Bachelor of Laws Honours (LLB(Hons)) frequently asked questions

How does the Honours Programme operate in the Law degree?

LLB(Hons) operates alongside the LLB degree. Students complete the LLB(Hons) requirements concurrently with their LLB, which is different to Honours offerings in other University Programmes.

Students who have completed LLB Part I & II may apply for LLB(Hons).

Students who have graduated with the LLB degree cannot be admitted into LLB(Hons).

LLB(Hons) programme includes a full-year 20-point Honours Seminar Course and a 40-point Dissertation in addition to the LLB degree requirements. This is an extra semester of study.

Typically, students enrol for the Honours Seminar in LLB Part III.

Enrolment for the Dissertation is then required in the semester following the completion of LLB Part IV.

Indicative Honours Programme Entry  Timeline
Students apply for LLB(Hons) on SSO by 1 October

Final closing date for LLB(Hons) Applications 8 December – no applications will be accepted after this date
Honours Selection Committee meet to determine entry requirements mid-December
LLB(Hons) offers sent to eligible applicants by end of December
Enrolments open for Honours Seminar – seminars are allocated on a first come first served basis by end of December
Deadline for students to accept LLB(Hons) offer 15 January
Deadline for students to enrol into Honours Seminar second Friday of Semester One

When am I eligible to apply for LLB(Hons)?

To be considered for selection into LLB(Hons), you need to have:

  • Completed all LLB Part I and II courses

AND

  • Have a minimum LawHons GPA of 6.00

Transfer students will only be eligible to apply for LLB(Hons) upon completion of LAW 141 with the minimum grade requirement of C+, LAW 298 alongside LLB Part II courses and any outstanding non-law courses.

Find more information on applying for law transfer from another university.

What are the entry requirements for LLB(Hons)?

Students with a weighted law GPA (LawHons GPA) of 6.00 (B+) and above are eligible to be admitted into the LLB(Hons) programme.

Students must submit an application for LLB(Hons) online through the ‘Apply Now’ function. Students who wish to continue in their conjoint must apply for the relevant LLB(Hons) conjoint.

We strongly encourage you to apply for LLB(Hons) no later than 1 October of the year prior to which you are applying.

The last date to apply is 8 December and applications after this date will not be accepted.

Please note: Entry requirements may change each year.

Find information on how LawHons GPA is calculated below and LLB(Hons) Overview and Entry Requirements.

Can students who have not completed Part II be included in the selection process by application?

Students must have completed all LLB Part I and II courses to be eligible to apply for LLB(Hons).

How is the weighted law average (LawHons GPA) calculated?

The LawHons GPA is calculated using the points value of the course and the grade achieved.

All completed law courses (Part I-IV) are factored into the calculation. Any failed grades* are included with non-law courses disregarded.

If you have repeated one or more of courses of LLB Part I (LAW 121G, LAW 131, LAW 141), the best grade you have received for these three courses will be factored into the calculation of the LawHons GPA.

* DNS, DNC, W, D+, D. D- grades will be factored into the LawHons GPA calculation. See below the exception for LAW 121G, LAW 131 and LAW 141.

Sample LawHons GPA:

LawHons GPA

Will my Part I law courses be counted?

Yes, all Part I law courses are included in LawHons GPA for entry to LLB(Hons). See what happens if I have repeated a law course below.

Are my non-law courses counted?

No, non-law courses are not included in the LawHons GPA for entry to LLB(Hons).

Are my law electives counted?

Yes, all law electives are included in LawHons GPA for entry to LLB(Hons). This includes any courses that have been given special permission to be counted as a law elective.

Are my law electives counted?

Yes, all law electives are included in LawHons GPA for entry to LLB(Hons). This includes any courses that have been given special permission to be counted as a law elective.

What happens if I have repeated a law course?

If you have repeated one or more of courses of LLB Part I (LAW 121G, LAW 131, LAW 141), the best grade you have received for these three courses will be factored into the calculation.

The other grades you have received for the three courses will be disregarded.

If you have repeated one or more courses from LLB Part II or above, all grades will be factored in the calculation.

What happens if I have failed a law course in LLB Part II or above?

All fails (D+, D, D-, DNC, DNS) and withdrawals are included and weighted as a zero (0) grade in the LawHons GPA for entry to LLB(Hons).

If you can demonstrate that the fails or withdrawal result were due to extraordinary and significant circumstances beyond your control and documentary evidence can be produced, an application needs to be made in writing to the Associate Dean (Academic) by 8 December of the year in which you are applying by emailing postgradlaw@auckland.ac.nz.

What if I have transferred from another University? How is my LawHons GPE calculated?

If you have transferred from another University, law courses which have been credited will be factored into the LawHons GPE calculation.

Find more information on how to apply for a law transfer from another university.

Are my exchange grades counted in the LawHons GPA?

Exchange grades are not included in the LawHons GPA.

Can I defer my LLB(Hons) offer?

Students cannot defer their LLB(Hons) offer to another year. However, you are welcome to re-apply, but there is no guaranteed admission, and you will need to meet any changes to the admission requirements.

As the Honours seminar is a full-year course, you must have remaining LLB Part IV requirements (includes LAW 498) to complete in Semester Two in the year you are admitted to be eligible for LLB(Hons).

Students undertaking LLB(Hons) later in their degree may have restricted opportunities to go on exchange. Please contact Student Hubs for degree planning advice.

HONOURS SEMINARS - What is an Honours Seminar Course?

The Honours seminar is a full year, 20-point course requiring enrolment in both the A and B components (i.e. both Semester One and Two) before the second Friday of Semester One.

Find more information on LLB(Hons) seminar courses, when to enrol in courses, and changing your enrolment.

How do I know what Honours Seminar Courses are available in any given year?

Honours seminar courses vary year to year and are finalised by the time enrolments open in November of each year.

Find information on Law School Timetables.

If the seminar courses offered this year do not interest me, what are my options?

The Law School tries to ensure that there are a wide range of seminar course topics available each year.

As condition of admission to LLB(Hons), students must enrol in a honours seminar by the second Friday of Semester One. Failure to do so will result in students being withdrawn from the LLB(Hons) programme.

There is no requirement that your Dissertation be written on the same subject area as the Honours seminar that you enrol in.

Find information about the Dissertation below.

How are the places in the Honours seminars allocated?

Students offered a place into LLB(Hons) must accept their offer before they can enrol into a seminar course.

Enrolments for the seminar courses will open after offers have been made and students may self-enrol into their preferred seminar. Enrolments are on a first come, first served basis.

What happens if my first choice of Honours seminar is full?

Once a seminar is full, students must select a different seminar to enrol in or check on SSO if spaces become available.

As condition of admission to LLB(Hons), students must enrol in a honours seminar by the second Friday of Semester One. Failure to do so will result in students being withdrawn from the LLB(Hons) programme.

If you are unable to enrol into the seminar that is most relevant to your planned academic trajectory because it is full, please email postgradlaw@auckland.ac.nz.

What if the seminar course I want to enrol in to clashes with other courses I am already enrolled in?

Honours seminar attendance is compulsory with no timetable clashes permitted. However, often there are timetable clashes with LAW 301 and 306. So long as you can attend one lecture stream without a clash, your concession will be approved.

Students enrolled for a honours seminar co-badged with a LLM course will have timetable clashes permitted. To reduce the number of concessions applied for, please enrol for the honours seminar course once you have finalised your other enrolments.

Find information on how to apply for a concession.

What is the due date for my final Honours seminar research paper?

The seminar research paper is usually due at 12 noon on the Friday of the final day of lectures. However, please check the Canvas Page of the seminar that you are enrolled in.

If the due date is not on the Canvas page, then please get in touch with the Course Director of the relevant Honours Seminar.

HONOURS DISSERTATIONS - What is an Honours Dissertation?

A dissertation is an extended piece of writing divided into chapters, in which an overall argument is developed in response to a research question.

The LAWHONS 789 dissertation is worth 40-points and is 15,000 words in length, including footnotes. It requires the student to find the answer to a research question and to write this answer up in a way where the findings are presented, their significance is discussed, and a conclusion is reached.

Find information about LAWHONS 789 Dissertation.

What is the process for writing and submitting my dissertation?

For a detailed insight into the process, please see the document ‘Guidelines on the Presentation and Submission of the LLB(Hons) Dissertation’.

When should I start thinking about a Dissertation topic and finding a supervisor?

You should select and register your topic as far ahead as possible.

If you are intending to submit your dissertation in Summer School, you should have approached a supervisor by the end of the second week of the Semester Two, and you should be working on your dissertation throughout the Semester Two.

How do I choose a Dissertation topic?

You should choose a topic that really interests you. If you don’t, it will make the task of researching and writing a comprehensive and well-argued dissertation more difficult.

How do I find out if my topic has been covered before?

Some pre-2021 LLB Honours dissertations are held in the Davis Law Library and can be viewed in the Library.

Does my Dissertation topic have to be on the same subject area as the Honours seminar?

There is no requirement that your Dissertation be written on the same subject area as the Honours seminar you completed.

Where do I find a topic approval form?

The topic approval form is available at this link.

How do I find a Dissertation supervisor?

Once you have decided on your research area you should discuss it with an academic teaching or working in that field. They will be able to advise you on whether the topic you have chosen is suitable, and whether they are available to supervise you.

It’s important to note that there is limited availability for academics on the number of students they may supervise and may be away on leave, so we recommend you contact early.

Find research supervision areas and a list of supervisors.

How often should I be meeting with my supervisor?

You should confirm this with your supervisor once your topic has been approved.

It is your responsibility to ensure you complete work at a suitable standard and meet the LLB(Hons) requirements. Your supervisor is there to assist you to achieve the best results.

What do I do if I am struggling to find a supervisor?

If you are struggling to find an available supervisor, please email postgradlaw@auckland.ac.nz for advice.

If I can’t find a supervisor in the Law School, can I be supervised by someone externally?

Only under exceptional circumstances will such requests be granted. Please email postgradlaw@auckland.ac.nz for advice.

When do I enrol for my Dissertation?

Students must enrol for the dissertation in the semester following completion of LLB Part IV (includes LAW 498).

Final term of LLB Part IV Dissertation Enrolment Required
Summer School Semester One
Semester One Semester Two
Semester Two Summer School or Semester One 

Regardless of which term you are intending on enrol for the dissertation, you should aim to finalise your topic and supervisor as soon as possible.

Please see the topic approval form for due dates.

How do I enrol for my Dissertation?

You must first register your Law Honours Dissertation topic for approval. Following approval, enrolment instructions will be sent.

Please see the topic approval form.

When should I start working on my Dissertation for Summer School submission?

Given the shorter nature of Summer School, it’s advised that you begin work on your dissertation in Semester Two. The dissertation is a large piece of work that will require considerable time dedicated to research and writing.

You can begin working on your dissertation as soon as you have confirmed a topic with your supervisor.

Please see the topic approval form for due dates.

When should I submit a draft to my supervisor?

This should be agreed upon between you and your supervisor. It’s your responsibility to obtain these dates from your supervisor and to work within them.

Some suggested timeframes according to the final submission dates for each semester are indicated below. It’s important to note that these are only suggested timeframes. The earlier that you begin the process, the better your final submission will be.

Summer School

Selection of supervisor and approval of topic: September

Submission of completed draft to supervisor: November

Final Submission: End of January/early February (depending on how Summer School dates fall)

Final Submission: End of January/early February (depending on how the Summer School dates fall)

Semester One

Selection of supervisor and approval of topic: March

Submission of completed draft to supervisor: April

Final Submission: June (last day of lectures)

Semester Two

Selection of supervisor and approval of topic: July

Submission of completed draft to supervisor: September

Final Submission: October (last day of lectures)

Can I defer my Dissertation?

No, LLB(Hons) regulations require students to formally enrol for the dissertation in the semester following completion of LLB Part IV. In exceptional circumstances, a period of suspension from enrolment not exceeding two consecutive semesters may be approved.

Please email postgradlaw@auckland.ac.nz for advice.

Find information on the LLB(Hons) regulations and General Regulations – Bachelors Honours Postgraduate Degrees.

What is the due date for my Honours Dissertation?

The due date is usually the final day of lectures in the given semester. Please check the LAWHONS 789 Canvas page for confirmation of the due date for the semester in which you are enrolled.

How do I obtain an extension for my Honours Dissertation?

The longest informal extension is the last day of the term. For this to be approved, we just need confirmation from your supervisor of an agreed upon date and completion of the extension form.

Extensions beyond this date would be considered a formal extension with an AS-503 needing to be completed and supporting documents provided for approval.

There must be extenuating and/or unforeseen circumstances with approval needed from the Assistant Dean (Academic). If approved, 2 months from the last day of term will be given. Students will need to enrol for an additional 10pt course and pay the respective fees. Supervisor approval is not needed for this.

It’s important to note that it may not be possible to graduate in the next graduation ceremony if you have received an extension for your Dissertation regardless of the duration. 

Find information on Bachelor Honours regulations and Academic Dates.

Will I still be able to graduate in the upcoming ceremony if I have received an extension for my Dissertation?

Due to the Honours Dissertation being a lengthy piece of work a reasonable timeframe is required for the marking and assessment to take place.

The Law School endeavours to process results as quickly as possible, and in time for students to graduate. However, students who receive extensions for Dissertations cannot be guaranteed to receive their result in time to meet the deadline for graduation application, no matter how long the extension.

Find information on applying to graduate.

Will I be able to graduate in the autumn/winter (May/June) ceremony if I complete my dissertation in the Summer School?

This is not guaranteed. However, the Law School will do the best it can to get Summer School dissertations marked and final grades processed in time for students to apply for autumn/winter graduation.

If you have received an extension for a dissertation in Summer School, it is less likely you will be able to graduate in autumn/winter.

Can I do my Dissertation while I’m working?

It’s not recommended to complete your Dissertation while working. You should not underestimate the time required to complete this comprehensive piece of work.

How do I submit my dissertation?

Dissertations must be submitted electronically to Canvas by the due date.

Instructions on how to submit electronically can be found on the Canvas page closer to the due date. You will submit the electronic version to Canvas and it will automatically be run through Turnitin.

What grading/marking criteria will be used to mark my dissertation?

Please see the grading criteria for research-based work, which is applicable to dissertation marking.

RESOURCES - What resources does the University offer to assist with research and writing?

Libraries and Learning Services provides workshops, online resources and advice on most aspects of the writing process including research analysis, literature review and self-management.

The Law Subject guides, the Legal Research and Writing Skills hub, and Learning Essentials will be particularly relevant. For further assistance with finding information for your Dissertation topic fill out the Ask Us form.

The IT essentials guide contains useful advice around IT and software.

What is required of me to maintain my place in the Honours Programme?

Students must maintain a minimum LawHons GPA of 6.00 (B+) to graduate with LLB(Hons).

Find information on how the LawHons GPA calculated above.

How do I know if I’m maintaining the 6.00 (B+) LawHons GPA?

If you are concerned about your eligibility to continue in LLB(Hons), and graduate with Honours, you can check what your LawHons GPA is by applying for a GPA calculation. It is advisable to discuss your individual situation with the Student Hubs before making a final decision to withdraw from Honours.

Will the Law School let me know if I drop below the required LawHons GPA to graduate with Honours?

Students’ LawHons GPA is only calculated upon admission and completion of the programme as we know students GPA can dip when taking LLB Part III courses. It’s your responsibility to ensure you meet the LawHons GPA requirement upon completion.

Students who do not meet the minimum LawHons GPA of 6.00 (B+) upon submission of their dissertation will not be eligible to graduate with LLB(Hons) and be reverted to the LLB.

Students interested in whether they have maintained their 6.00 LawHons GPA before beginning their dissertation may request a GPA calculation.

Find information on how is the LawHons GPA calculated above.

After submitting my dissertation, if my LawHons GPA drops below the requirement to graduate with Honours, will my LAWHONS 789 enrolment be deleted?

If you complete LLB(Hons) with a LawHons GPA less than 6.00, the LLB(Hons) will be discontinued and your programme will be reverted to an LLB. The LAWHONS 789 enrolment, and the grade, will remain on your academic transcript.

If my LawHons GPA is above 5.50 but below 6.00, will it be rounded up so that I’m eligible to graduate with Honours?

Final LawHons GPAs between 5.50-6.00 are referred to the LLB(Hons) Programme Director for review. While there is scope for rounding up, such cases need to be carefully examined to maintain the integrity of the LLB(Hons) Programme.

I no longer wish to be in the LLB(Hons). How do I withdraw?

If you change your mind about doing the LLB(Hons) prior to commencing the seminar course (and before the add/drop enrolment deadline) please drop the seminar course by the enrolment deadline. You can then contact Student Hubs so they can advise the next steps to take.

If you have completed the seminar course and wish to withdraw from LLB(Hons) please email postgradlaw@auckland.ac.nz so your change from the Honours Programme back to the LLB can be facilitated.

Please see deadlines to add/drop courses with refund of fees.

If I withdraw from the Honours Programme after completing my Seminar Course can that course count towards my LLB?

Yes, if you withdraw from LLB(Hons) after you have completed your honours seminar, it will be counted as a 20-point law elective. A manual exception needs to be added – please email postgradlaw@auckland.ac.nz to process this.