Master of Laws

Course 502NT (2015)

Note: This is an archived Handbook entry from 2015.

Year and Campus: 2015 - Parkville
CRICOS Code: 020343M
Fees Information: Subject EFTSL, Level, Discipline & Census Date
Level: Graduate/Postgraduate
Duration & Credit Points: 100 credit points taken over 36 months full time. This course is available as full or part time.


Professor Caron Beaton-Wells


For more information:

Phone: +61 3 8344 6190

Course Overview:

Melbourne Law School’s Master of Laws (LLM) is a graduate degree in law of the highest quality with one of the largest subject ranges in the world. More than 175 subjects are offered in 2015.

Students enrolled in the LLM can choose from all subjects available in the Melbourne Law Masters, allowing them to tailor the degree to suit their professional aspirations and personal interests. Students may also choose to undertake the Master of Laws as a combination of coursework and a minor thesis.

These courses are available only for law graduates.

Learning Outcomes:

The Master of Laws by Coursework focuses on:

  • The changing knowledge base in selected areas of the law
  • Identifying and resolving legal problems and issues from theoretical and practical perspectives
  • Advanced skills and techniques in finding and using the law
  • The capacity to articulate your knowledge and understanding in oral and written presentations
  • The impact of globalisation on the substance, theory and practice of law
  • The design, conduct and reporting of original research.
Course Structure & Available Subjects:

Students must satisfactorily complete four coursework subjects and achieve a minimum of 75 per cent in each subject. Students may then prepare either a dissertation of 20,000 to 35,000 words or two major articles of 10,000 to 15,000 words each, suitable for publication in a learned legal journal. The two papers must be in the same subject area so that it is possible to have one supervisor for both papers. The Law School must approve the combination of subjects and thesis topic. The latter will usually build on the subjects completed. Once a thesis topic is submitted to the Law School for approval, an appropriate supervisor will be sought who may help to refine the chosen topic. Once final approval is obtained, a supervisor is appointed and supervision is carried out in accordance with the Law School’s Code of Supervisory Practice.

Applicants must have:

  • Met the selection criteria for the Master of Laws by Coursework; and
  • Successfully completed four coursework subjects with a minimum of 75 per cent in each subject;
  • Completed at least one research paper of 8,000 words or more in the Melbourne Law Masters program;
  • Submitted an appropriate approved thesis proposal.

The School will also need to appoint a supervisor for the thesis prior to approval of enrolment in the minor thesis. Students for admission to the Master of Laws by Coursework and Minor Thesis should note that the School can give no assurance it can provide a supervisor, and this may mean that the student will need to select another topic for the minor thesis or not enrol in the minor thesis.

Guidelines for preparing a Minor Thesis proposal

For information to assist with a preparation of a minor thesis proposal, see the Guidelines for preparing a Minor Thesis proposal (.pdf).

Subject Options:

2015 Subject

Entry Requirements:
  • A degree in law (LLB, JD or equivalent) leading to admission to practice, at honours standard, or equivalent;
  • A degree in law (LLB, JD or equivalent) leading to admission to practice, or equivalent; and two years 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 and critique 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 to 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:

Further Study:

A student who completes a masters degree in the Melbourne Law Masters is eligible to apply for entry to the PhD program.

Graduate Attributes:
  1. Advanced understanding of the changing knowledge base in the relevant area(s) of law
    The specialist focus of the Melbourne Law Masters, the constant review and renewal of subjects and courses to ensure coverage of recent developments, the range and expertise of instructors from Australia and around the world, and regular advice from MLM advisory boards combine to ensure that courses and subjects reflect emerging knowledge and ideas.
  2. Ability to investigate, evaluate, synthesise and apply existing knowledge in the relevant area(s) with creativity and initiative
    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 required 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. All graduates of an LLM will have demonstrated, through subject assessment, the ability to use their research skills to plan, develop and execute substantial research-based project(s) and/or piece(s) of scholarship.
  5. Capacity to effectively communicate complex legal ideas and theories, orally and in writing, to a variety of audiences
    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 creativity, originality and discovery that befits a postgraduate program of the highest quality, and students are encouraged and assisted to publish original work of a high standard in refereed journals.
  7. Capacity to manage competing demands on time and ability to work with a high level of autonomy and accountability
    The demanding nature of graduate study requires effective time-management skills from all students and an ability to work independently and be accountable for commitment to study and output, as demonstrated through class attendance, engagement and assessment. The rigour of our programs, whether undertaken part-time or full-time, ensures that all successful graduates have enhanced time-management skills and the ability to work with relative autonomy.
  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:

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