Time Commitment and Timetabling

The JD is regarded as a full-time degree requiring attendance at classes and pre-reading for classes.

JD course structures:

Many students need to balance study with other commitments. A student who has external work commitments is expected to plan such commitments around their study and to consider the total time commitment required for full-time study.

Work, travel or sporting commitments are not regarded as a valid reason for timetable changes or for priority registration in a particular class. Requests for priority registration will be considered where students have reasons based on disability, medical, religious or carer responsibilities. In such cases, documented evidence must be provided. Students with the status of elite athletes or performers will be accommodated where possible within the University's Special Consideration Policy.

Class registration and attendance

First year commences with the intensive subject, Legal Method and Reasoning(LMR), which is taught in small groups over a two week period beginning in mid-February, in morning or afternoon classes. Students will be registered in either a morning or afternoon class. Required reading for classes is undertaken outside classtime.

In Semester 1 of first year JD students will be placed in classes as part of the 'cohort'system, which is specifically designed to continue to foster social and learning communities developed in LMR. As a result of the cohort system first year students are registered in classes and provided with their timetable by the Academic Support Office. First year students will generally be timetabled with at least one day free of classes per week and will be able to access their timetable by the end of January.

In Semester 2, first year students will be able to register into their own classes,a three or four day timetable may be possible depending on their subject load.

All first year subjects (apart from Legal Theory) have four contact hours per week over a 12 week semester. Legal Theory has three contact hours per week. This time commitment does not include time for class preparation or assessment tasks.

In later years, students have greater flexibility in registering for classes, butare required to prepare for and attend all classes, sit for examinations and class tests, and complete other assessment on the dates prescribed. Students cannot register inclasses that result in timetable clashes.

Time management

Time management plays a key role in ensuring successful study. The time commitment required for each subject is set out in the Handbook. Most subjects are taught during either Semester 1 or Semester 2 of the academic year. Some classes are taught on a more intensive basis during the summer or winter non-teaching period. The total commitment listed in the Handbook includes classes, pre-reading and assessment tasks.

For compulsory subjects the total time commitment is 144 hours, including 48 hours of class time (with some variations). In elective subjects, the standard time commitment is 144 hours, including 36 hours of class time. Some subjects may involve a specific time commitment – for example, Public Interest Law Clinic requires a total time commitment of 170 hours, including two days of pre-placement orientation, 12 days of clinical placement and 14 hours of seminars.

Some subjects have class participation and oral presentation requirements built into the assessment regime. A few elective subjects require students to be involved in off-site study (for example, Global Lawyer, Economic and Business Law in Asia, and Institutions in International Law) or to participate in a work environment (for example, Legal Internship, Street Law, Sustainability Business Clinic, Disability Human Rights Clinic,  International Criminal Justice Clinic and Public Interest Law Clinic). Students should carefully note the participation and assessment requirements for each subject in which they are enrolled.