Course structure

The Juris Doctor (JD) course comprises 24 subjects, including 16 compulsory subjects required for admission to legal practice within Australia.

You can pursue particular areas of interest through elective subject selection. Melbourne Law School’s elective offering is extensive and continually evolving to reflect current developments in law and legal practice. Examples of electives include commercial law, international human rights law and new technology law. You also have the opportunity to undertake an elective subject from the Melbourne Law Masters program.

Melbourne Law School offers a variety of course structures to provide you with flexibility to tailor your studies. The full-time course is three years, but you can extend to three and a half or four years. You can also accelerate to two and a half years, subject to approval. The part-time course can be completed in four to six years. All study commences with the intensive subject Legal Method and Reasoning in February each year.

Time commitment

Most JD subjects are taught during either Semester 1 or Semester 2 of the academic year. Some classes are taught on a more intensive basis during the summer or winter non-teaching period. The total commitment listed in the Handbook for each subject includes classes, pre-reading and assessment tasks.

For compulsory subjects, the total time commitment is 144 hours per subject, including 48 hours of class time (with some variations). Classes for the compulsory subjects taught across the semester are typically timetabled throughout the day, including later in the day, so whether you choose to study full time or part time, you have flexibility to build a schedule that works for you. Intensives are usually taught over two weeks in either summer or winter.

In elective subjects, the standard time commitment is 144 hours per subject, including 36 hours of class time (also with some variations). The timetable for electives will vary depending on each subject, but there will be a selection of subjects timetabled later in the day to suit students who require additional flexibility. Students can also take electives as intensives in summer and winter as well.

You can also take advantage of other educational, professional and social opportunities, including internships, mooting, witness and mediation competitions as well as international exchanges.

Single subjects for overseas practitioners

A limited number of subjects are available as single subjects for overseas qualified applicants from a recognised institution who hold an academic qualification in law (LLB or equivalent). Single subjects are not available to students with an Australian qualification. Learn more

Sample course plan

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