Studying law in Australia: What to expect

It’s no surprise that many international students choose to study law in Australia because the country has many highly regarded, reputable law schools. But what does studying law in Australia involve? And what can you expect from the country and the course? We’ve got everything you need to know.


To study law in Australia at an undergraduate level, you will need to have completed your education up to the Australian Year 12 qualification. This is basically Sixth Form College or whatever the equivalent is in your home country. If you’re looking to undertake a postgraduate law course, then you will need to have completed a law degree beforehand. Additionally, you will need to show that you are proficient in the English language to an acceptable level. Individual universities and law schools in Australia may have their own specific entry requirements too, so it’s always worth checking before you apply.

Law Degrees and Courses

There are different types of law degrees and courses that you can study in Australia.

Academic Qualifying Degrees

These cover the academic side of learning the law. There are different Academic Qualifying Degrees available to choose from depending on your previous experience:

  • Bachelor of Laws (LLB)
  • Bachelor Of Laws (LLB) Combine Degree
  • Juris Doctor (JD)

Practical Legal Training

To become a lawyer you have to complete Practical Legal Training as well as an Academic Qualifying Degree. Options available include:

  • Graduate Diploma of Legal Practice (GDLP)
  • Master of Laws (Legal Practice) (LLM)
  • Supervised Workplace Training

Advanced Degrees

Both lawyers and nonlawyers can complete an advanced degree which is designed to extend your knowledge and study of law. Qualifications available are:

  • Graduate Certificate in Law (GradCertLaw)
  • Graduate Diploma in Law (GradDipLaw)
  • Master of Laws by coursework (LLM)
  • Master of Laws by research (LLM)
  • Doctor of Philosophy in a legal field (PhD)

Law schools in Australia

There are 36 accredited law schools in Australia so there are plenty of options available to you. Of those 36, 7 are ranked within the top 50 law schools in the world according to QS World University Rankings 2016:

  • 8th – University of Melbourne
  • 11th – University of Sydney
  • 13th – The University of New South Wales
  • 15th – The Australian National University
  • 23rd – Monash University
  • 41st – University of Technology Sydney
  • 45th – The University of Queensland

There are many more law schools in Australia that are ranked within the top 100 too.

Employment Opportunities

Because of the nature of the subject, employment opportunities after graduation are fiercely competitive. However, you can increase your chances of gaining employment by spending your summer and/or winter break as an intern with a law firm. If you want to stay and work in Australia once you have graduated, you must apply and obtain a work visa. However, just because you have completed your study and training in Australia, it doesn’t mean that’s the only place you can work. Australian law degrees are recognised all over the world which opens up your employment opportunities significantly.

International Students in Australia

Australia welcomes international students with open arms. The country sees international students as a way to enrich their campuses and retain their reputation as international law educators. In recent years, Australian legal education has also become more and more internationalised which is no doubt due to the high number of international students that wish to study there. To find out more about how to study in Australia, specifically studying law, contact us at IEC Abroad to see how we can help.