Law plays an important part in all areas of life. Through the study of law, you will gain a skill set that meets the high demands of any legal career, including analytical and research skills, knowledge of the law and its implications, social appreciation, public responsibility and communication skills. Postgraduate study allows students to gain extra skills and knowledge of the law. It is increasingly important in a globalised world, as many careers now demand more focused, sophisticated and advanced legal expertise. The Law School’s postgraduate programmes allow students to specialise in areas which benefit their employers and their own academic interests.

Areas of Study

Postgraduate Certificate in Law (PGCertLaw)

Many students use the Postgraduate Certificate in Law as a pathway to the LLM or MLS if they do not have the entry GPA for the full programme. Students who complete the PGCertLaw with a B average can continue onto the LLM or MLS.

Master of Laws (LLM)

The LLM programme is designed to provide an advanced level of study to those with a LLB degree. You can plan from the beginning of your legal studies to complete both an LLB and an LLM (either full-time or part-time), and choose courses so as to ensure that the two degrees add up to a coherent and well-balanced whole.

The LLM can be undertaken in three ways; by coursework, by minor thesis or by major thesis.

Master of Legal Studies (MLS)

This programme is for students who do not have a LLB degree but whose work involves legal issues and dealing with legislation. The programme has a similar structure to the LLM degree and can be taken by course work or minor thesis.

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

This degree is a thesis-only research degree undertaken under supervision whereby candidates must complete a sustained course of research resulting in the production of a substantial original thesis.

Candidates for a Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) in Law must have an LLB (Hons) degree or a Master’s degree with a minimum of Second Class (First Division) Honours and have demonstrated an ability to pursue a course of advanced independent research and study in law.

Individual Courses (Certificate of Proficiency - COP)

Memebers of the legal profession and others who wish to further their legal education by enrolling in a single course may do so when places are avialable.

Auditing courses

If you are interested in attending classes but do not want to enrol in the course and work towards a qualification of complete the assignment you may apply to audit the course. Auditing the course means that you attend the class and take part int he discussions but when the class is completed your committment is complete. The full student fee is payable to audit a course.


You can study Law in the following programmes:

Study outcomes

Our postgraduate programmes have been structured to allow maximum student flexibility. We offer four options for study: full-semester courses, half-semester courses, intensively taught courses, and research programmes. We do this because we understand that time constraints can be one of the biggest deterrents to further legal study – work pressures and the ability to commit to the time requirements of a university programme are important considerations.

Career opportunities

Postgraduate study of law is increasingly important in a globalised world, as all careers now demand much more focused, sophisticated  and advanced legal expertise. The Law School’s postgraduate programmes allow students to specialise in areas to benefit both their employers and their own academic interests. The programmes attract a diverse mix of new graduates, experienced practitioners, partners, and industry professionals, as well as international students from various jurisdictions, all of whom bring their differing perspectives and talents to the postgraduate seminars.
Investing in postgraduate study at The University of Auckland will broaden your academic, research and employment horizons, and add value with specialist skills and knowledge.Whether you plan to join the next generation of leading lawyers in New Zealand, or strive to become a leader in the international field, a postgraduate law qualification from the Auckland Law School will help you to make your mark on the world.

More information

More information visit the Law webpage