Undergraduate Study - Course Advice - School of Law - University of Canterbury - New Zealand

Undergraduate Studies in Law

LLB degree structure

The Bachelor of Laws degree consists of:

  • 8 compulsory core law courses
  • 12 or 13 elective law courses (depending on whether the compulsory core course in Equity was completed as a 15 or 30 point course)
  • 75 points from other UC degree courses

First Year Courses

In the first year, students must take LAWS101 and LAWS110. To make up a full course load (120 points), students choose a number of 100-level non-LAWS courses of interest to them.

Students planning to complete the LLB degree in 4 years are advised to take LAWS101, LAWS110 and all 75 non-LAWS points in their first year. Seek advice and plan your courses carefully to ensure you progress through the LLB degree as planned.

Second Year Courses

Entry to 200 level compulsory core courses (Public Law, Criminal Law, The Law of Contract, The Law of Torts and Land Law) is limited and depends on performance in LAWS101, LAWS110 and other first year courses.

Approximately 200 first year Law students proceed to each of the 200 level compulsory core courses each year.

A B grade in LAWS101 and LAWS110 plus satisfactory performance in non-LAWS courses, will normally be sufficient to gain entry but this can vary from year to year.

Students who gain entry into 200 level compulsory core courses take one or more of these courses in their second year. They may also continue to complete any of the outstanding 75 points from non-LAWS courses.

Students wishing to transfer from other universities who did not do well enough to be admitted to 200 level compulsory core courses at the other university are unlikely to gain a place at Canterbury.

Third and Subsequent Year Courses

In the third and fourth years, students will take remaining 200 level compulsory core courses and the compulsory 300-level course, LAWS301, Equity and Succession.

In addition, students choose 12 or 13 elective law courses (depending on whether the compulsory core course in Equity was completed as a 15 or 30 point course). Students seeking admission as barristers and solicitors must include LAWS398, Legal Ethics, as one of these courses.

Honours degree

Entry to the LLB (Hons) is contingent on grades and is normally determined after two years of LLB degree studies. The LLB (Hons) degree requires an additional 3 courses, LAWS410, LAWS420 and LAWS430 which are completed concurrently with the LLB.

Double degrees

Many law students also choose to complete a second degree during the course of their study. This is facilitated by the provision for cross credits between the LLB and other degrees. Common double degree choices are LLB/BCom, LLB/BA and LLB/BSc. The minimum timeframe for completion of a double degree is 5 years of fulltime study.

Double degrees students need to plan their courses carefully and should confer with the School of Law Academic Manager or Senior Tutor (as well as the Student Advisor in the College offering the other degree) to ensure that course choices will meet double degree requirements.

General Advice on Course Selection

Course planning tips for new students

Choosing your courses differs for each person but here are some basic planning tips that you should follow:

  • Plan around your interests. You will tend to do well in things you enjoy.
  • Check you've got the required courses needed for continuing in the subjects you may wish to continue studying (called prerequisites) - you can use the student guide, enrolment handbook or course information on the UC website for this.
  • Make sure you have the prerequisites to get into the second year of another degree, whether you are planning a double degree or not - entrance to second year law depends on your first year marks and is not guaranteed.
  • Map out your year. Take the time to draw up your timetable for each semester. Make sure that you are not attempting to do all your work in one semester and nothing in the other. A timetable template is in your enrolment pack. Use it to check for possible timetable clashes!
  • Plan your workload. Usually a first-year full-time student would take a minimum of 120 points over the February-November academic year.
  • Plan your degree progression. Look at what you must complete for each year of your study in order to progress to the next level.
  • Seek advice if you are not sure. Prospective students should contact the Liaison Office for assistance with degree planning or course choices.