Note: This is an archived Handbook entry from 2016.
Melbourne Law School’s specialisation in private law offers an opportunity to develop a deep understanding of core areas of law that are fundamentally important to commercial practice. The subjects cover current issues and developments in areas that are vitally important to lawyers involved in commercial litigation and commercial transactions, including contract law, the law of torts, equity, restitution, trusts and remedies.
Graduates of the Master of Private Law will:
- Have an advanced and integrated understanding of the complex body of knowledge in the field of private law including:
- the rules and principles governing contractual dealings, equitable
doctrines, civil wrongs and private law remedies
- the theories and policies that underpin those common law and equitable principles and relevant statutory interventions
- challenges that arise in the application of those rules and principles in particular transactions and in litigation
- current debates on the nature, basis and potential reform of private law doctrines
- Have expert, specialised cognitive and technical skills that equip them independently to:
- analyse, critically reflect on and synthesise complex information, concepts and theories in the field of private law
- research and apply such information, concepts and theories to the relevant body of knowledge and practice; and
- interpret and transmit their knowledge, skills and ideas to specialist and non-specialist audiences
- Apply their knowledge and skills to demonstrate autonomy, expert judgment, adaptability and responsibility as a practitioner and learner in the field of private law.
|Course Structure & Available Subjects:
Students must complete eight subjects in total.
Students who do not have a law degree from a common law jurisdiction must complete Fundamentals of the Common Law, as well as seven subjects from the prescribed list.
Students with a law degree from a common law jurisdiction must complete at least seven subjects from the prescribed list and may choose an eighth subject from those available in the Melbourne Law Masters (excluding Fundamentals of the Common Law).
Study Period Commencement:
Semester 1, Semester 2
Summer Term, Semester 1, Semester 2, Winter Term
- 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 of documented relevant professional experience;
- An undergraduate degree in a relevant discipline and two years of documented relevant professional experience;
- An undergraduate degree in a relevant discipline; and successful completion of four subjects in a cognate graduate diploma and one year of documented relevant professional experience.
The Selection Committee may seek further information to clarify any aspect of an application in accordance with the Academic Board rules on the use of selection instruments.
|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: www.services.unimelb.edu.au/disability/
A student who completes a masters degree in the Melbourne Law Masters is eligible to apply for entry to the PhD program.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Capacity to value and participate in teamwork
Small class sizes and an intensive teaching format are valuable in encouraging group dynamics and teamwork.
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.
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.
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: