Duration
Full-time: Varies
Part-time: Varies
Next start date
2021 Semester One – 1 March
2021 Semester Two – 19 July
Available locations
City
Points
120 or 180
Programme type
Postgraduate
Taught & research options available

Programme overview

Our MLS is designed for professionals from non-legal backgrounds who require some knowledge of legal matters. Professionals such as accountants and auditors, architects and town planners, business development managers, compliance managers, engineers, IT professionals, police and public sector staff have greatly benefitted from this programme. 

Our programme provides flexible legal study for both full-time and part-time students. You can study while you work to keep up the momentum or go full-time to get to the next level even faster. Entry to the MLS is available throughout the year providing the flexibility you need to accelerate your career. 

The MLS permits cross-disciplinary study in the form of one or two masters courses (up to 30-points) from another faculty at the University of Auckland. It also provides skills in legal research methodology for those without advanced skills in this area. 

With over 30 taught courses to choose from you can concentrate your study in particular areas of specialisation or study a broad range of legal subjects.

The MLS can be undertaken through coursework or a combination of coursework and research. 

Taught (coursework) masters
This programme allows you to study specific areas of law. The programme offers courses that provide detailed analyses of particular areas of law, as well as courses that are more policy-oriented. Each course contains a significant research component, usually in the form of a 12,500-word research essay for 30-point courses. For more detailed information on courses available see our Postgraduate taught courses page.

Combination Taught and Research masters
This programme allows you to study specific areas of law via coursework as well as conduct in-depth study in an area of personal interest to enhance employment opportunities. For more detailed information on research see our Postgraduate research options page. 

Postgraduate specialisations
Specialisation is optional but you can choose to have your LLM awarded in one of our six specialisation areas: Corporate and Commercial Law, Environmental Law, Human Rights Law, International Law, Litigation and Dispute Resolution or Public Law

You must complete a minimum of 90 points of the 120 points for the degree in one of those specialisations.

Watch: Hear from staff and alumni on the Master of Legal Studies programme.

For more information contact our Postgraduate Student Adviser: postgraduatelaw@auckland.ac.nz

Programme structure

The MLS programme offers two study pathways depending on the length of your undergraduate degree. It can be undertaken by coursework or a combination of coursework and research. 

1.      The 120-point MLS option is available to professionals with a four-year degree
There are two ways to structure this degree

            1. Taught masters (MLS 120 by coursework)
                120 points of taught courses.
                To be completed in two full-time semesters (1 year) or four part-time semesters (2 years).
OR
            2. Combination of taught and research masters (MLS 120 by 90-point thesis)
                30 points of taught courses and a 90-point minor thesis (30,000 words).
                To be completed in two full-time semesters (1 year) or four part-time semesters (2 years).

2.     The 180-point MLS option is available to professionals with a three-year degree
There are two ways to structure this degree:

            1. Taught masters (MLS 180 by coursework)
                180 points of taught courses.
                To be completed in three full-time semesters (1.5 years) or six part-time semesters (3 years).
OR
            2.  Combination of taught and research masters (MLS 180 by 90-point thesis)
                90 points of taught courses and a 90-point minor thesis (30,000 words).
                To be completed in three full-time semesters (1.5 years) or six part-time semesters (3 years).      

Flexible study
We understand that personal, family and work commitments are important factors when deciding whether to study, so we offer options to fit with your lifestyle:

  • Full-semester courses taught in the early evening once a week
  • Half-semester courses taught in the early evening twice a week
  • Intensively-taught courses over three to five days (usually incorporating a weekend break, ie Weds, Thurs, Fri, Mon, Tue)
  • Independent research programmes.

You'll also need to meet other requirements, including time limits and total points limits. See Postgraduate enrolment.

For all official programme information, including regulations about entry, enrolment, fees, examinations, and requirements for degrees, diplomas and certificates, see the University Calendar.

2021 entry requirements

My highest qualification is from:

Programme requirements

Minimum programme requirements

Minimum requirements listed here are the likely grades required and do not guarantee entry. We assess each application individually and applicants may require a higher grade to be offered a place.

  • Study option
    Taught 120 points
    Grade required
    GPA Grade Point Average 5.0

    One year of postgraduate study or a four-year bachelors degree

  • Study option
    Research 120 points
    Grade required
    GPA Grade Point Average 6.0

    One year of postgraduate study or a four-year bachelors degree

  • Study option
    Taught 180 points
    Grade required
    GPA Grade Point Average 5.0

    A three years bachelors degree

  • Study option
    Research 180 points
    Grade required
    GPA Grade Point Average 6.0

    A three years bachelors degree

Further programme requirements

Select your study option:

You must have completed a four-year bachelors degree or a bachelors degree followed by an additional year of postgraduate study. You will need a GPA of 5.0 from your most recent 120 points.

You must have completed a four-year bachelors degree or a bachelors degree followed by an additional year of postgraduate study. You will need a GPA of 6.0 from your most recent 120 points.

You must have completed a three-year bachelors degree. You will need a GPA of 5.0 from your most recent 120 points.

You must have completed a three-year bachelors degree. You will need a GPA of 6.0 from your most recent 120 points.

Other pathways to study

If you do not meet the grade requirements for direct entry to the Master of Legal Studies (MLS) programme you may apply for the Postgraduate Certificate in Law (PGCertLaw) pathway.

Under the PGCertLaw, you must complete at least 60 points (one semester full-time study) of postgraduate law courses, with a B average, to gain admission into the MLS programme.

The 60 points completed under the PGCertLaw may then be re-assigned to the MLS programme.

Programme requirements

Minimum programme requirements

Minimum requirements listed here are the likely grades required and do not guarantee entry. We assess each application individually and applicants may require a higher grade to be offered a place.

  • Study option
    Taught 120 points
    Grade required
    GPE Grade Point Equivalent 5.0

    One year of postgraduate study or a four-year bachelors degree

  • Study option
    Research 120 points
    Grade required
    GPE Grade Point Equivalent 6.0

    One year of postgraduate study or a four-year bachelors degree

  • Study option
    Taught 180 points
    Grade required
    GPE Grade Point Equivalent 5.0

    A three years bachelors degree

  • Study option
    Research 180 points
    Grade required
    GPE Grade Point Equivalent 6.0

    A three years bachelors degree

  • Qualification
    IELTS Academic International English Language Testing System
    Score required
    7.0

Further programme requirements

Select your study option:

You must have completed a four-year undergraduate degree or an undergraduate degree followed by an additional year of postgraduate study. Your study must have been at a recognised university (or similar institution) and you will need a GPE of 5.0 from your most recent full-time year of study.

You must have completed a four-year undergraduate degree or an undergraduate degree followed by an additional year of postgraduate study. Your study must have been at a recognised university (or similar institution) and you will need a GPE of 6.0 from your most recent full-time year of study.

You must have completed a three-year bachelors degree. You will need a GPE of 5.0 from your most recent 120 points.

You must have completed a three-year bachelor’s degree. You will need a GPE of 6.0 from your most recent 120 points.

Other pathways to study

If you do not meet the grade requirements for direct admission into the Master of Legal Studies (MLS) programme you may apply for the Postgraduate Certificate in Law (PGCertLaw) pathway.

Under the PGCertLaw, you must complete at least 60 points (one semester full-time study) of postgraduate law courses, with a B average, to gain admission into the MLS programme.

The 60 points completed under the PGCertLaw may then be re-assigned to the MLS programme.

For all official programme information, including regulations about entry, enrolment, fees, examinations, and requirements for degrees, diplomas and certificates, see the University Calendar.

How much does a Master of Legal Studies cost per year?

2021 fees

Domestic students
NZ$8,864.40 – $18,820.80*
International students
NZ$38,998 – $48,382*

Fees are set in advance of each calendar year and will be updated on this website. Fees are inclusive of 15% GST, but do not include the Student Services Fee, course books, travel and health insurance, or living costs. Amounts shown are indicative only. In addition to the tuition fees, there is a Student Services Fee of $8.02 per point, estimated at $962.40 for full-time study (120 points). Fees will be confirmed upon completion of enrolment into courses.

*Please note: amounts shown are indicative and estimates only.

Find out about financial support information

Scholarships and awards

Find out about the scholarships you may be eligible for.

Student loans and allowances

Are you a New Zealand citizen or resident? You could be eligible for a student loan or allowance.

Cost of living

Get an idea of how much accommodation and general living in Auckland will cost.

For all official programme information, including regulations about entry, enrolment, fees, examinations, and requirements for degrees, diplomas and certificates, see the University Calendar.

Key dates

1 December start available for 120-point research masters only, subject to supervisor availability.

Application closing dates

Semester One 2021
8 December 2020
Semester Two 2021
4 July 2021

Start dates

Here are the start dates for the programme.

Other important dates

See important dates for the academic year, including orientation, enrolment, study breaks, exams, and graduation.

For all official programme information, including regulations about entry, enrolment, fees, examinations, and requirements for degrees, diplomas and certificates, see the University Calendar.

For detailed information on courses see our Postgraduate taught courses page.

For all official programme information, including regulations about entry, enrolment, fees, examinations, and requirements for degrees, diplomas and certificates, see the University Calendar.

Where could this programme take you?

As the MLS is tailored to professionals from non-legal backgrounds who require some knowledge of legal matters, but who do not necessarily want to practise law, there is a wide range of professionals who will benefit. Please note that completion of this degree will not satisfy the entry requirements for admission as a barrister and solicitor in New Zealand and is not a substitute for an LLB degree.

Jobs related to this programme

  • Accountants and auditors
  • Architects and town planners
  • Business development managers and compliance managers
  • Engineers
  • IT professionals
  • Police
  • Public sector staff

Tony is studying for a Master of Legal Studies to enhance his business career.

Read more

Student career planning service

Once you become a student at the University, you can get help with planning and developing your career from Career Development and Employability Services.

Do you need help?

AskAuckland

Your online help and support centre. Search our frequently asked questions.

Can’t find the answer in AskAuckland?

Our student support team is here to help. Use our online contact form.

Need to speak to someone?

You can phone us directly.

Auckland
923 5025
Outside Auckland
0800 61 62 63
International
+64 9 373 7513