Juris Doctor

Juris Doctor

POSTGRADUATE

Prepare for a fulfilling career as a lawyer in a rapidly evolving world.

Student type:
Mode of study:
On campus and blended learning
Online
Entry score:

Not applicable

Duration:
Full-time 3 years
Other
Part-time 6 years
Fees:

AU$41,280 (2023 annual)

Next intake:
February, July
Location:
Online
Melbourne City
Mode of study:
On campus and blended learning
Online
Entry score:

Not applicable

Duration:
Full-time 3 years
Fees:

AU$46,080 (2023 annual)

Next intake:
February, July
Location:
Melbourne City

Overview

Prepare for a fulfilling career as a lawyer in a rapidly evolving world.

Your gateway to a life in law

As a graduate who is passionate about law and justice, the Juris Doctor is your entry point to the legal profession or deepen your understanding of the framework of law. You may also find that career possibilities evolve and open up as you move through the degree.

Through this degree, you will build skills and competency in core areas of legal practice. Under the supervision of expert legal academics and practitioners, you will understand the role of law in society, analyse cases and legislation and engage in a variety of simulations to develop practical legal skills.

Why study your Juris Doctor at RMIT?

Innovative structure

Build real-world skills such as research, advocacy, negotiation and how to work with clients, in a course ranked #1 in Victoria for skills development in law.

Industry connected

Take advantage of RMIT’s deep industry connections. Choose from a range of clinical, judicial, research and international study opportunities.

Focus on contemporary issues

Work on law reform projects with our industry partners including RMIT’s Business and Human Rights Centre.

Legal skills

The Juris Doctor is an innovative postgraduate law course focusing on the fundamentals of law and the justice system.

This course has been designed to create job-ready graduates, with direction and input from a Program Advisory Board. Senior executives from law firms, representatives from the Bar, magistrates and other senior members of the profession provide valuable input to ensure our degree remains relevant to industry.

During your studies, you will build practical legal skills such as mooting and advocacy, research and policy development, communication skills, an understanding of the role of technology, and client interviewing as well as negotiation and dispute resolution. These are integrated into the study of substantive areas of law.

There is scope to follow your own interests by choosing electives that delve deeper into advocacy, environment law, human rights law, commercial law, legal considerations of artificial intelligence, blockchain and privacy, family law, wills and intellectual property law.

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A focus on innovation

A feature of this course is a focus on innovative justice and alternative forms of dispute resolution, equipping you with  a broad skill set to devise solutions for your clients in a world that presents evolving challenges.

Details

Learning and teaching

Your learning in this degree will take numerous forms, including classroom work, lectures and guest lectures by legal practitioners, problem solving and case analysis, and moots (mock courts).

You will build legal skills and gain expertise in the critical areas of practice. Under the supervision of members of the legal profession you will engage in a variety of simulations to develop practical legal capabilities.

You will also learn how to conduct research into policy development and law reform and communicate the results in a professional and precise manner.

Your classes on campus are mostly held in the evenings and on selected weekends via intensive delivery.

They will mostly be held at the Emily McPherson College Building, a heritage property in the heart of Melbourne’s CBD. Facilities include a student lounge, conference suites, private space in the Tom Smith Reading Room, teaching theatres and classrooms with the latest multimedia technology, and a rooftop patio with views of the city.

A limited selection of subjects is offered over the summer semester. Students can either accelerate their study or spread their study load. In addition, you will be able to access online resources and learning activities created by lecturers,  collaborate with lecturers and fellow students and access your student email account.

RMIT offers an extensive range of legal databases that can be accessed online. There you will find the published reports of cases, journal articles and other legal materials. Many recommended textbooks are available through the library as e-books at no additional charge to you. The library also has an extensive range of resources to help you to research and write academically.

Assessment methods

Assessments in this degree will take numerous forms, including formal examinations, assignments, research projects, in-class tests, reflective papers, presentations, and moots (mock courts).

Blended learning options

Courses offered as part of blended learning programs include a meaningful blend of online, on-campus, and workplace based learning tailored to the type of study you undertake. This learning is active, prioritising tasks that involve exploration and development of skills and knowledge through interaction and engagement.

Online aspects provide positive benefits such as flexibility and adaptability using digital activities and materials, while also strengthening the interaction and connection with timetabled and on-campus experiences such as tutorials, practicals, or workshops.

This degree is designed to prepare you for work in the changing world of law.

RMIT offers real industry internships and opportunities for clinical legal education. Typical industry-relevant options include:

  • shadowing judges, magistrates and practising lawyers in their daily work
  • working with industry mentors to solve legal problems
  • clinical legal education with community legal centres and the Neighbourhood Justice Centre
  • research for the Centre of Innovative Justice on law reform projects
  • participating in international study tours to observe innovative courts and overseas legal systems.

There is the opportunity to observe a number of innovative courts, both locally and internationally in study tours for law students.

There is also the opportunity to take a study tour to our Vietnam campus looking at legal systems in Asia.

Classes on campus are generally held in the evenings and on selected weekends via intensive delivery.

Intensive weekends are the preferred study mode for subjects with a strong practical component.

During the summer semester, classes may be offered in weekly and/or intensive mode.

The knowledge and skills you will acquire throughout this degree and how they can be applied in your career are described in the learning outcomes.

View the learning outcomes for each stream:

The knowledge and skills you will acquire throughout this degree and how they can be applied in your career are described in the learning outcomes.

To graduate from this degree, you must complete 18 core law subjects (including the Priestley 11) and six elective subjects.

In your first year of study, the core subjects you undertake will explore criminal law, torts, property and company law.

In your second year of study, your core subjects will cover international law, company law and constitutional law.

In your final year, core subjects include the study of evidence, and equity and trusts.

The structure of the Juris Doctor is such that core subjects are completed in the early semesters and the capacity to undertake electives increases as you move through the degree. 

 

Course structure

Please note: Plan MC161 is no longer taking new applicants. This plan applies to students who commenced the JD in, or prior to, semester 1 2014. Students in this plan should ensure that they are familiar with any relevant transition rules.

Juris Doctor
Program code: MC161

Title
Location
Duration
Plan code
CRICOS
Juris Doctor
City Campus
Three Years
MC161
Location
City Campus
Duration
Three Years
Plan code
MC161
CRICOS
Juris Doctor
City Campus
Domestic students: 3 years full time; 6 years part time; International student: 3 years full-time
MC161P14
103207F
Location
City Campus
Duration
Domestic students: 3 years full time; 6 years part time; International student: 3 years full-time
Plan code
MC161P14
CRICOS
103207F
Juris Doctor
City Campus
Domestic students: 3 years full time
MC161P14
103207F
Location
City Campus
Duration
Domestic students: 3 years full time
Plan code
MC161P14
CRICOS
103207F

Note: International student visa holders can only study full-time.

Career

Graduates of this degree can change their career direction and enter the legal profession by adding this fully accredited legal qualification to their undergraduate degree.

Juris Doctor graduates have access to a range of legal opportunities. These include practising as a solicitor or barrister in the commercial or criminal legal sectors in organisations of all sizes and scales. Legal knowledge is useful in management, industrial relations and policy making professions. Many members of parliament have law degrees.

Alumni work in many fields where knowledge of legal principles and the ability to think deeply and rigorously are essential. These fields include public administration, NGOs, politics and business. Graduates are building a reputation as fully prepared, work-ready legal professionals. Even if you wish to stay within your current career framework, the JD is a master's-level qualification that teaches you the skills of critical thinking and analysis that could open up horizons in your existing career.

Course accreditation or membership offered by professional bodies signals to employers the quality and relevance of RMIT's courses and opens up career pathways and networks.

Professional bodies accredit or recognise courses as meeting professional and academic standards deemed to be essential for a new graduate entering into that profession. An accredited course will either enable the graduate to enter directly into a professional qualifications program or provide the graduate with exemptions or credit towards a post university professional qualification.

Statutory accreditation

This type of accreditation is where a statutory body must approve a course of study in order for a graduate to practise in that profession.

Membership

Professional bodies or associations are representative organisations of professions that provide membership and other career development support to its members. Many professional bodies offer membership opportunities for students and new graduates with benefits such as career advice, networking within the profession and access to resources not available through the university. The aim of these benefits is to assist with your transition from university into the profession.

Juris Doctor

Current course accreditations and information about membership and development opportunities for students and graduates.

Victorian Legal Admissions Board (VLAB)

Course satisfies the academic requirements for graduates admission to the Australian Legal Profession. (Accredited for course delivery in Melbourne and via Open Universities Australia.)

Visit the Victorian Legal Admissions Board website

Council of Australian Law Deans (CALD)

The School is compliant with the standards for Australian Law Schools adopted by the Council of Australian Law Deans and assessed by the Australian Law Schools Standards Committee (ALSSC).

Visit the Council of Australian Law Deans website

Admissions

You need to satisfy all of the following entry requirements to be considered for entry into this degree.

You must have:

  • An Australian bachelor degree or equivalent in any discipline (except a Bachelor of Laws (LLB - Common Law)) with a minimum grade point average (GPA) of 2.5 (out of 4.0).

Note:

  • Applicants with an Australian bachelor degree in any discipline (except a Bachelor of Laws (LLB – Common Law)) with a minimum GPA of 2.0 (out of 4.0) may be considered for a full fee place when a personal statement is provided demonstrating significant interest or intended career progression in law.
  • Applicants seeking to enrol in a subject or subjects  required to obtain admission into legal practice will only be considered for full-fee places. A letter from the Board of Examiners, Victorian Council of Education (or equivalent interstate body) that lists the subjects(s) required to be completed must be submitted. 

Commonwealth supported places

  • Commonwealth Supported Places (CSP) may be available for this  program. Admission for CSP is competitive and eligible applicants are ranked and selected in order of merit based on their academic achievement. The minimum GPA for CSP in an intake may be higher than 2.5 out of 4.0 as it is dependent on the number of applications received and available places in an intake.
  • Students currently enrolled in a full-fee place in the RMIT Juris Doctor may apply for a CSP in the Juris Doctor on completion of at least one year of full-time equivalent study (96 credit points) and have demonstrated a GPA of 3.0 (out of 4.0).

There are no prerequisite subjects required for entry into this qualification.

A selection task is not required for entry into this qualification.

You must meet the University's minimum English language requirements to be eligible for a place in this program.

You need to satisfy all of the following requirements to be considered for entry into this degree.

You must have successfully completed:

  • An Australian bachelor degree (or equivalent overseas qualification) in any discipline, except a Bachelor of Laws (LLB - Common Law) with a minimum grade point average (GPA) of 2.5 (out of 4.0).

Note:

  • Applicants with an Australian bachelor degree (or equivalent overseas qualification), in any discipline except a Bachelor of Laws (LLB – Common Law) with a minimum GPA of 2.0 (out of 4.0) may be considered when a personal statement is provided demonstrating significant interest or intended career progression in law.
  • Applicants seeking to enrol in a subject or subjects required to obtain admission into legal practice must submit a letter from the Board of Examiners, Victorian Council of Education (or equivalent interstate body) that lists the subjects(s) required to be completed.

There are no prerequisite subjects required for entry into this qualification.

A selection task is not required for entry into this qualification.

To study this course you will need to complete one of the following English proficiency tests:

  • IELTS (Academic): minimum overall band of 6.5 (with no individual band below 6.0)
  • TOEFL (Internet Based Test - IBT): minimum overall score of 79 (with minimum of 13 in Reading, 12 in Listening, 18 in Speaking and 21 in Writing)
  • Pearson Test of English (Academic) (PTE (A)): minimum score of 58 (with no communication band less than 50)
  • Cambridge English: Advanced (CAE): minimum of 176 with no less than 169 in any component.

For detailed information on English language requirements and other proficiency tests recognised by RMIT, visit English language requirements and equivalency information.

Don't meet the English language test scores? Complete an English for Academic Purposes (EAP) Advanced Plus Certificate at RMIT English Worldwide.

Pathways

You can gain entry to this masters degree from a range of RMIT undergraduate programs, if you meet the entry requirements.

Advanced standing

Australian law degrees are required to include 11 core areas of knowledge - the 'Priestley 11’.

These areas are:

  • Criminal Law and Procedure
  • Torts
  • Contracts
  • Property
  • Equity (including Trusts)
  • Company Law
  • Administrative Law
  • Federal and State Constitutional Law
  • Civil Procedure
  • Evidence
  • Ethics and Professional Responsibility.

No exemptions from the Priestley 11 are allowed unless the courses concerned are the equivalent courses in another postgraduate law program.

Credits and exemptions

For non-law electives, exemptions may be granted for courses successfully completed at master degree level.

Credit, recognition of prior learning, professional experience and accreditation from a professional body can reduce the duration of your study by acknowledging your earlier, relevant experience.

Credit and exemptions will be assessed consistent with the principles of the RMIT Credit Policy.

Business and Law research programs are offered at Master and Doctoral level.

Upon successful completion of this masters degree, you may be eligible to undertake further studies in related programs at RMIT University, including postgraduate research programs, subject to the program's entrance requirements.

You can gain entry into this degree from a range of RMIT undergraduate programs.

For non-law electives, exemptions may be granted for courses successfully completed at master degree level.

Credit

Credit may reduce the duration of your study by acknowledging your earlier, relevant study experience.

When you are submitting an application, please indicate that you want to be considered for credit and provide detailed course syllabus (also known as course outline), outlining volume of learning, course content and weekly topics, learning objectives/outcomes, assessment types and their weightings, and reference to the learning resources such as prescribed textbooks and recommended readings.

Credit and exemptions will be assessed consistent with the principles of the RMIT Credit Policy.

Business and Law research programs are offered at Master and Doctoral level.

Upon successful completion of this degree, you may be eligible for entry into an RMIT Masters by Research or Doctoral (PhD) program.

Fees

This program has full-fee places, with a limited number of Commonwealth supported places (CSP). 

Government financial assistance is available to eligible students regardless of the type of place you enrol in.

2023 indicative fees

Full-fee places

  • AU$41,280* per annum

Commonwealth supported places

  • 2023 Commonwealth supported places (CSP) range from AU$4,124 to AU$15,142*.

Additional expenses

  • Student services and amenities fee (SSAF): AU$326 maximum fee for 2023*.
  • Other items related to your program, including field trips, textbooks and equipment.

Annual fee adjustment*

Amounts quoted are indicative fees per annum, and are based on a standard year of full-time study (96 credit points). A proportionate fee applies for more or less than the full-time study load.

*Fees are adjusted on an annual basis and these fees should only be used as a guide.

Defer your payment

  • You may be eligible to apply for a HELP loan, which can be used to defer payment of up to the full amount of your student contribution fees. You may also be eligible to apply to defer payment of your SSAF through the SA-HELP loan scheme.
  • For more information and to learn how to calculate your exact tuition fees see postgraduate study fees.

Paying your fees and applying for refunds

For information on how to pay your fees or how to apply for a refund, please see Paying your fees and applying for refunds.

Summer semester

A summer semester is available for this program, allowing some students to accelerate their progress. If you choose this option and enrol in more than the standard full-time load (96 credit points) for the year, you will be charged accordingly.

More information

For more information and to learn how to calculate your exact tuition fees visit postgraduate study fees.

If you are offered a full-fee place, you will need to pay the full tuition costs of your program. However, eligible students (such as Australian citizens or holders of an Australian permanent humanitarian visa) may apply to defer payment of some or all of their tuition fees via the Commonwealth Government’s FEE-HELP loan scheme.

If you are offered a Commonwealth supported place, your tuition fees are subsidised by the Australian Government.

Your share of the fee (student contribution) is set on an annual basis by the government and is determined by the discipline areas (bands) of your individual enrolled courses, not the overall program.

How much can I expect to pay for my Commonwealth supported place?

The Australian Government has introduced changes to university funding and student contribution fees under its Job-ready Graduates Package

The fees in the table below apply to students who commence their program in 2023. Fees for continuing students are available at fees for Commonwealth supported students.

Each course (subject) falls into a band. The band determines the student contribution amount for the course.

Amounts listed in the table below are based on a standard, full-time study load (96 credit points per year) with all courses in the same band. A proportionate fee applies for more or less than the full-time study load or for enrolment in courses (subjects) from a combination of bands.

You can learn how to calculate your exact tuition fees for units from different bands at Fees for Commonwealth supported students.

Maximum student contribution amount for Commonwealth supported places in 2023 for commencing students

Student contribution band by course (subject)

Maximum annual student contribution amount (per EFTSL) in 2023

Education, Postgraduate Clinical Psychology, English, Mathematics, Statistics, Nursing, Indigenous and Foreign Languages, Agriculture $4,124 per standard year
$515 per standard (12 credit point) course
Allied Health, Other Health, Built Environment, Computing, Visual and Performing Arts, Professional Pathway Psychology, Professional Pathway Social Work, Engineering, Surveying, Environmental Studies, Science, Pathology $8,301 per standard year
$1,037 per standard (12 credit point) course
Dentistry, Medicine, Veterinary Science $11,800 per standard year
$1,475 per standard (12 credit point) course
Law, Accounting, Administration, Economics, Commerce, Communications, Society and Culture $15,142 per standard year
$1,892 per standard (12 credit point) course

Student Learning Entitlement

On 1 January 2022, the Government implemented the Student Learning Entitlement (SLE).

  • The SLE allows students 7 years of full-time subsidised study in Commonwealth Supported Places (CSP).
  • Your total SLE amount will be reduced in accordance with your overall study load in a CSP. 
  • Once you have utilised all your SLE, you can not longer study in a CSP.

For more information about SLE, visit Study Assist.

In addition to tuition fees, you will be charged an annual student services and amenities fee (SSAF), which is used to maintain and enhance services and amenities that improve your experience as an RMIT student.

The SSAF is calculated based on your enrolment load and the maximum fee for 2023 is $326. 

For more information about calculating your actual SSAF see Paying SSAF.

You may also be required to purchase other items related to your program, including field trips, textbooks and equipment. These additional fees and expenses vary from program to program.

FEE-HELP loans

Eligible students (such as Australian citizens or holders of an Australian permanent humanitarian visa) may apply to defer payment of some or all of their tuition fees via the Commonwealth Government’s FEE-HELP loan scheme.

HECS-HELP Loans

The Australian Government provides financial assistance via the HECS-HELP loan scheme, which allows eligible students (such as Australian citizens or holders of an Australian permanent humanitarian visa) to defer payment of up to the full amount of their student contribution.

SA-HELP Loans

You may be eligible to apply to defer payment of the Student services and amenities fee (SSAF) through the SA-HELP loan scheme. If you use SA-HELP, the amount will be added to your accumulated HELP debt.

How does a HELP loan work?

If your FEE-HELP, HECS-HELP and/or SA-HELP loan application is successful, the Australian Government will pay RMIT, on your behalf, up to 100% of your fees. This amount will become part of your accumulated HELP debt.

You only start repaying your accumulated HELP debt to the Australian Government once you earn above the minimum income threshold for repayment, which is set each year by the Australian Government (this also applies if you are still studying). The Australian Taxation Office (ATO) will calculate your compulsory repayment for the year and include this on your income tax notice.

For more information about loan repayment options see Commonwealth assistance (HELP loans) or Study Assist.

This program is approved for income support.

You may be eligible for student income support payments from the Commonwealth Government if you are undertaking a graduate certificate, graduate diploma or an approved professionally oriented masters by coursework program. For more information see Income support for Masters students.

If you are enrolled in an eligible program you will also need to satisfy all other student payment eligibility requirements. You can contact Centrelink or Services Australia for further information about student income support entitlements, your eligibility and how to apply.

You may be eligible to apply for income tax deductions for education expenses linked to your employment.

See the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) for more information.

RMIT awards more than 2000 scholarships every year to recognise academic achievement and assist students from a variety of backgrounds.

The annual tuition fee for 2023 is AU$46,080.

The total indicative tuition fee for 2023 commencement is AU$138,240.

In addition to tuition fees you also need to pay for:

You also need to account for your living expenses. Estimate the cost of living in Melbourne.

Find out more details about how fees are calculated and the expected annual increase.

Applying for refunds

Find information on how to apply for a refund as a continuing international student.

RMIT awards more than 2000 scholarships every year to recognise academic achievement and assist students from a variety of backgrounds.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Looking for answers or more general information?

Use our Frequently Asked Questions to learn about the application process and its equity access schemes, find out how to accept or defer your offer or request a leave of absence, discover information about your fees, refunds and scholarships, and explore the various student support and advocacy services, as well as how to find out more about your preferred program, and more.

aboriginal flag
torres strait flag

Acknowledgement of Country

RMIT University acknowledges the people of the Woi wurrung and Boon wurrung language groups of the eastern Kulin Nation on whose unceded lands we conduct the business of the University. RMIT University respectfully acknowledges their Ancestors and Elders, past and present. RMIT also acknowledges the Traditional Custodians and their Ancestors of the lands and waters across Australia where we conduct our business - Artwork 'Luwaytini' by Mark Cleaver, Palawa.

aboriginal flag
torres strait flag

Acknowledgement of Country

RMIT University acknowledges the people of the Woi wurrung and Boon wurrung language groups of the eastern Kulin Nation on whose unceded lands we conduct the business of the University. RMIT University respectfully acknowledges their Ancestors and Elders, past and present. RMIT also acknowledges the Traditional Custodians and their Ancestors of the lands and waters across Australia where we conduct our business.