The Bachelor of Laws (Honours) courses are available to high achieving students. An Honours program enables students to apply the knowledge gained in their Bachelor of Laws degree in the context of a major legal research project in their final year of study. An Honours degree provides a pathway to higher research degrees at masters and doctoral levels.
Law Honours programs
The School offers, among others, the following Honours courses:
A full list of offerings for the Bachelor of Laws (Honours) courses is available in the UOW course handbook. The School welcomes applications from students undertaking any other double combination. Please contact the Honours Coordinator for information if this is your case.
- Eligibility: WAM of 70 or above based on all LLB 100 and 200 level core subjects assessed at the end of the second year of full-time enrolment or equivalent, plus 48 credit points on 100-level LLB subjects and 42 credit points on 200-level LLB subjects. If eligible, students must apply to be transferred to the Honours degree.
- Enrolment: LLB 4402 (12 credit points). This is an annual subject: students must therefore enroll at the beginning of the Autumn session, and complete it by the end of the Spring session. Students must attend during the Autumn session a series of compulsory seminars on legal research methodologies, and a day-long moot academic conference in which they will present the advances in their research.
- Thesis requirement: 10,000-12,000 word thesis.
- Electives: Double degrees and LLB Graduate Entry students enrolled in the program must choose three (3) among the eligible elective subjects to complete their degree. LLB Direct Entry students enrolled in the program must choose nine (9) electives to complete their degree.
- Honours calculation: Based on WAM Method 4 (See General Course Rules) – all LLB subjects included. NOTE: WAMs are not rounded up
- Class I: 75% to 100%
- Class II, Division 1: 72.5% to less than 75%
- Class II, Division 2: 70% to less than 72.5%
If you commenced your law degree either before 2015, or between 2015 and 2017, please contact the Honours Coordinator for individual advice about Honours requirements that pertain to you.
- Eligibility - WAM Calculator
- Potential Honours Supervisors
- Guidelines for the allocation of Honours supervision (students)
The WAM calculator is used to assess eligibility to be considered for a Bachelor of Law (Honours).
This calculator should be used as a guide only. Final assessment of your WAM will occur when you apply for Honours at which time your record will be assessed by the School of Law.
Revenue/Taxation Law, Business Law, Building and Construction Law, Family Law, Litigation, Sole Practice, Small Law Firms and The Legal Profession, Courts and Tribunals, Financial Markets.
Gender and law, feminist jurisprudence, legal history, law and humanities, contract law, torts
Law and Technology, ethics and Artificial Intelligence (ethical AI), neuroscience and criminal law (neurolaw), biosocial sciences and criminal law, electronic sports (eSports) and law.
International Law, Human Rights Law, Politics/History/Theory of Law, Employment/Industrial Law
Privacy, breach of confidence, law and psychology, tort law
Law of the Sea, International marine environmental law, Territorial and maritime boundary issues in the Asia Pacific and the South China Sea, International humanitarian law, Underwater cultural heritage, Maritime piracy and terrorism, Public international law
Corporations Law, International Trade Law, Constitutional Law, Asian Business Law and Criminal Law
Consumer protection; Banking and securities
Equity and trusts, evidence, accountability, international criminal law
Corporations Law, Work Health & Safety Law and Employment Law.
Equity and Trusts, and International Sale of Goods – especially Uniform Sales Law (CISG, Vienna Convention 1980).
Law and Development (rule of law and legal reforms in developing countries; and China and Japan development models); International Economic Law (international financial institutions and development aid); Banking Law and Corporations Law.
Jurisprudence (particularly, theories of justice and critical legal theory); Human Rights; New Approaches to International Law (NAIL); Third World Approaches to International Law (TWAIL); Latin American Law; Mexican Law; Law and Humanities (especially, Law and the Creative Arts); Legal History; Technology (including AI) and Justice.
Law of the sea; marine planning and environmental regulation, tort law
Law and technology generally, including issues of theory and method, the law of AI, privacy, data (including the Consumer Data Right) and issues of Intellectual Property in the digital domain. Legal technologies in particular, including their regulation and the principles and practices of legal design.
Jurisprudence, History of the rights of women, History of social rights, Health Law.
Constitutional law, Statutory interpretation, Jurisprudence, Law and history, Law and humanities, Law and music and the arts, Legal biography (especially the judiciary).
Administrative law, Constitutional law, Public law, Global governance, Global administrative law, international refugee law, law and technology.
Intellectual Property, Indigenous Peoples and Legal Systems
Family law and related areas (e.g. child support, domestic violence), De facto relationships, Lawyers and legal profession, Access to justice, Crime, Tort law, Courts/ legal system, Legal Ethics.
White Collar Crime Detection; Cartel Immunity; Whistle-blower Protections; Criminal Law, specifically drug law and policy and domestic violence.
Family law (with particular emphasis in care and protection), legal issues concerning families (in relation for example, to prison policy, mental health or domestic violence), and intersections between law and social work
Legal ethics; Lawyers and the legal profession; Statutory interpretation; Legal education; Business law
International Law, Comparative Law, Legal History
Public International Law, International Trade Law, Comparative Law, American Law, Research Methodologies.
Criminal law and criminal justice issues including alcohol-related offending, public order, fines and sexual violence
Commercial law, Corporations law, Litigation
Financial system regulation (including internationally comparative perspectives); consumer protection of products and services in the financial industry; compelling good conduct in the financial industry; Banking Royal Commission; the Treating Customers Fairly (TCF) framework in financial service; principles-based regulation in financial services, conduct versus prudential regulation.
Critical legal theory (including feminist legal theory, critical theory approaches to contract, feminist approaches to law and law, society and domestic violence, as well as CLT generally); postcolonial and feminist theories and race, gender, sexuality and the law; law and history; financial product regulation; and contract law and theory.
Cultural Legal Studies, Social media and Law, Law and Humanities, Jurisprudence, Law and Literature, Legal Discourse analysis
Securities regulation law, corporations law, Australian business law, Asian business law, food safety law
Law and Social Media, Cultural Legal Studies, Statutory Interpretation
International Law, International Economic Law, International Trade Law, International Investment Law, Autonomous Weapon Systems, Comparative Public Law, German Law
Environmental law, pollution law, environmental crime, regulatory theory (e.g. smart regulation, responsive regulation, risk-based regulation), administrative law, property law
* On Special Studies Leave either in Autumn or Spring 2023.
** On Long Service Leave either in Autumn or Spring 2023.
*** Unavailable for supervision in Autumn 2023.
**** Unavailable for supervision in 2023.
Students undertaking the Honours program at the School of Law are required to develop a supervised research project. These guidelines aim to inform the best practice for both students and supervisors, considering the availability of resources at the School of Law, in relation to the process of selecting a supervisor and topic for the Honours program, or, where appropriate, other undergraduate courses requiring research supervision.
An effective working relationship between the Honours coordinator, the supervisor and the student is essential to the development and completion of a sound Honours thesis (see Honours Policy). The role of the Honours coordinator is to teach legal research methodologies and facilitate both the students’ research and their relationship with supervisors throughout the duration of the research project. Supervisors are expected to guide the students’ research and provide constructive written academic feedback on it, as well as to encourage, support and mentor the students throughout the development of their research project. Students should maintain the progress of their work in accordance with the Coursework Rules, the LLB Honours subjects’ requirements and the research schedule agreed with the supervisor.
1. Selection of research topic
1.1 The selection of a research topic is the responsibility of the student undertaking the Honours program.
1.2 No more than three months, and at least three weeks before the beginning of the Honours course, students enrolled in the program should submit an email to the Honours coordinator identifying possible areas of interest or potential research topics.
1.3 Students should identify their areas of interest and some potential topics according to the following criteria (the feasibility of which will be subject to review by the Honours coordinator upon receipt of the above email from the student):
i) The area or topic is likely to maintain the student’s interest and enthusiasm for a year-long project.
ii) The topic is one in which the student can identify questions to be answered or gaps in the current knowledge.
iii) The project can be realistically completed within the time allocated and resources available.
iv) The area or topic preferably relate to the areas of expertise of potential available supervisors.
1.4 Before selecting a proposed topic, it is advisable for students to discuss the above criteria and other possible constraints on topic choice with the Honours coordinator. Among others, additional constraints may include the availability of staff (for supervision), resources (e. g., funding or ethical approval), and viability (e.g., is the topic too broad, too technical, or requires levels of expertise beyond the student’s experiences and abilities).
1.5 If the study of a proposed topic is not feasible, the Honours coordinator may direct the student to select another topic.
1.6 Students will work with their supervisors on refining and specifying their topics across the first weeks of the Honours course. Students are not allowed to change the field of law they initially expressed interest in for their project once the deadline for identifying areas of interest or potential topics has passed.
1.7 Students are not permitted to change their research topic at any time after their supervisor has provided guidance and evaluated their process of refining and specifying the topic.
2. Selection of supervisor
2.1 No more than three months, and at least three weeks before the beginning of the Honours course, students enrolled in the program should send the Honours coordinator an email nominating a supervisor with whom they feel they can work comfortably.
2.2 Students are advised to have backup supervisors in mind, given their first choice may not be available for them.
2.3 Before nominating a potential supervisor, students are advised to:
i) Familiarise themselves with the areas of expertise of academic staff available for supervision at the School of Law.
ii) Discuss with prospective supervisors about the supervisor’s: availability to supervise; research interests; recommended possible research topics; styles of supervision and expectations of students.
3. Allocation of Honours supervisions
3.1 Honours supervisors must hold a continuing or fixed term academic position with the School of Law.
3.2 The final decision as to whether an academic can supervise a particular student rests with the School of Law, as it is subject to workloads and other staffing issues. The Dean of Law, advised by the Honours coordinator, will allocate the supervision of Honours students among the available academic staff at the School of Law.
3.3 The Dean of Law will allocate Honours supervision considering:
i) Supervisor nominations presented by students enrolled in the program.
ii) The areas of expertise of academics at the School of Law.
iii) The workloads of academics at the School of Law.
3.4 If the Dean of Law believes that the supervisor nominated by a student is not able to supervise the research, the School may nominate another supervisor or the student may be required to select another topic or identify another supervisor.
4. Appointment of co-supervisors
4.1 In exceptional circumstances, the Dean of Law, advised by the Honours coordinator, may grant authorisation for an Honours project to have a main supervisor, supported by a co-supervisor.
4.2 In projects with a co-supervisor, the main supervisor must meet the requirements stated in section 3.1. The role of the co-supervisor may be held by an academic staff member, visiting or honorary academic.
4.3 Main supervisors are responsible for maintaining regular contact with the students to monitor their progress; providing timely and helpful feedback on any submissions; and submitting marks and grades for Honours projects in a timely manner.