University Of Canterbury Law

UC Law has a strong reputation in the traditional areas of law (for example Criminal, Constitutional and Contract Law), but also offers innovative courses in areas of emerging interest (for example Media Law, Law and Sport, Medical Law or Antarctic Legal Studies).

There is a strong focus on the student learning experience, with three Faculty members having received University Teaching Awards in the last three years.

UC’s School of Law | Te Kura Ture is one of New Zealand’s leading law schools – consistently ranking in the top 150 law schools worldwide – and combines academic rigour with the development of essential legal skills. We have a strong reputation in traditional areas of law and offer innovative courses investigating the ways law intersects with Antarctica, the media, sport, and medicine.

Our unique Criminal Justice qualifications also have a strong vocational focus, and can lead to careers in law enforcement, corrections, offender rehabilitation, working with young offenders, criminal law, security and border control.

Our welcoming and supportive staff take great pride in the achievements of our students and graduates – talk to us to find out more about studying in the School of Law | Te Kura Ture.

Bachelor of Laws

  • Our challenging, highly regarded legal education promotes academic rigour, and develops practical and professional skills.

Criminal Justice

  • The BCJ at UC offers a unique, comprehensive, career-relevant grounding in New Zealand’s criminal justice system. 

Postgraduate options

  • Our postgraduate degrees open up a wealth of opportunities for graduates in New Zealand and abroad. Find out more.

Practical experience

  • The school of law offers real-world experience through internships, clinics, competitions and events. Find out how you can get involved.


  • Our academics are involved in a wide range of research, working individually and in our ground-breaking groups and centres. 

Clubs and societies

  • Get involved with student-led law clubs and societies on campus, and enjoy events, tutorials and seminars.

Information for High Schools

  • We provide resources for schools and organise region-wide events.

Meet our students

  • Forest Taane Morton’s career started with a Law degree from UC. Find out more.

Contact us

  • Contact us for advice or inquiries, and link to our full research and publications profiles.

Studying Law

The study of law begins at undergraduate level in New Zealand. Students do not complete a Bachelor’s Degree before entering Law School, as in some countries. Instead, students enter university from high school or as adult students and begin a programme of study in Law from the first year. The Bachelor of Laws (LLB) degree, which has been offered at the University of Canterbury since 1877, can be completed in four years.

Industry recognised qualifications

Today, the programme of study towards an LLB is prescribed and carefully monitored for quality by an independent body, the New Zealand Council for Legal Education.

To be eligible for admission as a Barrister and Solicitor of the High Court, a candidate must have graduated with an LLB degree, have passed a course in Legal Ethics and must have completed a Professional Studies course approximately 13 weeks long. Admission as a Barrister and Solicitor of the High Court in New Zealand is recognised internationally.


The LLB degree does not require students to have a background in any specific subject at school, and entry into the first year is open to all students with University Entrance. Students considering undertaking an LLB are, however, encouraged to study subjects at school which will enhance their reading, writing and analytical skills. Entry into second year (as is the case in most NZ Law Schools) is subject to limited entry based on first year results, and students are advised in their first semester as to how to apply for admission into second year.

Students undertaking the LLB will receive a challenging and high-quality education. Most LLB student choose to broaden their studies by undertaking a double degree (for example in Criminal Justice, Commerce, Arts or Science) which not only complements their law degree but also enhances their future employability.

Career-ready graduates

Unique to UC Law is a focus on practical skills, through internships and community engagement, including volunteering with Community Law Canterbury or in the UC Clinical Legal Programme. Students are also encouraged to enter law competitions: mooting, client interviewing, negotiation and witness examination, and UC teams are highly competitive at national and international competitions.

Interested in studying Law at UC?

Find out more