Postgraduate law for non-law graduates
Add this approved law qualification to your bachelor degree–and start your legal career in just 2 years! You’ll work through a comprehensive study of law and the Australian legal system. Develop your research skills. Prepare for professional practice.
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UniSQ’s Juris Doctor is a graduate-entry degree for non-law graduates – perfect if you want a career in law and already have a bachelor degree. Fast-track your studies and complete this degree in 2 years full-time over six consecutive semesters.
- demonstrate an advanced and integrated understanding of a complex body of knowledge that includes: the fundamental areas of legal knowledge, the Australian legal system and underlying principles and concepts (including Indigenous, international and comparative contexts); the broader contexts within which legal issues arise; the principles and values of justice and of ethical practice in lawyers’ roles; and contemporary developments in law, and its professional practice (JD TLO 1)
- demonstrate an advanced and integrated understanding of approaches to ethical decision-making, an ability to recognise and reflect upon (and a developing ability to respond to) ethical issues likely to arise in professional contexts, an ability to recognise and reflect upon the professional responsibilities of lawyers in promoting justice and in service to the community, and a developing ability to exercise professional judgement (JD TLO 2)
- identify and articulate complex legal issues, apply legal reasoning and research to generate appropriate jurisprudential and practical responses to legal issues, engage in critical analysis and make reasoned and appropriate choices amongst alternatives, and demonstrate sophisticated cognitive and creative skills in approaching legal issues and generating appropriate responses (JD TLO 3)
- demonstrate the intellectual and practical skills needed to justify and interpret theoretical propositions, legal methodologies, conclusions and professional decisions, as well as to identify, research, evaluate and synthesise relevant factual, legal, and policy issues (JD TLO 4)
- communicate in ways that are effective, appropriate and persuasive for legal and non-legal audiences, and collaborate effectively (JD TLO 5)
- learn and work with a high level of autonomy, accountability and professionalism; and reflect on and assess their own capabilities and performance, and make use of feedback as appropriate, to support personal and professional development (JD TLO 6)
- explain the legislative process and identify applicable legislation and delegated legislation, apply general principles of statutory interpretation, make appropriate use of authorised aids to statutory interpretation, and deploy appropriate techniques in the course of solving interpretative problems
- reflect on and articulate Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander perspectives in key areas of law in order to develop an understanding of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures, values, histories and contributions to Australian society, demonstrate an appreciation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander legal issues in an Australian context, and critically reflect on the responsiveness of western law to Indigenous histories, values and needs.
Aside from a career as a legal practitioner, the Juris Doctor also opens up a wide range of career paths within the public service, government, politics, non-government organisations and businesses. The amount of research required in this degree means that, as a graduate, you are also qualified for entry into the Doctor of Philosophy (PhD).
The Juris Doctor has been accredited by the Legal Practitioners Admissions Board, Queensland, and the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Queensland as an approved academic qualification under the Supreme Court (Legal Practitioner Admission) Rules 2004 (Qld).
It has also been approved by the Australian Law Schools Standards Committee under the Standards for Australian Law Schools adopted by the Council of Australian Law Deans. This degree will partially satisfy the requirements to practise as lawyer in Queensland, or elsewhere in Australia. Intending lawyers (whether barristers or solicitors) must also complete an approved practical legal training course in order to become admitted to practise law. Advice on practical legal training programs can be obtained through Ask UniSQ.
Completion of an Australian university three-year Bachelor degree in an area other than law, or equivalent.
Please Note: This program is still accepting applications for 2022.
English Proficiency Requirements
All students are required to satisfy the applicable English language requirements. For entry to the Juris Doctor program, applicants are required to meet the Category 3 English Language Proficiency requirements.
Credit from USQ courses credited to the Juris Doctor may be granted for a maximum of 50% of the program, that is, 12 courses.
Maximum credit for completed undergraduate courses
Credit from USQ courses creditable to the Juris Doctor may be granted for successful completion of undergraduate courses on condition that:
- any other requirements for the granting of credit in these guidelines are met
- if the student had been previously enrolled in a combined program with law at USQ or another university, and law courses were credited to the other award, credit is only granted so that, on completion of the Juris Doctor at USQ, the student will have successfully completed the equivalent of at least 6 years of full-time study
- subject to paragraph 2, the maximum proportion of undergraduate courses that are taken or credited towards the Juris Doctor is 50% of the program, that is, the equivalent of 12 courses.
Credit may be granted from a core course that deals with an area of knowledge that is set out in the Admission Guidelines for Approving Academic Qualifications issued under Rule 9AA of the Supreme Court (Admission) Rules 2004 (Qld) if:
- the course that was successfully completed at another university deals in substance with the topics that are set out in that area of knowledge
- the course was undertaken in a program that is an approved academic qualification for the purposes of admission as a lawyer in any Australian state or territory.
Credit from a course in the Juris Doctor will only be granted if:
- the workload for the course that was successfully completed at another university is at least 70% of the workload required for the course from which a credit is being granted
- at least 70% of the content of the course that was successfully completed at the other university is similar to the content of the course from which a credit is being granted.
Credit may be permitted for a limited number of courses, equivalent in content and level, successfully completed recently with a recognised institution, in accordance with USQ policy.
This is a graduate-entry degree for non-law graduates – perfect if you want a career in law and already have a bachelor degree. Fast-track your studies and complete this degree in 2 years full-time over six consecutive semesters. Learn from expert lecturers and challenge yourself to build your capabilities in a legal workplace. Your second and third years will incorporate a strong element of research work. This degree is professionally accredited by the Legal Practitioners Admissions Board, Queensland, and the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Queensland as an approved academic qualification under the Supreme Court (Admission) Rules 2004 (Qld). This degree will partially satisfy the requirements to practise as a lawyer in Queensland, or elsewhere in Australia. Intending lawyers (whether barristers or solicitors) must also complete an approved practical legal training course in order to become admitted to practise law
Recommended Study Pattern
Year 1 - Semester 1
LAW5111 Advanced Australian Legal System
LAW5112 Advanced Legal Writing and Research
LAW5113 Advanced Contract and Torts A
HIS5115 Advanced Legal History
Year 1 - Semester 2
LAW5121 Advanced Criminal Law and Procedure
LAW5122 Advanced Dispute Management
LAW5123 Advanced Contract B
LAW5124 Advanced Torts B
Year 2 - Semester 1
LAW5211 Advanced Constitutional Law
LAW5212 Advanced Equity
LAW5213 Advanced Property and Trusts A
Law approved course 1
Year 2 - Semester 2
LAW5221 Advanced Administrative Law
LAW5222 Advanced Public International Law
LAW5223 Advanced Property and Trusts B
LAW5224 Advanced Theories of Law
Year 3 - Semester 1
LAW5311 Advanced Company Law
LAW5312 Advanced Lawyers' Ethics
LAW8001 Legal Research Methodology
Law approved research course
Year 3 - Semester 2
LAW5321 Advanced Evidence
LAW5322 Advanced Civil Procedure
Law approved course 2
Law approved course 3
Completion of 24 units as outlined in the Recommended Study Pattern section.
A student who successfully completes eight Juris Doctor core units may, upon application, exit with a Graduate Diploma of Jurisprudence. The Graduate Diploma of Jurisprudence is located at Level 8 of the Australian Qualifications Framework.
Choose your subjects
All electives in the Juris Doctor program must come from the Approved Law Courses list.