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What will I learn?

The Master of Laws (LLM) degree requires at least one year of full-time study, or the equivalent in part-time study. It entails completion of a thesis, and there is no requirement for coursework. The aim is to develop in a candidate the skills needed to understand recent developments in the Law. Applicants must have a Bachelor of Laws (LLB) or Bachelor of Laws with Honours (LLB(Hons)) degree, or alternative qualifications and experience acceptable to the University.

While it is not a requirement that the findings presented in the thesis shall represent a substantial contribution to knowledge in the field of Law, a candidate is expected to choose an appropriate topic that can be completed with 12 months of full-time study, conduct the research professionally and appropriately, and report the findings clearly, accurately and succinctly.

This degree prepares candidates for employment in law firms, local and national government agencies, commerce and higher education. It is also a recognised possible qualification for the PhD degree.

Structure of the Programme

a. A candidate shall present a thesis embodying the results of research undertaken under supervision.

b. The research should be of a kind that a diligent and competent student should complete within one year of full-time study.

Duration of the Programme

A candidate shall normally follow a programme of study for the equivalent of not less than one year of full-time study and not more than two years of full-time study. Exceptions shall be permitted only with the approval of the Dean of Law.

Which department am I in?

Division of Humanities

Study options

Full Time (1 year)

Tuition fees
NZ$38,548.00 (US$ 23,949) per year

*Price shown is for indicative purposes, please check with institution

Application deadline

Expected April 2023

More details

Start date

11 July 2022


University of Otago

Dunedin Campus,

362 Leith Street,


North Dunedin,

9016, New Zealand

Entry requirements

For students from United States

Every applicant must either be a graduate and normally have achieved an average grade of B+ at 300-level, or have equivalent alternative qualifications or experience acceptable to the Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Commerce).

For international students

Admission to the programme shall be subject to the approval of the Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Humanities) on the advice of the Dean of Law.

Every applicant shall either

  • have been admitted to the degree of Bachelor of Laws or Bachelor of Laws with Honours; or
  • have alternative qualifications or experience acceptable to the Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Humanities).

If your first language is not English you need to meet our English language requirements as follows: IELTS score of 7.5 in the academic module (with no individual band below 7.0) or Internet-based TOEFL of 102 or better with a minimum of 24 in each section; or Paper-based TOEFL of 600 or better with a TWE (Test of Written English) of 5.0 or better. Due to COVID-19, we currently accept IELTS Indicator Test, and TOEFL iBT Special home Edition.

Don’t meet the English language requirements? The University of Otago Language Centre "English for Otago" programme offers a pathway for Undergraduate and Postgraduate students to meet the English language requirements for undergraduate and postgraduate study.

*There may be different IELTS requirements depending on your chosen course.


About University of Otago

The University of Otago is ranked in the top 1 per cent of universities in the world.

  • Awarded highest rating for teaching and research
  • New Zealand’s No.1 university for educational performance
  • 95 percent of Otago graduates go into work or further study
  • Opportunity to apply for a three-year post-study work visa

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