General Advice on Course Selection - LLB, LLB(Hons) and Double Degrees - Course Advice - School of Law - University of Canterbury - New Zealand

General Advice on Course Selection

LLB, LLB(Hons) and Double Degrees

The summaries below are a plain language explanation of the relevant regulations that govern your degree requirements. If in doubt, consult the UC Calendar and seek advice from the School of Law Academic and Student Manager.

Along with other important information for students, the UC Calendar shows which law courses belong to Group A and Group B, which courses are compulsory and which courses are limited entry.

LLB degree requirements

The following courses are required to complete your LLB degree:

  • LAWS101 - Legal System and 108 points from LAWS102 and approved non-law courses. Most Arts, Science, or Commerce courses can be credited with the exception of AFIS151, which is not an approved course for credit to the LLB degree,
  • five 200 level compulsory core courses: LAWS202- Criminal Law, LAWS203- The Law of Contract, LAWS204- The Law of Torts, LAWS205- Land Law, LAWS 206 - Public Law,
  • one* 300 level compulsory core course: LAWS301- Equity and Succession, and
  • 7 whole year optional law courses or equivalent half-year courses*.

*Note: LAWS398 - Legal Ethics is mandatory for students seeking admission to the legal profession.

The LLB(Hons) degree requires that you credit all of the above, AND


Double Degrees

You can work towards a law degree and another degree at the same time; this is called a double degree . Popular combinations are law with arts, commerce or science, but others are possible. Generous cross-crediting provisions mean that a double degree can be completed in five years.

Cross Credits Between Degrees

  • You can share the 108 points from the required LAWS102/non-law courses and LAWS101 between the LLB and another degree (total 144 points). You must pass LAWS101 before completing your other degree to get the full benefit of this.
  • Double degree students can also share one 200 level or 300 level course between the two degrees in lieu of one optional law course. In this case, you only do 6 optional law couses.
  • LLB/BA students may instead share one LAWS 200-level course between the two degrees in place of a BA course. In this case you do all 7 optional law courses but one less BA course. Students should consult with the College of Arts Student Advisor for further information.
  • LLB/BCom students who pass LAWS312 and both the half-year courses LAWS331 and LAWS332 will also be credited with AFIS253- The Law of Organisations, towards the BCom degree. LLB/BCom students should, therefore, not enrol for AFIS253.
  • The ability to cross-credit certain courses to the LLB is automatic but you must complete a form to ensure that a note is placed on your transcript. See the School of Law Academic and Student Manager for assistance with this.
  • Substitution is not the same as cross-crediting. See the section below explaining course substitution.

Suggested course loads

Check the LLB degree regulations before you start first year and plan your entire programme of study. The LLB Regulations, published each year in the UC Calendar, are short and easy to follow. You will quickly see how choices in course load affect your ability to complete your degree over the period of time you have chosen.

In particular, students who choose to take a light course load in first year may find they need to take a summer school course to complete their 108 points of LAWS102/non-law courses so they can progress into the 300 level optional law courses at the right time.

Hints for successful law course planning

  • Read the LLB degree regulations before starting. Think about the number of courses you need to complete to meet LLB degree requirements.
  • Plan your entire degree at the beginning. You can easily change courses within the plan but knowing how many courses you need to complete right from the start will be helpful.
  • Balance your course load over the time remaining to completion of your degree or degrees.
  • Where possible, spread demanding courses. For example, try to avoid doing the heaviest LAWS200 courses, LAWS301 - Equity and Succession and all your 200 level arts, science or commerce courses in the same year.
  • Use half-year and summer school courses where possible to strike a balance between years and between the 1st and 2nd semesters.
  • Take an extra semster to complete if necessary. If you intend to do the Professional Legal Studies course required for admission to the bar, you could ease your load if you leave some half-year courses until the first semester of another year and do the later Professional Legal Studies course. Check with Studylink to ensure this does not affect your eligibility for a student loan or allowance.
  • Try to take courses in a logical order. No one would advise doing commercial law optional courses before completing Law of Contract.
  • Within reason, do the courses you are interested in, not those you feel you ought to do. You will enjoy them more, get more from them, and probably get better results.

Limitation of Entry to LAWS200 Courses

Enrolment in Public Law, Criminal Law, Law of Contract, Law of Torts, and Land Law is limited. Students will ordinarily be required to have completed or be currently enrolled for these courses before enrolling for 300 level Law courses.

Selection for limited entry courses will be made from those who apply to enrol by the published closing date in December. Additional places are available for students of Maori descent or full fee paying overseas students. Please see Reception if you wish to apply for these places.

Students who do not apply to enrol or whose application to enrol is late may find they are not considered for a place in these restricted subjects or that places are not available in courses of their choice.

The easiest way to ensure you do not miss the deadline for application is to apply to enrol in these courses before you finish your final exams.


Requirements and Procedures for Admission to the LAWS 200 Courses

Entry to the 300 level optional law courses

You cannot enrol for any of the 300 level optional law courses unless:

  • You have passed LAWS101- The Legal System and you have already completed all the compulsory courses, including the 108 points from LAWS102/non-law, or
  • You are also enrolling for all of your outstanding compulsory courses, or
  • You have the approval of the Dean.

Note: Entry into LAWS339 -Negotiation and the Lawyer and LAWS359 - Trial Advocacy is limited to 24 students in each class. LAWS359 - Trial Advocacy students must either have passed LAWS316 - Evidence, or be concurrently enrolled in it and have the approval of the Dean. Please check for deadlines to apply for entry into these courses.

Substituting courses from other departments for LAWS optional courses

With the approval of the Dean, you can substitute suitable courses taught by other departments in the University for one or two of the seven optional courses. Any such course, in the opinion of the Dean, must be related to the candidate's course of study in law. The Law School requires such courses to be at 200 level or above.

This means your seven optional law courses may include five from Law and two from somewhere else. These courses will be credited to your Law degree as if they were Law Group B options.

The double degree provisions normally use up one of these substitutions for sharing courses between degrees. If you have already completed another degree you may have "surplus" courses that you can use in this way. Apart from the one shared course in lieu of a Law Group B optional course, you cannot credit additional courses to the LLB that have already been credited to another degree.

To facilitate the LLB/BCom double degree, certain courses have been approved for substitution "as of right." For details of these, students should contact the Academic and Student Manager for specific advice.