Graduating from world-renowned Melbourne Law School means that your degree will be recognised as exceptional – wherever it takes you.
A benchmark for legal education
The Melbourne JD (Juris Doctor) is a fully graduate law degree that has set a benchmark for legal education in Australia. It's taught at graduate level and available if you already have an undergraduate degree in a discipline other than law. It's also available if you have a degree in law from a different legal system.
The Melbourne JD leads to admission to the legal profession in all Australian jurisdictions, and can be used as a basis for seeking admission in many overseas jurisdictions.
The Melbourne JD qualification is well-regarded by a broad range of employers. Our most recent survey reveals outstanding employment outcomes for our JD graduates, with an employment rate of 96 per cent for the class of 2015. Melbourne Law School graduates include:
- Judges, Judges’ Associates and others in the judicial sector
- Barristers and public prosecutors
- Lawyers in law firms
- In-house and corporate lawyers
- Lawyers in the community sector (ie community legal centres)
- Lawyers in not-for-profit organisations (ie human rights NGOs)
- Government lawyers
- Policy analysts and advisers in government
- Management consultants
- Merchant bankers
What I like most about the JD would have to be the people you're surrounded with and the extracurricular activities - there's so many things you can do. Ken Kiat, Melbourne JD student
Australia's first and leading law school
Melbourne Law School is ranked:
- No 1 law school in Australia and No 8 in the world (Quacquarelli Symonds (QS) World University Rankings by Subject, 2018).
- No 1 law school in Australia and No 10 in the world (Times Higher Education World University Rankings by Subject, 2019)
The University of Melbourne is ranked:
- No 1 in Australia and No 32 in the world (Times Higher Education World University Rankings, 2019)
- No 1 in Australia and No 38 in the world (Academic Ranking of World Universities, Shanghai Jiao Tong University, 2018).
The JD course comprises 24 subjects, including 16 compulsory subjects required for admission to legal practice within Australia.
You have the flexibility to pursue particular areas of interest through elective subject selection. Offering more than 45 electives each year, the JD program continually evolves to reflect current developments in law and legal practice.
You also have the opportunity to undertake an elective from the Melbourne Law Masters, where you will share a classroom with practitioners from Australia's premier organisations and institutions, in special interest areas such as international and human rights law.
Incoming Exchange and Study Abroad opportunities
If you are a student at an international law school, you can study away from your home institution.
Find out more
Single subject study for overseas qualified applicants
A limited number of subjects are available as single subjects for overseas qualified applicants from a recognised institution who hold an academic qualification in law (LLB or equivalent). Single subjects are not available to students with an Australian qualification. Find out more
Credit points: 300 pts
Melbourne JD students are highly motivated and committed, with diverse educational backgrounds, experiences and perspectives. They are an important part of Melbourne Law School's vibrant intellectual community.
Experience student life in and beyond the classroom
Be part of a tight-knit cohort of graduate students and build a network of Melbourne Law School alumni, mentors and teachers.
The Law School has several student groups who run social activities, career networks, tutorials and competitions.
Choose from a range of study abroad options or tailor your JD studies to focus on global legal practice.
Enrol in one of Melbourne Law School’s internationally-taught elective subjects, or immerse yourself in another culture while studying a semester abroad.
You may be eligible to pursue an additional degree through our partnerships with many world-famous universities overseas, including: the University of Cambridge, the University of Oxford, New York University and the National University of Singapore.
Explore the connection between technology and the law
Choose from a growing suite of elective subjects that focus on disruption in the law and develop the technical skills to navigate the complex ethical, legal and social implications of new technologies.
Build your employment skills
Take part in an internship to help build your career prospects and develop experience working in a range of environments.
Work with real clients to solve real legal problems through Melbourne Law School’s Public Interest Law Initiative. This range of clinical subjects allows you to hone your legal skills while providing the community with much-needed resources for public interest law causes.
Be guided by someone who's been in your shoes
Melbourne Law School’s mentor program provides one-on-one guidance from an experienced legal professional working in your individual area of interest.
Applicants to the Melbourne JD must hold an undergraduate degree in a discipline other than law, or a law degree from a different legal system. We encourage students from a wide range of disciplines and backgrounds to apply.
Four ways to enter the Melbourne JD
|Entry type||Selection:||Leads to:||Apply for the JD/GDP through:|
(We estimate this to comprise the large majority of students.)
Melbourne Law School considers each application individually and in its entirety. Selection is based on performance in two areas:
The University of Melbourne in the final year of your undergraduate degree.Graduate Access Melbourne is also applicable.
|Guaranteed Entry Pathways|
|Melbourne Chancellor’s Scholarship Program||ATAR or equivalent of 99.90 or above with an undergraduate degree from the University of Melbourne||The University of Melbourne in the final year of your undergraduate degree.|
|Graduate Degree Package (GDP)|
ATAR or equivalent of 99.80 or above and you must commence the JD within 18 months of completing your undergraduate degree
GDPs comprise an undergraduate degree from the University of Melbourne followed by the JD. The following packages are available:
These packages are available to both domestic and international students who complete an Australian Year 12 or the International Baccalaureate (IB) in Australia in 2018 or later, as well as Australian citizens who complete an Australian Year 12 or the IB outside Australia in 2018 or later.
Applicants eligible for Graduate Degree Packages will not be required to sit the LSAT. Students must commence the JD within 18 months of completing their undergraduate degree.* Eligible school leavers wishing to study the Bachelor of Fine Arts (all nine specialisations) / Juris Doctor under a Graduate Degree Package can do so, but will need to apply for the Bachelor of Fine Arts through VTAC and contact Melbourne Law School about the Juris Doctor. Arrangements for the Juris Doctor can be a made in the final year of a student’s undergraduate degree.
|Fee Place Guarantee||ATAR or equivalent of 99.00 or above and at least a 75% weighted average in an undergraduate degree from the University of Melbourne|
The University of Melbourne in the final year of your undergraduate degree.Applicants may also apply through General Entry (and sit the LSAT) to be considered for a Commonwealth Supported Place or Australian Fee Place with Bursary.
English language requirement
All applicants must meet the English language requirements of the University of Melbourne.
As part of the application process for General Entry to the Melbourne JD, applicants need to register for, and sit, the LSAT administered by the Law School Admission Council (LSAC). It is an independent, international written test, designed to measure aptitude for graduate legal study. It focuses on reading and verbal reasoning skills, and no knowledge of law is required.
Applicants are encouraged to sit the LSAT as early as possible and can sit the LSAT again to improve their score. Melbourne Law School will use an applicant’s highest LSAT score when assessing their application. We advise applicants to aim for a result in the top 25 percentile.
There are strict LSAT registration deadlines and fixed test dates. The LSAT can be taken in any Australian capital city and in many countries around the world. LSAT scores are valid for five years.
Melbourne Law School also runs LSAT information sessions.
What Marks Do I Need to Get Into the JD?
In our General Entry pathway, the selection committee looks at a wide range of factors in addition to considering your previous tertiary results and LSAT score and essay; for example, whether your marks are on an upward or downward trajectory and whether you have undertaken honours or graduate studies.
If the average mark across your tertiary studies is:
- 80% (or equivalent) or above, you will have a very strong chance of being admitted.
- at least 70% (or equivalent), you will be competitive in the JD selection process.
- below 70% (or equivalent) and
- you have been affected by health or personal difficulties, or if you are from a rural or indigenous background or a current holder of a humanitarian visa, you can apply under Graduate Access Melbourne (GAM)
- you have a very high LSAT score
then you may be competitive in the JD selection process.
What else can I do to improve my application?
Under the General Entry pathway, applying under Graduate Access Melbourne (GAM) can enhance your chances of obtaining a Commonwealth Supported Place or an Australian Fee Place with a Bursary, which will reduce the cost of your JD studies.
GAM supports applicants whose circumstances have adversely affected their academic achievement during tertiary study, or recognises an applicant's membership of a group of people known to be under-represented in higher education. To be eligible, applicants must be an Australian or New Zealand citizen or Australian permanent resident, or holder of a permanent humanitarian visa.
Successful GAM applicants will be automatically considered for relevant JD commencing student scholarships and GAM Bursaries.
|Fee type|| Fees for 2019|
|Indicative total course fee (three year course)||Government Loan Scheme|
Australian Commonwealth Supported Place (CSP)
Australian citizens, permanent residents of Australia and New Zealand citizens are automatically considered for a CSP when they submit their application for the Melbourne JD.
Melbourne Law School awards a substantial number of CSPs with a minimum of 20% awarded on access and equity grounds under the Graduate Access Melbourne program. The remaining CSPs are awarded based on academic achievement.
Australian citizens are eligible for HECS-HELP, a loan scheme which allows payments to be deferred.
If using HECS-HELP, upfront payments are optional.
Australian Fee Place plus JD Bursary
The JD Bursary provides a student with fee relief to assist with the gap between the full cost of the course and the amount that can be deferred to the FEE-HELP Government Loan Scheme.
The JD Bursary is applied as a single fee remission at the beginning of each year over three years and not applied to individual subjects.
In recent years Melbourne Law School has offered at least 100 Melbourne JD Bursaries to domestic fee-paying students. Bursaries have been awarded based on financial need, academic achievement or a combination of both.
Australian citizens are eligible for FEE-HELP, a loan scheme which allows most of the course payment costs to be deferred.
If you have not previously used FEE-HELP, the JD Bursary is expected to be largely sufficient* to cover the gap between the full cost of JD and the amount that can be deferred to FEE-HELP. In that situation, upfront payments are optional.
*As of 30 November 2018, based on anticipated fee information, the bursary will cover the gap for the 2019 Intake.
Australian Fee Place
Australian citizens are eligible for FEE-HELP, a loan scheme which allows most of the course payment costs to be deferred.
Please note, there is currently a gap between the amount you can access through FEE-HELP and the cost of the Melbourne JD.
If using FEE-HELP, approximately $19,3102 to pay throughout degree.
International Fee Place
1Based on an expected 1.5% increase each year on the 2019 CSP student contribution amounts.
2Based on an expected 1.5% increase each year on the FEE-HELP limit.
Commonwealth Supported Place (CSP)
If you are enrolled in a Commonwealth Supported Place for your graduate course, your tuition fees are subsidised by the Australian Government.
You’ll pay a student contribution amount – with the amount determined each year by the Australian Government – based on the subjects you take not the overall course you are studying.
You can pay your student contribution amount to the University when you enrol (upfront), or you can defer this cost through the Australian Government’s Higher Education Loan Program (HECS-HELP) if you’re eligible.
The number of Commonwealth Supported Places available is reviewed annually by the University.
Payment of your student contribution amount can be made when you enrol (upfront), or can be deferred through HECS-HELP if you’re eligible.
HECS-HELP is the Australian Government’s Higher Education Loan Program. It enables you to borrow the amount of your student contribution and then pay that loan back once you are in the workforce and earning at a specified level. A HECS-HELP loan is not means tested.
HECS-HELP is available to eligible Australian citizens and permanent humanitarian visa holders who are enrolled in a CSP.
The Government’s Study Assist website provides more information about Commonwealth Supported Places and HECS-HELP.
Student Services and Amenities Fee (SSAF)
If you are enrolled in a Commonwealth Supported Place (CSP), you will be required to pay a Student Services and Amenities Fee (SSAF), which in 2018 was $298 for full-time students and $223 for part-time students. SA-HELP, a government funded loan scheme, is available to help eligible students pay all or part of their SSAF.
The Government’s Study Assist website provides more information about Commonwealth Supported Places, HECS-HELP and SA-HELP.
Australian Fee Places
When you apply, you will automatically be considered for an Australian Fee Place if you meet course entry requirements.
You’ll pay tuition fees for each year that you are enrolled. Tuition fees are calculated according to your course and study load each semester. You may defer payment of your fees via FEE-HELP if you are eligible.
If your course is relevant to your current employment, you may be able to claim fees as a work-related tax deduction.
Tuition fees may be adjusted each year.
FEE-HELP is a loan scheme that helps eligible Australian fee-paying students (full-time or part-time) pay their graduate tuition fees.
FEE-HELP can cover all or part of your tuition fees. The Australian Government pays the amount of the loan direct to the University. You’ll make repayments on your loan through the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) whenever your income is above the threshold, or you can make voluntary repayment to ATO at any time.
FEE-HELP is not means tested and there is no loan fee for graduate study. If you already have a HECS-HELP loan from your undergraduate studies, you can still access a FEE-HELP loan.
No interest is charged on your FEE-HELP loan, however, it is indexed each year with the Consumer Price Index (CPI) in line with the cost of living.
The Government’s Study Assist website provides more information about FEE-HELP.
Graduate Access Melbourne
You can enhance your opportunity for selection and be considered for a bursary by applying for the University’s Graduate Access Melbourne scheme.
Other Financial Assistance
The University's Student Financial Aid Service can provide you with advice and information on: student loans and bursaries/grants, government student assistance, including Austudy, Abstudy or Youth Allowance, cost of living advice, budgeting and tax advice.
Overseas Student Health Cover (OSHC)
To comply with student visa requirements set by the Australian Department of Home Affairs, international students must arrange visa-length Overseas Student Health Cover, which you must maintain while studying in Australia. You are usually required to arrange and purchase this at the same time as accepting your course offer. The University can arrange visa-length OSHC on your behalf with Bupa, the University’s preferred OSHC provider.
Scholarships and financial assistance
Melbourne Law School offers a range of bursaries and scholarships that recognise outstanding academic achievement and provide support to students in financial need.
Higher Education Reforms
Updated 17 August 2018
The Higher Education Support Legislation Amendment (Student Loan Sustainability) Bill was recently passed by Parliament and contains a number of changes to student fee arrangements, including:
- From 1 July 2019, revised repayment income thresholds under the Higher Education Loan Program (HELP) will apply. The new minimum threshold is $45,881 with a 1 per cent repayment rate and a maximum threshold of $134,573 with a 10 per cent repayment rate. The minimum threshold for the 2018/19 income year is $51,957.
- From 1 January 2020, a combined renewable lifetime limit will apply for all tuition fee assistance under HECS-HELP, FEE-HELP, VET FEE-HELP and VET Student Loans of $104,440 for most students and $150,000 for students undertaking medicine, dentistry and veterinary science courses. The combined limit will only include HECS-HELP debts incurred from 1 January 2020. Any historical HECS-HELP lending for study prior to this date will not count towards the combined limit.
It is important to note that the new lending limits will not apply immediately and not all students will be affected. The University is exploring ways to assist students who may be affected by the loan limits in the future, including through scholarships and bursaries.
Further information on Study Assist FEE-HELP.
Applying for February 2020 commencement
Strict application deadlines apply and there is no mid-year intake.
- Domestic applicants: 20 September 2019
- International applicants: 25 October 2019
Applicants applying through General Entry are required to have a valid Law School Admission Test (LSAT) score (undertaken within the last five years). You can submit your application once you have registered for an LSAT and have an LSAT account number.
Applicants can apply anytime throughout the year and applications will be assessed after your LSAT score is released. There are four LSAT sittings offered each year and the October 2019 LSAT is the last test you can sit to be considered for the 2020 intake. Please register early to avoid disappointment.
Applications will be assessed between March and November 2019. Applicants will be notified of an outcome within four to six weeks provided they submit a complete application and have a valid LSAT score.
Notification of fee type for domestic students will be sent via email by 30 November.
We will notify you of your outcome via the email address listed on your application. Please add email@example.com to your safe senders list to ensure any correspondence from us arrives in your inbox.
The Melbourne JD commences in early February with a compulsory Orientation program and an intensive two-week summer subject prior to Semester 1. University key dates
International students need to be in the country in time to attend an International Welcome event a day prior to Orientation.
Domestic applicants must be an Australian or New Zealand citizen or Australian permanent resident, or holder of a permanent humanitarian visa.
When you complete and submit your application online, please select only one Fee type (CSP or FEE). All domestic applications are assessed for a CSP, Fee+Bursary, and Fee place regardless of the category you apply under.
International applications are made directly to the University of Melbourne or through one of our Overseas Representatives. Note that while a fee will apply to sit the LSAT, no additional $100 University application assessment fee is required for Melbourne JD applicants.
Even if you are registered with the Law School Admission Council's LSDAS or Credential Assembly service, you still need to lodge an online application with us. Please include an addendum with your name and LSAC account number at the top and a list of documents you would like us to download as part of your application for the Melbourne JD. You will also need to arrange for LSAC to release these documents to us once we have submitted a request for your report.
Applicants can update their application after receiving an outcome should they wish to be reconsidered for a place if unsuccessful.
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