Graduate Diploma in Legal Studies

Course GD-LEGSTU (2012)

Note: This is an archived Handbook entry from 2012.

Year and Campus: 2012 - Parkville
CRICOS Code: 075319A
Fees Information: Subject EFTSL, Level, Discipline & Census Date
Level: Graduate/Postgraduate
Duration & Credit Points: 50 credit points taken over 6 months full time. This course is available as full or part time.


Professor Cheryl Saunders


For more information, contact the Melbourne Law Masters office.

Email or phone +61 3 8344 6190.

Alternatively, visit our website:

Course Overview:

The Graduate Diploma in Legal Studies allows you to tailor your course to meet your professional and personal goals and benefit from the broad subject selection offered in the Melbourne Law Masters. Students will have the opportunity to gain valuable legal expertise and skills and examine contemporary legal issues from a local and international perspective.


The Graduate Diploma in Legal Studies allows you to tailor your course to meet your professional and personal goals and benefit from the broad subject selection offered in the Melbourne Law Masters. Students will have the opportunity to gain valuable legal expertise and skills and examine contemporary legal issues from a local and international perspective.

Course Structure & Available Subjects:

Students must complete four subjects from the subjects available in the Melbourne Law Masters.

Students who do not have a law degree from a common law jurisdiction or any prior legal studies or experience are required to complete either Fundamentals of the Common Law or the two-day preliminary subject Australian Legal Process and Legal Institutions.

Note to applicants
Applicants without legal qualifications should note that subjects are offered in the discipline of law at an advanced graduate level. While every effort will be made to meet the needs of students trained in other fields, concessions will not be made in the general level of instruction or assessment. Most subjects assume the knowledge usually acquired in a degree in law (LLB, JD or equivalent). Applicants should note that admission to some subjects in the Melbourne Law Masters will be dependent upon the individual applicant’s educational background and professional experience.


  • Full-time: Six months
  • Part-time: One to two years


Subject Options:

# Offered in 2012

  • Accounting for Commercial Lawyers
  • Administrative Law in an Age of Rights
  • Advanced Civil Litigation (Formerly Advanced Litigation) #
  • Advanced Construction Law (Formerly Advanced Construction Claims) #
  • Advanced Evidence
  • Advanced International Tax: Offshore Entities (Formerly Taxation of Overseas Entities) #
  • Alternative Dispute Resolution #
  • Australian Charters of Rights
  • Australian Consumer Law #
  • Australian Income Tax System #
  • Avoiding and Managing Construction Disputes
  • Banking and Finance in Asia (Formerly Banking and Debt Recovery in Asia) #
  • Banking and Finance Law: Principles and Transactions (Formerly Law of Secured Finance) #
  • Bargaining at Work (Formerly Bargaining at Work and Industrial Action) #
  • Behavioural Law and Economics #
  • Bills of Rights: An International Perspective
  • Business and Human Rights #
  • Capital Gains Tax: Problems in Practice #
  • Cartels and Competition Law
  • Chinese Law #
  • Chinese Tax and Investment Law
  • Class Actions #
  • Climate Change Law #
  • Commercial Law in Asia (Formerly Commercial Deals in Asia) #
  • Commercial Law: Principles and Policies #
  • Commercial Unconscionability #
  • Communications Law
  • Company Takeovers #
  • Comparative Business Tax (formerly Comparative Income Tax)
  • Comparative Companies Law in Asia #
  • Comparative Corporate Governance #
  • Comparative Corporate Tax (Formerly Comparative Business Tax) #
  • Comparative International Tax
  • Comparative Law
  • Comparative Tort Law: The United States and Australia #
  • Competition and New Technologies
  • Competition Law and Intellectual Property #
  • Constitution Making #
  • Constitutional Law in Practice (Formerly Constitutional Litigation) #
  • Construction Contract Analysis and Drafting (Formerly Advanced Construction Contracts) #
  • Construction Dispute Resolution #
  • Construction Law (Formerly Construction Contracts) #
  • Construction Risk: Allocation and Insurance #
  • Construction: Principles into Practice #
  • Consumer Credit: Recent Developments and Emerging Issues (formerly Consumer Banking)
  • Contract Damages
  • Contract Interpretation (Formerly Commercial Contracts) #
  • Copyright Law #
  • Corporate and White Collar Criminal Law #
  • Corporate Governance and Directors’ Duties #
  • Corporate Governance and Employee Relations: Comparative Perspectives
  • Corporate Insolvency and Reconstruction #
  • Corporate Social Responsibility and the Law
  • Corporate Tax A (Shareholders, Debt and Equity) #
  • Corporate Tax B (Consolidation and Losses) Formerly Corporate Tax B (Companies and #
  • Criminal Procedure and Human Rights: International and Australian Perspectives #
  • Cultural Heritage, Trade and Development
  • Current Application of Legal Remedies #
  • Current Issues in Administrative Law #
  • Current Issues in Family Law (Formerly Family Law) #
  • Current Issues in Tax Avoidance
  • Debt Capital Markets (Formerly Securitisation) #
  • Defamation Law #
  • Derivatives Law and Practice
  • Design and Construct: Specialised Construction Contracts
  • Designs Law and Practice #
  • Developing Countries and the WTO #
  • Dispute System Design
  • Economics for Competition Lawyers #
  • Employment Contract Law (Formerly Employment Law) #
  • Energy Regulation and the Law (Formerly Regulation and the Law) #
  • Enforcing Competition and Consumer Law (formerly Enforcing Competition Law)
  • Entertainment Law
  • Environmental Law (formerly Environmental Law: Science and Regulation)
  • Environmental Rights #
  • Equality and Discrimination at Work (Formerly Anti-Discrimination Law at Work) #
  • Equity and Commerce #
  • European Tax Law
  • Event Management Law #
  • Evolving Constitutionalism in Asia
  • Expert Evidence #
  • Film and Television Law: Production, Financing and Distribution #
  • Financial Services Law #
  • Fiscal Reform and Development #
  • Food and Drug Law
  • Foundations of Medical Law #
  • Foundations of Tax Law (Formerly Australian Income Tax System) #
  • Free Speech, Contempt and the Media
  • Freedom of Information (formerly Regulating Access to Public Information) #
  • Fundamentals of Patent Drafting #
  • Fundamentals of the Common Law #
  • Gambling, Policy and the Law #
  • Global Commercial Contract Law #
  • Global Financial Order: IMF and World Bank #
  • Goods and Services Tax Principles #
  • Governance Issues and the Credit Crisis
  • Governing Plurality: Sovereignty, Religion, Technology
  • Hate Speech #
  • Health, Development and Human Rights
  • Human Rights and Indigenous Peoples
  • Human Rights and Terrorism #
  • Human Rights at Work #
  • Human Rights Beyond Borders
  • Human Rights in Asia
  • Human Rights Litigation and Advocacy #
  • Human Rights, Women and Development (Formerly Gender, Human Rights and Development) #
  • Imperial International Law
  • Indigenous Peoples, Land and Resources Law (Formerly Native Title Law and Practice) #
  • Information Security Law
  • Information Technology Contracting Law #
  • Infrastructure Delivery Law (Formerly Infrastructure Delivery A: Principles and Practice) #
  • Insurance Law
  • Intangible Asset Valuation: Law and Practice #
  • Intellectual Property Litigation Practice
  • Intelligence Law: Espionage and Surveillance in International and Domestic Law
  • International and Comparative Competition Law #
  • International and Comparative Copyright Law
  • International and Comparative Trade Mark Law
  • International Arbitration Workshop
  • International Business Transactions #
  • International Commercial Arbitration #
  • International Construction Law #
  • International Corporate Insolvency #
  • International Criminal Justice, Transition and Trauma
  • International Criminal Law #
  • International Dispute Settlement #
  • International Economic Law #
  • International Employment Law (Formerly International and Comparative Labour Law) #
  • International Environmental Law #
  • International Financial System: Law and Practice #
  • International Financial Transactions: Law and Practice #
  • International Health Law (formerly Global Health Law)
  • International Human Rights Law #
  • International Humanitarian Law #
  • International Investment Law and Arbitration #
  • International Issues in Intellectual Property #
  • International Law and Children‘s Rights #
  • International Law and Development (Formerly Law and Development) #
  • International Law and Ethics: Current Global Issues
  • International Law and Israel–Palestine #
  • International Law and the Rights of Minorities (Formerly Sovereignty and the Rights of Minorities) #
  • International Law and the Use of Force #
  • International Law, Culture and Identity (Formerly Law, Culture and the International) #
  • International Lending Transactions: Negotiation and Documentation
  • International Migration Law #
  • International Petroleum Transactions #
  • International Refugee Law: Refugee Rights #
  • International Resources Law #
  • International Sale of Goods
  • International Sports Employment Law (Formerly International Sports Labour Law) #
  • International Tax: Principles and Structure #
  • International Trade Law #
  • International Trade, Intellectual Property and Public Health (Formerly Trade, Intellectual Property Rights and Public Health) #
  • Internet Law #
  • Interpretation and Validity of Patent Specifications #
  • Islamic Law
  • Islamic Law and Politics in Asia #
  • Labour Standards under the Fair Work Act (Cth) (Formerly Regulating Working Conditions) #
  • Latin American Constitutionalisms #
  • Law and Development #
  • Law and Economics of Access Regulation #
  • Law and Human Genetics
  • Law of Democracy #
  • Law of Intergovernmental Relations
  • Law of Negligence (formerly Current Developments in Negligence Law)
  • Law of Royal Commissions and other Public Inquiries (Formerly Law of Public Inquiries) #
  • Law of the Sea and Marine Species #
  • Law on the Beginning and End of Life #
  • Licensing Law and Technology Transfer #
  • Managed Investments Law
  • Market Power and Competition Law #
  • Medical Ethics (Formerly Bioethics from an International Perspective) #
  • Medical Litigation #
  • Merger Regulation under Competition Law
  • Mineral and Petroleum Tax #
  • Mineral Law #
  • Not-for-Profit Organisations: Current Regulatory and Governance Issues #
  • OTC Derivatives: US and International Practice, Regulation and Policy Issues
  • Patent Law #
  • Patent Practice #
  • Patient Safety and the Law
  • Payment Matters in Construction Projects #
  • Petroleum Law
  • Planning Law
  • Post-Conflict Constitutional Design
  • Post-Conflict State-Building
  • Principles of Construction Law #
  • Principles of Corporate Law
  • Principles of Employment Law #
  • Principles of International Law #
  • Privacy Law (Formerly Privacy and Data Protection) #
  • Professional Services Management
  • Project Finance #
  • Proof in Litigation #
  • Proprietary Interests in Human Tissue #
  • Prosecuting the War on Terror #
  • Public Health Law (formerly Public Health Law in Australia and the Pacific)
  • Public Private Partnerships Law (Formerly Infrastructure Delivery B: Public Private Partnerships) #
  • Racing Industry Law and Regulation
  • Registration of Health Professionals #
  • Regulating Access to Public Information #
  • Regulation of Securities Markets #
  • Regulation of Securities Offerings
  • Religion and Multiculturalism
  • Remedies in Commercial Law #
  • Remedies in the Construction Context (Formerly Current Application of Legal Remedies) #
  • Residential Construction Law #
  • Resource and Environment Taxes
  • Resources Joint Ventures #
  • Restitution Law in Commercial Practice (formerly Unjust Enrichment in Commercial Law)
  • Schemes of Arrangement
  • Secured Transactions: The Personal Property Securities Act 2009 (Cth) (Formerly Secured Transactions) #
  • Shareholders’ Rights and Remedies (formerly Shareholders’ Remedies)
  • Sport, Commerce and the Law #
  • Sports Dispute Resolution #
  • Sports Health and Medical Law (Formerly Sports Medicine Law) #
  • Sports Law: Entities and Governance #
  • Sports Marketing Law
  • State Taxes and Duties
  • Statehood in International Law: Empires and Resistance #
  • Statutes in the 21st Century #
  • Superannuation Law #
  • Sustainability Law and Governance
  • Tax Avoidance and Planning (Formerly Current Issues in Tax Avoidance) #
  • Tax Effective Writing: Written Advocacy
  • Tax Litigation #
  • Tax Policy
  • Tax Treaties #
  • Taxation of Business and Investment Income (Formerly Taxation of Business and Investment Income A) #
  • Taxation of Financial Instruments
  • Taxation of Intellectual Property
  • Taxation of Mergers and Acquisitions #
  • Taxation of Remuneration
  • Taxation of Small and Medium Enterprises #
  • Taxation of Sport
  • Taxation of Superannuation #
  • Taxation of Trusts #
  • The Law of Restitution (Formerly Restitution Law in Commercial Practice) #
  • The Role of Courts in International Law #
  • Trade Mark Practice #
  • Trade Marks and Unfair Competition #
  • Trade, Human Rights and Development #
  • Trade, Intellectual Property Rights and Public Health #
  • Transfer Pricing: Practice and Problems #
  • Trusts in Commerce
  • UK Tax: Principles and New Developments
  • US Corporate and International Tax #
  • US Intellectual Property Law #
  • US Sports Law (formerly Introduction to United States Sports Law)
  • Water Law and Natural Resources Management (Formerly Water Law) #
  • What is it that Judges Do?
  • Women, War and Peace-Building (formerly Women and War)
  • Workplace Health and Safety #
  • WTO Law and Dispute Settlement #
Breadth Tracks:


Available Breadth Tracks

Entry Requirements:
  • A degree and the equivalent of at least one year of full-time, documented, relevant professional experience; or
  • A degree in law leading to admission to legal practice (LLB, JD or equivalent), at honours standard or equivalent; or
  • A degree in law leading to admission to legal practice (LLB, JD or equivalent) and the equivalent of at least one year of full-time, documented, relevant professional experience.
Core Participation Requirements:

The Melbourne Law Masters welcomes applications from students with disabilities. The inherent academic requirements for study in the Melbourne Law Masters are:

  • The ability to attend a minimum of 75% of classes and actively engage in the analysis of complex materials and debate;
  • The ability to read, analyse and comprehend complex written legal materials and complex interdisciplinary materials;
  • The ability to clearly and independently communicate in writing a knowledge and application of legal principles and interdisciplinary materials and critically evaluate these;
  • The ability to clearly and independently communicate orally a knowledge and application of legal principles and interdisciplinary materials and critically evaluate these;
  • The ability to work independently and as a part of a group;
  • The ability to present orally and in writing legal analysis to a professional standard.

Students who feel their disability will inhibit them from meeting these inherent academic requirements are encouraged to contact the Disability Liaison Unit:

Graduate Attributes:
  1. Advanced understanding of the changing knowledge base in the relevant area of law
    The specialist focus of the Melbourne Law Masters, the constant review and renewal of subjects and courses, the range and expertise of instructors from Australia and around the world, and regular advice from our advisory boards combine to ensure that courses and subjects reflect emerging knowledge and ideas
  2. Ability to evaluate and synthesise existing knowledge in the area
    Small classes, a discussion-based environment and the emphasis on quality teaching and learning create an environment in which knowledge is exchanged, critically examined and adapted to current circumstances
  3. Well-developed problem solving abilities, characterised by flexibility of approach
    Most subjects approach knowledge by reference to various issues or problems. Students are encouraged to critically analyse problems and identify and develop a range of appropriate solutions through class discussion, individual study and assessment tasks.
  4. Advanced competencies in legal research and analysis
    Class preparation and class discussions are designed to enhance these skills, which are tested in all forms of assessment.
  5. Capacity to communicate, orally and in writing
    Classroom discussion and formal presentations provide an opportunity to hone oral communication skills, and written assessment tasks are graded in part on written communication skills.
  6. Appreciation of the design, conduct and reporting of original research
    Research papers and other research tasks are expected to attain a degree of originality and discovery that befits a quality postgraduate program, and students are encouraged and assisted to publish work of a high standard in refereed journals.
  7. Capacity to manage competing demands on time
    The demanding nature of graduate study requires effective time-management skills from all students. The rigour of our programs, whether undertaken part-time or full-time, ensures that all successful graduates have enhanced time-management skills.
  8. Profound respect for truth and intellectual integrity, including the ethics of scholarship
    Some subjects have a substantive ethical component. All instructors have a respect for intellectual integrity and are skilled scholars or practitioners in their own right.
  9. Appreciation of the way in which knowledge provides a foundation for leadership
    Instructors in the Melbourne Law Masters are leaders in their fields, and many subjects involve visiting academics, exposing students to a wider array of leaders in a range of legal fields. The Law School is committed to the significance of knowledge, which informs all regular programs and a wide range of additional activities.
  10. Capacity to value and participate in teamwork
    Small class sizes and an intensive teaching format are valuable in encouraging group dynamics and teamwork.
  11. Understanding of the significance and value of knowledge to the wider community
    Law and legal knowledge are a community resource. In some subjects, this perspective is covered explicitly by the syllabus and the manner in which issues are treated in class. In addition, our diverse student body ensures that a range of perspectives on the way law impacts on the community are identified and analysed.
  12. Capacity to engage with issues in contemporary society
    Our programs focus on the most up-to-date legal knowledge, analysing current issues and problems through the curriculum design, classroom discussion and assessment tasks. International students are also invited to participate in extracurricular activities to aid understanding of Australian law and legal institutions.
  13. Advanced working skills in the use of new technology
    The most advanced IT infrastructure is available to Melbourne Law Masters students in the Law Library, the Moot Court Room, classroom settings and for private study.
Links to further information:

Download PDF version.