Information on this page is for international students

Intakes: 
2019: February and July
Duration: 
2 years
Location: 
Fees: 
2019: A$16,200*
* fee per semester

We are currently accepting applications for this course

Overview

Become an expert in an area of the law that engages your interest or stirs your passion. Our Master of Laws (by Research) allows in-depth study of a legal topic.

VU offers support and guidance from leading legal researchers. For your masters degree, you’ll complete a major thesis, worthy of publication, under expert supervision.

Our research program maintains strong links with public-sector authorities such as the Department of Justice, as well as private law firms – offering access to real-world scenarios for investigation.

Our governance research program focuses on:

  • governance and regulation
  • the scholarship of legal education
  • international law
  • courts and justice.

Your thesis will be equal to a combined total of 192 credit points. You may apply to transfer to our Law PhD, building on your strong legal research skills, and aiming for top academic, government or law-firm positions.

In our research program, we work with industry partners to solve real-world problems. Research is undertaken by academic staff members and research students. Staff include leading researchers in local and international law.

You’ll also benefit from the guidance of professionals appointed as adjuncts to the law college. These are honorary staff who hold positions in the legal community. VU’s adjunct professors include retired High Court Judge the Hon Michael Kirby.

VU offers fantastic opportunities to network and learn through industry partnerships and international collaborations.

You’ll benefit from embedding your research in real scenarios. You’ll also have a chance to conduct your research overseas with one of our exchange partners.

Some of our major clients, partners and industry associations are:

  • Department of Justice, Victoria
  • Migration Agents Registration Authority
  • Migration Institute of Australia
  • Department of Labour (New Zealand)
  • FCG Legal
  • Department of Education and Employment (Commonwealth; Learn Experience Access Professions Program)
  • Rob Stary Lawyers
  • Law Institute of Victoria
  • Council of Legal Education
  • Magistrates’ Courts of Victoria (Melbourne, Sunshine)
  • Society of Notaries of Victoria
  • Victoria Police
  • Department of Police Prosecutions.

Victoria University offers a range of research scholarships for local and international graduate students. These cover tuition fees and offer a contribution to living costs.

There are also exchange grants, loans and scholarships available for current students going overseas for study.

Our Queen St Campus puts you right in the middle of Melbourne’s legal precinct, giving you excellent access to the courts and legal libraries. Our close relationships with courts, legal services and law firms provide many unique research opportunities. You’ll gain real experience and insight into legal practice, and build networks for your career.

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Benefit from our location in the heart of the legal district

Law lecturers and researchers Kathy Laster and Nadav Prawer have expertise in international conflict resolution, criminology, legal history, gender and multiculturalism.

Careers in law and legislative policy

A Master of Laws will help you advance your career in academia, the law and related fields. It also opens the doors to academic or government advisory roles.

Careers in law are paid well. The following are averaged expected salaries:

  • early career academic, $85,000
  • policy and planning managers, A$123,000 (JobOutlook).

Course structure

The standard duration of a Masters Degree (Research) is two years of full-time study or part-time equivalent, although in certain circumstances the degree may be completed in eighteen months.

In some cases the student may be required to complete approved coursework units such as laboratory skills or research design as part of the Masters Degree (Research).

Or

The course objectives are to produce graduates who have the following knowledge and skills:

  1. a body of knowledge that includes the understanding of recent developments in one or more discipline
  2. advanced knowledge of research principles and methods applicable to the field of work or learning
  3. cognitive skills to demonstrate mastery of theoretical knowledge and to reflect critically on theory and its application
  4. cognitive, technical and creative skills to investigate, analyse and synthesise complex information, problems, concepts and theories and to apply established theories to different bodies of knowledge or practice
  5. cognitive, technical and creative skills to generate and evaluate complex ideas and concepts at an abstract level
  6. cognitive and technical skills to design, use and evaluate research and research method
  7. communication and technical skills to present a coherent and sustained argument and to disseminate research results to specialist and non-specialist audience
  8. technical and communication skills to design, evaluate, implement, analyse, theorise and disseminate research that makes a contribution to knowledge

This knowledge and these skills will be demonstrated through the planning and execution of a substantial piece of research:

  • with creativity and initiative
  • with a high level of personal autonomy and accountability, demonstrating expert judgement, adaptability and responsibility as a learner

What's a unit?

A unit or 'subject' is the actual class you'll attend in the process of completing a course.

Most courses have a mixture of compulsory 'core' units that you need to take and optional elective units that you can choose to take based on your area of interest, expertise or experience.

Credits

Each unit is worth a set amount of study credits based on the amount of time you study. Generally, 1 credit is equal to 1 hour of study per week.

Admission & pathways

Meeting the minimum admission requirements does not guarantee you entry into this course.

Some courses receive more applications than the number of places available. In this situation we will also assess your education, work and other relevant experience.

If you do not meet the minimum requirements you may be eligible for one of our special admission programs. We also encourage you to explore our study pathways to help you reach your goal.

Entry requirements

In addition to meeting the University requirements (See: Admission Requirements - Other) international applicants who will be studying in Australia must satisfy the English language qualifying requirement for gaining an entry visa to Australia for applicants from their country.

Find out if you meet the entry requirements, including English language and academic requirements.

There are many ways you can start your education journey at VU. Pathways offer an easy transition between courses at different levels, so that you can start with a certificate and progress right through to postgraduate study.

Find out more about pathways and credits.

If you have completed study with another university or institution and believe you are eligible to receive credit for skills and past study, you can apply for advanced standing.

Applications for advanced standing can be made after a discussion with your course coordinator or academic adviser.

Additional information

(a) Academic achievement and preparation to a level that is sufficient to undertake masters level research demonstrated in any one or more of the following:
i. Qualified, at minimum, for a bachelors degree at a standard considered by the University to be sufficiently meritorious (normally Distinction average in the final year); or

ii. Qualified for any other award judged by the University to be of a relevant and appropriate standard and have:
•Produced evidence of professional experience; and
•Fulfilled any other conditions relating to prerequisite studies which the University may impose.

(b) Demonstrated competency in English sufficient to work at research masters level, through meeting one or more of the following criteria:
i. Successful completion of one of the degrees stipulated under a) i) – ii) above with English as the language of instruction and assessment and undertaken in a predominantly English speaking context; or
ii. Been taught for two of the past five years at a tertiary institution where English was the primary language of instruction; or
iii. Achieved an overall band score of not less than 6.5 in an International English Language Testing Service (IELTS) test with no individual band score below 6.0; or
iv. Achieved a score of not less than 92 and no section score less than 22 in the internet-based Teaching of English Foreign Language (TOEFL) test; or
v. Documented evidence of English proficiency equivalent to the above.

How to apply

We are currently accepting applications for this course.

Methods of applying:

International students can apply directly to Victoria University using our online application system, or apply through an education agent.

Direct online applicationFind an education agent

If you have questions about your application, you can:

Information and fees listed above are for non-resident students. Fees are accurate at the time of viewing and will be subject to annual increases. Some courses require students to purchase equipment or clothing that they will need in the course. These equipment or clothing costs are not included in the course fees listed above and we recommend that you confirm these costs with the relevant college.

VU takes care to ensure the accuracy of this course information, but reserves the right to change or withdraw courses offered at any time. Please check that course information is current with the Student Contact Centre.