Doctor of Laws

Course 500AA (2014)

Note: This is an archived Handbook entry from 2014.

Year and Campus: 2014 - Parkville
Fees Information: Subject EFTSL, Level, Discipline & Census Date
Level: Research Higher Degree
Duration & Credit Points: Duration and Credit Points not applicable for this course.


Professor Tania Voon (Associate Dean, Research)


Melbourne Law School
Office for Research
185 Pelham Street
The University of Melbourne 3010
Telephone: + 61 3 834 48946



Course Overview:

The Doctor of Laws (LLD) is the highest qualification available by examination at Melbourne Law School. The work submitted for examination must be of such a standard that it makes... "a substantial and original contribution to legal scholarship and is of such standard as to give the candidate authoritative standing in the field of the candidate's study".

Learning Outcomes:

See the Graduate Attributes section.

Course Structure & Available Subjects:

Not applicable.

Entry Requirements:

A candidate must either be:

  • A graduate in Law of The University of Melbourne of at least four years' standing; or
  • A graduate of another university who has held a recognised degree for at least four years and received adequate training for legal scholarship.

Application Procedure:

A successful request for admission to candidature must first be made before a body of work is submitted for examination.

The formal application for admission to candidature can consist of either:

  1. A direct application from the potential candidate; or
  2. A process of nomination by three academics.

The application must satisfy the requirements given in the Policy and Procedures for the degree of Doctor of Laws (LLD) (by examination) and be submitted to:

The Dean
Melbourne Law School

Applications will be considered by a committee established by the Dean of the Melbourne Law School. If the committee members assess the application or nomination as appropriate, the examination can be commenced and the candidate enrolled (for the purposes of examination only). The candidate will then be required to supply three copies of the work(s) to be examined.

Core Participation Requirements:

All PhD candidates are required to complete the equivalent of at least 12 months full-time (24 months part-time) advanced study and research in the University unless studying at an outside institution approved by the Research Higher Degrees Committee (RHDC). The RHDC will not approve entirely distance supervision or entirely on-line supervision for research higher degree students.

Throughout their candidature candidates are expected to attend the University in order to benefit from planning, conducting and writing up their research within a University community and environment.

The residency requirement is deemed especially important during the period of probationary candidature. During probationary candidature the student is expected to interact on a regular basis with the supervisor, the department (including staff and other research students) and the University, so as:

  • To build the skills and knowledge necessary to carry out the proposed research program;
  • To acquire an understanding of the standards and requirements for a PhD awarded by the University;
  • To make use of support programs and facilities provided by the Melbourne School of Graduate Research throughout candidature.

It is University policy to take all reasonable steps to minimise the impact of disability upon academic study, and reasonable adjustments will be made to enhance a student's participation in the University's programs. Students who feel their disability will impact on meeting the requirements of this course are encouraged to discuss this matter with a Faculty Student Adviser and the Disability Liaison Unit.

Graduate Attributes:

Doctoral degrees at the University of Melbourne seek to develop graduates who demonstrate academic leadership, increasing independence, creativity and innovation in their research work.

The University expects its doctoral graduates to have the following qualities and skills:

  • An advanced ability to initiate research and to formulate viable research questions;
  • A demonstrated capacity to design, conduct and report sustained and original research;
  • The capacity to contextualise research within an international corpus of specialist knowledge;
  • An advanced ability to evaluate and synthesize research-based and scholarly literature;
  • An advanced understanding of key disciplinary and multi-disciplinary norms and perspectives relevant to the field;
  • Highly developed problem-solving abilities and flexibility of approach;
  • The ability to analyse critically within and across a changing disciplinary environment;
  • The capacity to disseminate the results of research and scholarship by oral and written communication to a variety of audiences;
  • A capacity to cooperate with and respect the contributions of fellow researchers and scholars;
  • A profound respect for truth and intellectual integrity, and for the ethics of research and scholarship;
  • An advanced facility in the management of information, including the application of computer systems and software where appropriate to the student's field of study;
  • An understanding of the relevance and value of their research to national and international communities of scholars and collaborators;
  • An awareness where appropriate of issues related to intellectual property management and the commercialisation of innovation; and
  • An ability to formulate applications to relevant agencies, such as funding bodies and ethics committees.

The University provides a variety of opportunities in addition to the supervised research program, to facilitate a students' acquisition of these attributes.

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