Juris Doctor courses

Earn your Juris Doctor online and get qualified for a range of legal careers

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Introduction to Juris Doctor

This postgraduate law degree is an option for you if you have previously studied in another discipline, but have realised law is your calling. 

Through Open Universities Australia you can compare Juris Doctors offered by leading law schools from across the country. We’ll help you earn your qualification at a flexible pace, so that you can continue to work full or part-time in your current career.

Once you graduate from this course, you will satisfy the educational requirements needed to practice as a lawyer in Australia. Though with your comprehensive understanding of the law, you will be free to pursue a career in any sector where legal expertise is required, including business, government or the not-for-profit sector. 

Are you ready to take the first step?

Explore Juris Doctor courses
Open Universities Australia student Lisa wearing professional clothes in a business setting.
Lisa studied a Juris Doctor with RMIT University through Open Universities Australia

Discover Juris Doctor courses

Online Juris Doctor degrees

RMIT University

PostgraduateRMI-JDR-MAS

Juris Doctor

Your postgraduate path to a career in law

100% online

3 years full time or part time equivalent

University of Southern Queensland

PostgraduateUSQ-JDR-MAS

Juris Doctor

Postgraduate law for non-law graduates

100% online

3 years full time or part time equivalent

Macquarie University

PostgraduateMAQ-LAW-MAS

Juris Doctor

Change-making expert knowledge of the law

Online & on-campus

3 years full time or part time equivalent

Flinders University

PostgraduateFLI-JRS-MAS

Juris Doctor

Take up a flexible law degree that works for you

100% online

3 years full time or part time equivalent

View all bachelor degrees

Study Juris Doctor with leading Australian universities.

Explore Juris Doctor courses

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  • Understanding your funding options

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Juris Doctor study FAQs

What type of degree is a Juris Doctor?

A Juris Doctor is a postgraduate law degree. It covers the same material as a Bachelor of Laws, but is designed for those who already have an undergraduate degree in a non-law discipline. It’s assessed at a masters degree level. 

On the Australian Qualifications Framework, the Juris Doctor is classified as a masters degree. 

Why should I study a Juris Doctor?

You should study a Juris Doctor if you already have a degree in another discipline, but you have decided you would like to practice law in Australia. 

This highly respected qualification will give you the practical skills you need to navigate the legal system and apply for roles in a competitive job market. Juris Doctor graduates know how to solve complex problems, negotiate on behalf of clients, and translate intricate legal documents with ease. 

Many graduates choose to earn a Juris Doctor because it complements their existing undergraduate qualification and allows them to specialise in law within their chosen field. 

Since the Juris Doctor is an internationally recognised qualification, it can also open doors for you overseas. Graduates can use their degree to seek admission to practice in jurisdictions like the United States, the UK and New Zealand.  

Why should I study a Juris Doctor online?

You should study your Juris Doctor online if you don’t want to disrupt your current lifestyle. As an online law degree student, you can complete your coursework when it suits you because you’re not required to attend lectures or tutorials in person. But you will still learn the same material as on-campus students and have access to the same legal minds.  

How long does a Juris Doctor degree take?

It takes 3 years of full-time study to earn a Juris Doctor. However, if you complete your course online through Open Universities Australia, you have full control over how many subjects you take on at once. You can study as little as a subject per semester if you like. This can make it easier to focus on the complexity of the subject matter involved in a law degree. If you’re in need of a break, you can also put your studies on hold until you’re ready to resume.

How much does a Juris Doctor degree cost?

The cost of your Juris Doctor will depend on the university you study with. Course fees can vary anywhere from $43,000 to $115,000. 

Online Juris Doctors are covered by the Australian Higher Education Loan Program (HELP). If you’re eligible, you can apply to defer all or part of your upfront tuition fees. You will only pay your fees back when your income reaches a certain threshold. 

It’s important to note that there is a cap on how much you can borrow through HELP during your study life. If your tuition fees push you above the limit (which is $113,028 in 2023 for most students), then you may be required to pay the outstanding amount upfront. Read more about that here.

What career outcomes can I expect with a Juris Doctor?

A Juris Doctor can lead to a variety of legal careers within law firms, community legal centres, not-for-profit organisations, corporations and government. 

You could go on to become a: 

  • Lawyer/Solicitor specialising in an area of your choice  
  • Barrister
  • Judge or judge’s associate 
  • Legal officer

However, you don’t have to practice law to benefit from a Juris Doctor. Legal knowledge is highly sought after in many areas, including business, banking, recruitment and politics. We have alumni who have applied their skills in the film and healthcare industries

If you do want to become a lawyer, your Juris Doctor alone will not qualify you to practice law. Once you graduate, you still need to complete supervised Practical Legal Training (PLT) or a Graduate Diploma of Legal Practice before you can apply for admission to practice. 

How do I know if I’m eligible to apply for a course?

Before starting an enrolment, it’s important to read the entry requirements for your chosen course to ensure that you’re eligible to apply. If you don’t quite meet the requirements, we may be able to help you gain entry through prior study or work experience. Chat with us to find out more.

How do I enrol?

Here at Open Universities Australia, we make enrolling online as straightforward as possible. To get started, find the course for you by browsing the options on this page. You can also compare different qualifications using our handy comparison tool, or request help from one of our student advisors.

When you’ve made your choice, click ‘Apply now’ on the relevant course page and follow the prompts to begin your enrolment. We’ll ask you to supply some supporting documentation, including proof of your identity, your tax file number, and a unique student identifier (USI) during this process.

Your university will get in touch with you via email to confirm whether or not your application has been successful.

Please note that enquiries and applications for some courses are handled directly by the university. If this is the case, it will be indicated on the course listing page.  

For more information about enrolment, read our online self-service enrolling instructions. If you get stuck at any time, reach out to us and we’ll talk you through it.

What do you learn in a Juris Doctor?

In your Juris Doctor, you will learn about the core areas of legal practice and gain an in-depth understanding of Australia’s legal system. Your studies will cover the ‘Priestley 11’, which are 11 law subjects you must complete if you would like to apply for admission to practice as a lawyer. 

Those subjects are: 

  • Administrative law
  • Civil procedure
  • Company law
  • Contracts
  • Criminal law and procedure
  • Equity and trusts
  • Ethics and professional responsibility
  • Evidence
  • Federal and state constitutional law
  • Property
  • Torts

You can also choose from a range of electives in other areas of interest, including consumer law, environmental law and health law. Students often discover an area that they would like to specialise in while exploring these subjects. 

Student stories and study advice

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We’re here to guide you to the right uni course

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Studying through Open Universities Australia means we take care of the guesswork and administration of university study, so you can focus on learning.

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