the world, including Britain, Germany, Denmark, Malaysia, Australia and the United States of America.

A major attraction of the LLM at Canterbury is its flexibility. It allows students to tailor their course of study to meet their own particular requirements or needs.

Students may choose three subjects from a large range of options, and in each subject may

  1. take the undergraduate lecture course in that subject and write one research paper of 10-12,000 words, or
  2. write two research papers, or
  3. write a dissertation of 20-25,000 words.

The first option is particularly suitable for overseas students, but it is also available to New Zealand students who have not taken the subject concerned as part of their undergraduate degree. If desired the subjects which are chosen can be related, so the degree can be focussed on one broad field.

Overseas students are often keen to learn about aspects of the New Zealand legal system and to undertake comparative study with their own legal systems. New Zealand students undertake the LLM by course work for a variety of reasons: some wish to focus upon particular specialist areas of study, while others, who may have been in legal practice for some time, wish to improve their legal knowledge and skills. This has all contributed to the production of some outstanding research papers and dissertations within the framework of the LLM.

Students have the opportunity during the programme to present a seminar to staff and students covering some aspect of their research. Almost invariably these are interesting and informative and promote lively debate.

The School of Law offers courses in a wide variety of subjects, including Legal System, Public Law, Torts and Accident Compensation, Law and Medicine, Arts and Media Law, Legal Philosophy, Indigenous Peoples' Rights, International Law, Business and Commercial Law, and Intellectual Property.

Students may also wish to enrol for a PhD. Up to ten students at any one time are writing PhD theses.