University of Technology Sydney

C11264v1 Graduate Certificate in Legal Studies

Award(s): Graduate Certificate in Legal Studies (GradCertLS)
CRICOS code: 095712D
Commonwealth supported place?: No
Load credit points: 24
Course EFTSL: 0.5
Location: City campus


The Graduate Certificate in Legal Studies is not a professional legal qualification. Students seeking admission to practice as a lawyer should consider the Juris Doctor (C04236) or the Bachelor of Laws (C10124). Some subjects in the Graduate Certificate 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
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 foundations of law, contract and tort 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 A specialised understanding of a 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 A high level 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 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 high level 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 High level 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 Specialised 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 Independent 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.

Applicants who do not have one of the academic qualifications listed may be admitted if they provide additional information regarding their education background, evidence of completion of any tertiary-level study, work history, career objectives, references from relevant associates, etc., in order to demonstrate their capacity for pursuing the course.

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

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

Further recognition of prior learning information regarding the Graduate Certificate in Legal Studies is available at postgraduate course information.

Course duration and attendance

The course can be completed in a minimum of a half year of full-time or one year of part-time study.

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 three core subjects, which includes an introductory subject (8 credit points) and two other foundation subjects (16 credit points).

Core subjects are timetabled in Autumn and Spring sessions and 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

STM91210 Core stream (Legal Studies PG) 24cp
Total 24cp

Articulation with UTS courses

Subjects undertaken within the Graduate Certificate in Legal Studies are recognised within the Graduate Diploma in Legal Studies (C07122), Master of Legal Studies (C04264) and the Juris Doctor (C04236). Students enrolled in the graduate certificate may apply to internally transfer to the graduate diploma. Candidates are not awarded the graduate certificate but subjects undertaken are applied towards the graduate diploma.

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

Other information

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