University of Technology Sydney

C07122v1 Graduate Diploma in Legal Studies

Award(s): Graduate Diploma in Legal Studies (GradDipLS)
CRICOS code: 080597C
Commonwealth supported place?: No
Load credit points: 48
Course EFTSL: 1
Location: City campus


The Graduate Diploma in Legal Studies is not a professional legal qualification. Students seeking admission to practise as a lawyer should consider the Juris Doctor (C04236) or the Bachelor of Laws (C10124). Some subjects in the Graduate Diploma in Legal Studies may be credited towards these degrees.

Career options
Course intended learning outcomes
Admission requirements
Inherent requirements
Recognition of prior learning
Course duration and attendance
Course structure
Course completion requirements
Course program
Articulation with UTS courses
Other information


This course gives non-law graduates an understanding of the legal and regulatory frameworks of their professional fields. Students come from a wide variety of professional backgrounds, such as insurance, human resources, banking, finance and education, and work in roles where knowledge of the legal landscape is critical to their work.

Course content includes ethics, criminal and tort law. Students can also use their elective choices to build specialist legal expertise in areas such as compliance and intellectual property law.

Career options

This course particularly benefits accountants and auditors, business development managers, compliance managers, engineers and architects, financial advisers and planners, IT professionals, law enforcement officers, paralegals, policy officers in the public, private and non-profit sectors, property developers and public sector managers and administrators (especially those who work in Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, the Attorney-General's Department and Treasury).

Course intended learning outcomes

1.1 An advanced and integrated understanding of a complex body of legal knowledge including:
o The Australian colonial and post-colonial legal system, international and comparative contexts, theoretical and technical knowledge;
o The broader contexts within which legal issues arise and the law operates including cultural awareness, social justice and policy;
o The principles and values of justice and ethical practices in lawyers' roles;
o The impact of Anglo-Australian laws on Indigenous peoples, including their historical origins in the process of colonisation and ongoing impact; and
o Contemporary developments in law and its professional practice.
2.1 An advanced and integrated capacity to value and promote honesty, integrity, cultural respect, accountability, public service and ethical standards including:
o An understanding of approaches to ethical decision making;
o An understanding of the rules of professional responsibility;
o An ability to reflect upon and respond to ethical challenges in practice;
o A developing ability to engage in the profession of law and to exercise professional judgment; and
o An ability to reflect on and engage constructively with diversity in practice.
3.1 A capacity to think critically, strategically and creatively, including an ability to:
o Identify and articulate complex legal issues in context, including the skill of critical reading and writing;
o Apply reasoning and research to generate appropriate theoretical and practical responses; and
o Demonstrate sophisticated cognitive and creative skills in approaching complex legal issues and generating appropriate responses.
4.1 Specialist cognitive and practical skills necessary to identify, research, evaluate and synthesise relevant factual, legal and policy issues including an ability to:
o Demonstrate intellectual and practical skills necessary to justify and interpret theoretical propositions, legal methodologies, conclusions and professional decisions; and
o Apply ethical research practices.
5.1 Well-developed professional and appropriate communication skills including:
o Highly effective use of the English language to convey legal ideas and views to different and diverse audiences and environments;
o An ability to inform, analyse, report and persuade;
o An ability to strategically select an appropriate medium and message;
o A cognisance of advanced communication technologies and willingness to adopt where appropriate; and
o An ability to respond respectfully.
6.1 Advanced and integrated collaboration skills in working together to achieve a common goal in a group learning environment or the workplace including:
o An ability to give and receive feedback;
o Appropriate professional and interpersonal skills in working collaboratively; and
o A capacity to develop strategies to successfully negotiate group challenges.
7.1 A well-developed capacity:
o To work with Indigenous peoples in a professional context;
o To respect, recognise and advocate for Indigenous strengths and self-determination;
o To acknowledge and respect Indigenous Knowledges;
o To understand the impact of colonisation, specifically historical and ongoing racism and the economic impact of dispossession resulting in social and economic exclusion; and
o To identify and challenge the deficit narratives and biases of Anglo-Australian laws towards Indigenous Australians.
8.1 A high level of autonomy, accountability and professionalism and the ability to implement appropriate self-management and life-long learning strategies including:
o An ability to initiate self-directed work and learning;
o Well-developed judgment and responsibility;
o The ability to support personal and professional development by:
o Self-assessing skills and personal wellbeing; and
o Making appropriate use of feedback;
o A capacity to adapt to and embrace change.

Admission requirements

Applicants must have completed a UTS recognised bachelor's degree, or an equivalent or higher qualification, or submitted other evidence of general and professional qualifications that demonstrates potential to pursue graduate studies.

Previous qualifications must be in a discipline other than law.

If an applicant does not formally meet the selection criteria but the Faculty deems the applicant to be eligible based on evidence of prior learning and demonstrated capability, the Faculty reserves the right to make an offer to the appropriate course.

Applicants may be asked to provide additional information to assist in the assessment of their application for admission.

The English proficiency requirement for international students or local applicants with international qualifications is: Academic IELTS: 6.5 overall with a writing score of 6.0; or TOEFL: paper based: 550-583 overall with TWE of 4.5, internet based: 79-93 overall with a writing score of 21; or AE5: Pass; or PTE: 58-64 with a writing score of 50; or C1A/C2P: 176-184 with a writing score of 169.

Eligibility for admission does not guarantee offer of a place.

International students

Visa requirement: To obtain a student visa to study in Australia, international students must enrol full time and on campus. Australian student visa regulations also require international students studying on student visas to complete the course within the standard full-time duration. Students can extend their courses only in exceptional circumstances.

Inherent requirements

Inherent requirements are academic and non-academic requirements that are essential to the successful completion of a course. For more information about inherent requirements and where prospective and current students can get assistance and advice regarding these, see the UTS Inherent requirements page.

Prospective and current students should carefully read the Inherent Requirements Statement below and consider whether they might experience challenges in successfully completing this course.

UTS will make reasonable adjustments to teaching and learning, assessment, professional experiences, course related work experience and other course activities to facilitate maximum participation by students with disabilities, carer responsibilities, and religious or cultural obligations in their courses.

For course specific information see the Faculty of Law Inherent (Essential) Requirements Statement.

Recognition of prior learning

General and course-specific recognition of prior learning information regarding the Graduate Diploma in Legal Studies is available at postgraduate course information.

Course duration and attendance

The course can be completed in a minimum of one year of full-time or two years of part-time study. Subjects may also be available in Summer session, allowing accelerated progression.

The course is offered in a variety of attendance patterns, including intensive block attendance and weekly on-campus evening classes.

Course structure

The course requires completion of core subjects, including one compulsory introductory subject (8 credit points) and a choice of two further foundation subjects (16 credit points), plus a further four option subjects (24 credit points).

Core subjects are timetabled every session and option subjects are regularly timetabled but not all option subjects listed are offered in any one session. Timetabled subjects are offered subject to sufficient student interest. The UTS Timetable Planner enables current and future UTS students to view subject timetables.

Course completion requirements

STM90835 Core subjects (Legal Studies) 24cp
CBK90931 Options (Legal Studies) 24cp
Total 48cp

Course program

A sample full-time program is shown below.

Optional subjects are regularly timetabled but not all options are offered in any one session.

Autumn commencing, full time
Year 1
Autumn session
70102 Foundations of Law   8cp
70114 Criminal Law and Procedure   8cp
70103 Ethics Law and Justice   6cp
Spring session
70311 Torts   8cp
Select 18 credit points from the following:   18cp
CBK90931 Options (Legal Studies) 24cp  

Articulation with UTS courses

Subjects undertaken within the Graduate Diploma in Legal Studies are recognised within the Master of Legal Studies (C04264). Students enrolled in the graduate diploma may apply to internally transfer to the master's. Candidates are not awarded the graduate diploma but subjects undertaken are applied towards the master's.

Subjects undertaken within the Juris Doctor (C04236) are recognised within the Graduate Diploma in Legal Studies. Students enrolled in the Juris Doctor may apply to internally transfer to the graduate diploma. Candidates are not awarded the Juris Doctor but subjects undertaken are applied towards the graduate diploma.

Students who successfully complete three core subjects in the Graduate Diploma in Legal Studies may apply to internally transfer to the Juris Doctor (C04236). Candidates are not awarded the graduate diploma, but completed subjects are applied towards the Juris Doctor (C04236).

Other information

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