Thinking about studying a Bachelor of Laws (Honours) at UQ?
Find out everything you need to know about core units, assessments, the culture and more in this article.
Let’s dive in!
What is a Bachelor of Laws (Honours) at UQ?
A Bachelor of Laws (Honours) at UQ will expose you to the different areas of the law and equip you with the skills to work as a legal practitioner in Australia. You will learn about the concepts, principles, and values of the law and get a taste of academic research during your Honours year.
Can this degree be studied with another?
Yes! UQ offers a Law as a single degree or as a double degree across a range of subjects areas, meaning that you can study a Bachelor of Laws (Honours) alongside a:
- Bachelor of Economics
- Bachelor of Humanities
- Bachelor of Commerce
- Bachelor of Business Management
- Bachelor of Science
- Bachelor of Computer Science
- Bachelor of Arts
- Bachelor of Journalism
Completing a double degree can let you pursue your interests and help you stand out once you graduate, and all you need to do is complete an additional year of study!
To find out more about the double degrees on offer, head here!
This degree has an embedded Honours program, so you can expect to complete advanced law subjects and learn how to undertake academic research.
Completing Honours can give you an insight into academic research and put you on the path to completing a PhD (a Doctor of Philosophy). For Law students, Honours can take the form of advanced subjects in different areas such as media or maritime law, mooting, or completing a research project in an area of interest.
To find out more about Honours at UQ, head here!
While working as a lawyer might seem like the only (and most obvious) career path, studying Law at UQ can set you on the path to working as a:
- Judge’s associate
- Legal officer
- NGO advisor
- Social and government researcher
- Legal writer
- Community laws officer
- Compliance manager
- Company secretary
This degree is also accredited by the Legal Practitioners Admissions Board, which is a requirement in order to work as a legal practitioner in Australia.
If you’re looking to work as a lawyer, you’ll also need to complete Practical Legal Training (PLT) once you complete your degree. This can take the form of a year of work as a supervised trainee or the completion of a practical legal training course.
Once completed you can then apply to be admitted to the Roll of Lawyers and apply for a practising certificate, which you can find more about here!
“There’s a lot of different areas in which you can go into, so you don’t really have to be a lawyer.” — Ella North, Bachelor of Arts (Criminology and Political Science)/Bachelor of Laws (Honours) IV at UQ
Graduates are also eligible for membership in several professional organisations, including The Bar Association of Queensland and the Queensland Law Society. Joining these organisations can help you find work and give you access to seminars, conferences, and other resources that can assist you in your working life!
Core Units for this Degree
Studying a Bachelor of Laws (Honours) will see you studying subjects from each of these categories:
- 36 units of core subjects
- Up to 20 units of elective Law subjects
- Up to 16 units of general electives from any faculty besides Law
Most of the subjects offered at UQ are worth 2 units each, meaning that you’ll complete 32 subjects over the duration of the degree and 4 subjects per semester.
What are the Core Units?
Since this is an accredited degree, the majority of your time will be spent studying core units that you need to complete to become an Australian solicitor. These are similar across universities and include:
- Foundations of law
- Contract Law
- Property Law
- Constitutional Law
Unlike some of the other universities, UQ breaks several of these subjects across semesters. This means that you’ll study these subjects, including contract, torts and property law, in more detail.
Flexible Core Units
Flexible core units are advanced subjects that you will take as part of your Honours program, including:
- Legal History
- Immigration and Refugee Law
- Family Law
- Environmental Law
- Advanced Crime and Criminology
Although there are no formal majors offered for the Bachelor of Laws (Honours), you can use these units to study areas that interest you or that you might consider specialising in once you graduate.
Getting experience while you study can be beneficial for your career and help make the transition from study to employment that much easier, but it can be tricky to secure on your own. For Law students at UQ, there are several ways they can get industry experience while they study.
The Student Work Experience Program helps students learn how to stand out from other candidates, what recruitment processes are like, and what skills employees are looking for. Students who pass the program will also be considered for an unpaid work experience placement at a relevant employer!
Students can also volunteer their time at the UQ Pro Bono Centre and get experience providing legal services around Brisbane. The Pro Bono Centre also offers clinical placements, where students can spend one day a week, completing legal work for academic credit.
On top of this, students at UQ can also participate in mooting. Students who choose to participate will join a team, research and argue a hypothetical case against another student team in a simulated courtroom.
UQ Law students can also volunteer to coach mooting teams, participate in internal competitions held by the UQ Law Society, or represent the UQ Law School in national and international competitions.
To find out more about mooting at UQ, head here!
UQ also offers semester-long or shorter exchange programs that can improve your employability while giving you an unforgettable experience.
The university also offers several grants and scholarships to support students on exchange, which you can find more about here!
How to Get into a Bachelor of Laws (Honours) at UQ
The ATAR cut-off for the Bachelor of Laws (Honours) at UQ is an ATAR of 98. If you don’t meet the ATAR requirements, there are still other ways to get into Law here.
UQ offers several admission schemes where you can receive additional points to boost your ATAR and other support to get into your dream degree.
For Law students in particular, UQ offers the Undergraduate Law Admission Scheme to students who are experiencing financial hardship, are Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander, or are the first person in their immediate family to attend university. You’ll also need to meet the prerequisites for the Bachelor of Laws (Honours) and achieve a minimum ATAR of 90.
To find out more about the alternative entry schemes on offer, head here!
To gain entry into a Bachelor of Laws (Honours) at UQ, students must have studied a QCE General English subject (or equivalent).
The University of Queensland offers a range of scholarships for students in financial need, from rural areas, excellence in different areas, and more. For Law students, these scholarships include:
|Endowed Dr J & Dr M Fulcher Scholarship in Law||Value of at least $2,250 for one year, Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander students who are enrolled full-time in a Bachelor of Laws (Honours) as a single or dual degree and can provide evidence of financial disadvantage are eligible.|
|TC Beirne School of Law Scholarship - LLB (Hons)||Value up to $5,000 for one year, eligible students are enrolled or will be enrolled full-time in a Bachelor of Laws (Honours) as a single or dual degree, able to complete it in a timely manner, and can demonstrate a need for financial support.|
|UQ Law School LEAD Scholarship||Value of $8,000 per year for up to five years to help pay for living and study expenses, students who are currently completing high school in Australia, have experienced financial, social, and/or educational disadvantage, and expect to gain entry into a Bachelor of Laws based on predicted school results or special entry are eligible.|
|J.M. Donnelly Scholarship||Value of $1,500 for one year, female domestic students who are enrolled full-time in a Bachelor of Laws, can demonstrate financial need, and are of Samoan heritage are eligible.|
|UQLA Endowment Fund Scholarship||Value of up to $9,000, eligible students are enrolled or intending to enrol in a Bachelor of Laws (Honours) and can demonstrate financial need.|
|Shiren Law Scholarship||Value varies for the minimum duration of the degree, students are eligible if they are enrolled or intend to enrol in a Bachelor of Laws (Honours), can demonstrate financial need, and based on cultural, academic, leadership, sporting, or community service achievements.|
|The Bar Association of Queensland Scholarship||Value of $3,000 for one year, domestic students enrolled in a Bachelor of Laws (Honours) who can demonstrate financial need are eligible.|
There are more scholarships offered for students in any study area, which you can find out more about here!
What’s the Teaching Format?
To study a Bachelor of Laws (Honours) at UQ, you’ll be attending lectures and seminars across two semesters, with the option to take a limited selection of subjects during Summer School.
Lectures introduce students to legal concepts and theory and run for an hour. These are the largest classes that you’ll attend, with the whole cohort of up to 300 people attending lectures for core units!
These classes are where you can go through the content covered in lectures and apply your knowledge and skills to a case or problem questions.
Seminars run for about two hours and are also quite small, with about 20 to 30 people attending. This means that you have a greater opportunity to answer questions, get feedback on your work, and interact with your classmates.
How many hours do you have to go to university?
While the hours will vary subject to subject, you can generally expect three to four hours of class per subject per week. For a full-time student studying four subjects, this means that you’ll attend classes for 12-16 hours each week.
Including this class-time, Law students are generally expected to put aside 10-12 hours per subject each week to study, complete readings, and work on assessments.
What are the assessments Like?
Although the specific choice of assessments will vary, you can expect to be assessed via exams, assignments, and seminar preparation.
The majority of Law subjects at UQ will assess you through mid-semester and final exams.
Mid-semester exams are worth about 30-40% of your final mark and cover a limited amount of content (generally what you have studied so far).
The final exam, held during the exam period, typically covers all of the content that you’ve studied during the semester. This means that these exams are worth up to 60% of your final mark!
Since most subjects assess you with exams, assessments are very uncommon and usually take the form of essays.
For some subjects, assignments replace the mid-semester exam and are worth about the same. For subjects that use assignments and a mid-semester exam, assignments are worth about 20%.
Preparing for seminars is usually worth about 10% of your final grade and usually involves writing 1-2 pages in response to set questions before you attend the seminar each week. Although these assessments aren’t worth much, they can help you stay engaged with the content and boost your marks if you struggle with exams!
Skills You Develop
Working as a lawyer will often require you to solve problems and understand how the law applies. Studying a Bachelor of Laws (Honours) at UQ will not only equip you with these skills, but also skills in communicating with others verbally and in written form, and the ability to read and understand legal texts!
The focus on class discussions and opportunities to volunteer or participate in mooting will help you develop your advocacy and interpersonal skills. These skills are crucial in most careers, from representing clients in court to working in a corporate legal team.
What’s the Faculty and Culture Like?
Faculty and Culture
If you choose to study Law at UQ, you’ll be taught by a mix of academics and practising lawyers. The faculty are passionate about what they do and welcome students asking for help and contributing to discussions.
When it comes to the culture, you’ll find that it’s quite supportive too. With small class sizes and the emphasis on core units, you’ll be studying with the same people across many of your subjects and find it easier to make a new friend or two!
“It’s a smallish cohort. So generally, you’re with the same people for the majority of your degree. So it’s very tight-knit, it’s competitive at times. But to summarise, overall it’s quite tight-knit, quite supported, and supportive.” — Ella North
Whether you want to meet like-minded students, network, or just have fun, joining one of UQ’s 220 societies is a great way to do it!
When it comes to Law societies, there’s plenty of choice too. To start with, the University of Queensland Law Society (UQLS) is a core part of the Law School at UQ and organises networking nights, the UQ Law Revue, an annual comedy sketch show, and educational support.
For students more interested in specific areas of the law, you’re in luck. UQ is home to the UQ Criminology and Criminal Justice Society (UQCCJS), University of Queensland International Law Society, the Justice and the Law Society (JATL), and the Australian Legal Philosophy Students Association (ALPSA). These societies host a variety of events, including networking nights, seminars, and even essay competitions.
Head here to explore the full list of societies at UQ!
UQ offers mentoring programs for students across the different faculties to help you settle into university life. These programs can also be a great way to make new friends within your study area and pick up tips from senior students!
For Law students, you can join the UQLS Law Buddy program as a mentee in first year or as a mentor from second year. In this program, first-year students are paired with a mentor who they can meet with casually throughout the semester and go to for support as they adjust to university.
Rachel Fieldhouse is a Content Writer at Art of Smart Education and has just completed a double degree in Science and Arts at The University of Sydney, majoring in Chemistry, English, and Linguistics. Rachel’s writing has been published in Concrete Playground, Inside Enterprise, Planting Seeds, and SURG FM, and she currently writes blog posts for Remi AI, a Sydney-based Artificial Intelligence firm. When she’s not writing, you can find Rachel playing her saxophone or flute, or relaxing with some sudoku.