Frequently Asked Questions
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I want to do a law degree, what subjects should I take at school?
There are no prerequisite or preferred subjects. Choose subjects at school that you find most interesting, as these are generally the ones that you will do well in. In saying that, subjects such as English, History, and Classics will provide a solid basis of essay-writing; and Mathematics, Economics, Music, Physics and languages encourage analytical thinking. Opinions vary among academics, because many subjects, other than those mentioned above, require essay-writing and analysis.
What majors go best with an LLB?
Law can be combined with any subject, but the most popular are Political Science, International Relations, History, Accounting, Criminology, Psychology, Philosophy and Economics. Combining degrees in law and languages is also a popular option.
What are streams?
To accommodate all the students who want to enrol in LAWS 121, 122 and 123 the Faculty offers three streams for each of these courses. Two streams are held at the Kelburn Campus, and one stream in each of these courses is held at Pipitea Campus (i.e. at the Law School). Most other 100-level course lectures are held at the Kelburn Campus.
Can I study part-time?
Certainly – most part time students take one or two courses a trimester.
Can I study extramurally?
Students cannot enrol in law courses extramurally as lectures are a vital aspect of the learning of law. Non-attendance makes it extremely difficult to grasp the topic and gain the necessary skills.
Do I enrol in seven or eight courses in my first year?
Enrol in the three 100-level LAWS courses and either five non-law courses from a BCA or BSc (75 points) or four non-law courses from a BA (80 points). If you enrol in a mixture of 15 and 20 point courses make sure you have at least 70 non-law points.
Refer to the Online Course Catalogue for timetable information and the course reference number (CRN) for your preferred stream. Check your timetable carefully before selecting a stream. If a stream is full, you will be assigned to another stream. Once you have been assigned to a stream, you must stay in that stream. If you need to change streams please discuss this with the Undergraduate Administrator.
How many class hours a week are there?
Most compulsory courses require 3 hours of lectures and a 1 hour tutorial per week. Electives require 3 hours of lectures per week with a total of 36 class contact hours over each course.
How many points do I need?
The LLB is 480 points in total. You need 90 points from non-law courses by the end of your degree, the remaining points coming from law courses.
The majority of law students study two degrees. From 2011 you can do this as a conjoint programme. The required points are the sum of the total of the component degrees less 180 points - (e.g. 660 points for a BA/LLB).
How do I remain in a conjoint programme?
You need to maintain a B- grade average to remain in the conjoint programme. You also need to take courses from both of your degrees in each year.
What are course notes?
In most law courses you are required to buy course notes from vicbooks. These are prepared by the Course Coordinator and are specific for the year and course you are studying. They usually replace set texts.
Can I repeat 100-level courses?
From 2011, you may only repeat a course once, whether you have passed or failed previously. Further enrolment requires permission of the Deputy Dean.
Do I have admission to university?
Please see Admission to Victoria University to see whether you qualify for admission to the University.
What are the entry requirements for first-year law?
There is open entry to LAWS 121, offered in the first trimester, for students who have passed the requirements for university admission, subject to space being available. In order to do LAWS 122 and LAWS 123, offered in the second trimester, a student must have passed LAWS 121.
When should I enrol?
Please see Enrolments for information and to enrol online. Online enolment begins in early October for the following year. First-year law applicants should enrol early as streams fill up quickly. The date for applications for all limited entry courses is 10 December.
When do lectures start?
Click here for trimester dates.
How much are the fees?
Visit Victoria's Fees webpage to get the latest information on fees.
How do I transfer a course from another New Zealand university?
If the course is a specific law course taken under a Law Faculty towards an LLB at another New Zealand university (Auckland, AUT, Waikato, Canterbury or Otago) it is likely that we will be able to give credit towards the Victoria LLB. Compulsory LLB courses will generally transfer as their Victoria equivalent.
If you are transferring into second-year law you must have completed a minimum of 120 points including 100-level law.
To graduate with an LLB from Victoria University you will need to complete a minimum of 160 advanced-level points at Victoria. An overall total of 480 points is required.
If you intend to take some courses at Victoria but still graduate with a degree from another university you will need to obtain written permission from the university you wish to graduate from.
We will require an official academic transcript from the university you studied at. This lists the courses you have taken and your grades.
How are law courses assessed?
There is considerable variation in the assessment of law courses. In some, assessment is based on in-term tests and a final examination. In others, assessment is based on essays and opinions completed during the trimester with no final examination. Every course has mandatory requirements (also called 'terms') that must be satisfied for completion of the course. These vary from course to course - in some, a mandatory attendance or a minimum mark in a test or essay may be required for terms. Assessment and terms requirements are set out in the course outlines for each course.
What is an 'opinion'?
This is the Law Faculty's equivalent of an essay. It means your legal opinion on a matter.
When are LAWS 100-level tests and examinations scheduled?
Assessment for 100-level LAWS courses includes a terms test and a final examination. Because of the size of the classes, and to ensure that all streams can sit at the same time, these tests are scheduled on a Saturday or an evening. The dates will be in the course outline. As you are expected to attend, please do not arrange anything else at these times. You may have to make special arrangements regarding work or childcare.
The final examination timetable is published later in the year. As part of your contract to study at Victoria, you are required to be available for the duration of the examination period at the end of the first and second trimester. A holiday or sporting fixture during this time is not a reason to reschedule your examination.
How can I find out my exam results?
Grades are available via Student Records. They are also posted on noticeboards in the Law School.
Who do I see if I have a problem with my study?
If the problem relates to a particular course, talk to the lecturer or course coordinator. If the issues are more general and relate to course selection or your whole course of study, see the Undergraduate Administrator or Student Administration Manager. If they can't help you to sort out the issue, they will be able to tell you where to find the appropriate support.
What do I need to do to become a qualified lawyer in NZ (if I have practised elsewhere in the world)?
Contact the New Zealand Council for Legal Education, email@example.com.