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Where Will Postgraduate Study in Law Lead You?

Overview

The Master of Laws (Research) equips students for careers in advanced research, policy development, public service, tertiary teaching or professional leadership. It will enable you to acquire and develop sophisticated research and analysis skills, honed through work on a topic of your choice that expands legal thinking and understanding.

The Master of Laws is up to two years full-time and four years part-time and is awarded on the basis of a supervised thesis of 50,000 words. The thesis must make a substantial contribution to the knowledge of the subject concerned. Students are also required to undertake the compulsory research-support coursework unit, LAWS6077 Legal Research 1.

Subject areas
Shared pool

Entry, fees, funding & how to apply

Depends on your qualification, citizenship status
The details on this page based on your selections are a guide only, and are subject to change.

Your entry requirements

English language proficiency

Find out if you need to prove English language proficiency (depends on your country of origin and educational background).

For academic requirements check the ‘Admission requirements’ section on this page.

Your fee

How to apply

Please apply by 31 October for commencement on 1 March and 30 March for commencement on 1 July. If your application cannot be assessed in time for commencement, it will be considered for the next possible start date. You may not apply until an Expression of Interest has been accepted by the School.

Starting date

Research Period 2: 1 March and Research Period 3: 1 July

Please apply by 31 October for commencement on 1 March and 30 March for commencement on 1 July. If your application cannot be assessed in time for commencement, it will be considered for the next possible start date. You may not apply until an Expression of Interest has been accepted by the School.

Starting date

Research Period 2: 1 March and Research Period 3: 1 July

Research areas

Master of Laws researchers perform original research in an area of law or regulation involving legal or interdisciplinary methodologies under the supervision of a member of the University of Sydney Law School who is an expert in the subject matter. 

Learn more about Sydney Law School research

What you'll study

The Master of Laws (Research) is awarded on the basis of a supervised thesis of a maximum 50,000 words. The thesis must make a substantial contribution to the knowledge of the subject concerned. Students are also required to complete the compulsory research-support coursework unit, LAWS6077 Legal Research 1 within the first 12 months of their candidature.

Changes to higher degree research in 2021

In 2021, the University is introducing a new coursework curriculum to support research success. Masters students will complete 6 credit points of coursework and be able to choose from a pool of 270+ units from any faculty. The pool comprises a range of development opportunities that include specialist analytical methods, professional development units, and discipline-specific subjects relevant for research students. Refer to the Interdisciplinary Studies handbook

There is no separate tuition fee cost for the coursework units of study you will undertake, it is part of the tuition fee for the course.

See the 'Your Fee' section for fee information. Additional non-tuition course costs vary depending on the units of study.

You will be able to see and enrol in any of the units available, subject to capacity restraints and your own background. Note that your faculty may elect to make certain units compulsory for a given degree.

Units of Study

Applying for admission

There are two steps involved in making an application to a Law research program:

  1. Expression of Interest - To guide you in making a formal application, we ask that you provide us information about your intended research area and motivation, academic qualifications, professional or other qualifications, research activities and publications, and any other information relevant to the application by completing an Expression of Interest form 
    • Expressions of Interest should be sent as early as possible and no later than: 
      • Domestic students: 3 months prior to the application closing date
      • International students: 6 months prior to the application closing date 
  2. Formal application for admission - If your Expression of Interest is accepted, you must submit a formal application through the University's Online Application portal. Please ensure that all required supporting documents which include a full research proposal and motivation statement for doing a research degree, curriculum vitae and course completion timetable are submitted with your online application. You will also need to provide us with two referees who will support your application. Apply now

If you have already commenced a research degree, there are additional requirements, please contact law.postgraduate@sydney.edu.au

Also visit Research Scholarships

Completion requirement

To qualify for the award of Master of Laws, a student must complete the unit of study LAWS6077 Legal Research 1 within the first 12 months of their candidature and a thesis in the approved subject with an upper limit of 50,000 words. The thesis must satisfy the examiners that it is a substantial contribution to the subject concerned. Thesis submission requirements and examination procedure as set out in the Academic Board resolutions for this course and the Higher Degree (HDR) Rule 2011.

Admission requirement

A successful applicant for admission to candidature for the Master of Laws (LLM) requires an Honours degree with first or second class honours. Applications for admission to candidature for the Master of Laws (LLM) by thesis are assessed on the basis of: suitability and sufficiency of merit of the applicant's prior qualification (Bachelor of Laws (LLB) or equivalent); suitability of proposed topic; and availability of appropriate supervision.

Career pathways

The Master of Laws by Research (LLM) at the University of Sydney Law School is a pathway to a number of careers, including tertiary education, policy development, advanced research, and specialisation for employment in government, inter-governmental and international organisations, and civil society organisations. You will conduct a research project that makes a substantial and original contribution to knowledge and will have a highly developed knowledge base, with strong written, oral, and critical analytical skills. The Master of Laws by Research is also an excellent starting point for further postgraduate study in the doctoral (PhD) program.

Domestic students

International students

To help you understand common terms that we use at the University, we offer an online glossary.