Student information

Information for School of Law students

The School of Law Undergraduate Handbook outlines policies and procedures, key University services, important Law program information, and a range of other material that will impact your time at University.

We encourage you to read through the Handbook and familiarise yourself with the material. It is important that you understand the content as it will have a major impact on your studies and life after university.

For your quick reference, we have highlighted some of the key points on this page:

2017 Law study periods

Commencement dates:

Study Period 2, Trimester 1 - Monday 20 February 2017 (Orientation Friday 17 February)
Study Period 4, Trimester 2 - Monday 5 June 2017
Study Period 6, Trimester 3 - Monday 18 September 2017

View the Law Academic Calendar (85kb, PDF) for all the key dates in 2017.

School of Law after hours

The School of Law is open from 9am to 5pm weekdays (excluding public holidays). After-hours access for Law students can be gained by the use of your Student ID card which doubles as an access card. This card must be updated at Campus Central and then Security at the commencement of each year.

Law Library resources

There are many Law resources available through the Library homepage, as well as support services, such as computers, laptop loans, printing, photocopying, study rooms, etc. Details regarding this support are available on the Library's Services webpage.

A key guide for UniSA Law students is the Library Law Subject Guide. This guide provides you with information on finding legislation, case law, books and articles; the Legal Research Workshop; new Law titles; and much more.

We also encourage you to look at the Australian Law section of the National Library of Australia. This site provides you with some great links on the Australian Legal System and Law by jurisdiction.

Study requirements

Attendance Expectations and Requirements

You are expected to attend all lectures and tutorials. Should you be unable to attend a tutorial, whether by reason of illness or for other good cause, please advise the Course Coordinator. The most important aspect of law school is to come to class prepared, having done the required reading, and where called for, to make a contribution to the classroom discussion.

Student Workload

Students generally have 4 hours of teaching contact time per 4.5 unit course. In addition to teaching contact time, students are expected to spend time reading, engaging in research, preparing for classes, undertaking assignments, engaging in online activities and engaging in reflection.

Under UniSA guidelines it is expected that you will spend 157.5 hours studying in each course. If you are studying a full load of four courses over 10 weeks that means that you will spend about 63 hours per week studying. This should be considered when making a study plan.

Assessment expectations

It is your responsibility to plan your outside activities so that they fit into the assessment timetable for each course that you are enrolled in. These timetables are contained in your Course Information Booklets. If you miss any scheduled assessment during term, you may lose marks for that assessment item unless you have established that unexpected or exceptional circumstances prevented your submission.

Law program information

As a Law student at UniSA, you will be able to complete the equivalent of a 4 year Bachelor of Laws degree within 3 years. This is due to the trimester system (3 semesters/study periods) that the School of Law teaches on, in comparison to the 2 semester system the rest of the University teaches on. This enables full-time students to complete 12 courses in a year rather than the standard 8 courses. There is a great degree of flexibility within this structure, whereby students may enrol for one, two or three study periods in any given year.

What will I study?

As with any Law degree, you will study a core set of courses called the 'Priestley 11'. These courses will cover the fundamental principles and concepts of Australian law. Students will then be able to specialise by choosing their Law electives. Single degree students can also study some broader courses using their non-law electives.

Modes of study

The Bachelor of Laws will be taught in a purely internal mode of study. Lectures and tutorials will be held on campus. Part-time study is available.

Program requirements

The program requirements for each of our Law degrees are set out on the Undergraduate Courses and Electives page.

Academic Integrity

Academic Integrity is a term used at UniSA to describe honest behaviour as it relates to all academic work (for example papers written by staff, student assignments, conduct in exams, etc.) and is the foundation of university life. One of the main principles is respecting other people's ideas and not claiming them as your own. Anyone found to have used another person's idea without proper acknowledgement is guilty of Academic Misconduct and UniSA considers this to be a serious matter.


Law students should also be aware that breach of the University's Academic Integrity policy may affect their future admission to legal practice. Applicants in all Australian states must be fit and proper persons to enter legal practice. Any incidents that may affect an applicant's "good fame and character", including matters of Academic Integrity, must be disclosed to the relevant admitting authority in a statutory declaration accompanying the application to admission. The statutory declaration must also authorise the admitting authority's access to University records, including records related to breach of Academic Integrity policies. Upon receipt of this information, the admitting authorities will then determine whether the breach is sufficiently serious to warrant refusal of the application for admission.

Failure to disclose incidents of Academic Misconduct can of itself provide a basis for refusing to admit an applicant to legal practice or lead to suspension of admission to legal practice if the Academic Misconduct is discovered after admission.

More information on Academic Integrity can be found in the Assessment Policies and Procedures Manual 2016.


Plagiarism is a specific form of Academic Misconduct. Deliberate Plagiarism is regarded as a serious act of Academic Misconduct. A finding of Academic Misconduct in the form of Plagiarism will have significant consequences for Law students specifically, as it may impact on the ability of the School of Law to certify that the student is 'of good fame and character' in regard to an application to be admitted to practise law.

More information on Plagiarism can be found in the Assessment Policies and Procedures Manual 2016.

Further study

Graduate Diploma in Legal Practice (GDLP)

University of South Australia Law Graduates who choose to practise law are required to complete a Practical Legal Training Course. One such course, the Graduate Diploma in Legal Practice (GDLP), is offered by the Law Society of South Australia.

See our Admission to Practice page for further information.

Postgraduate Research Degrees

A postgraduate research degree provides expert research training, and an opportunity to pursue in an in-depth manner your chosen area of interest and expertise. Postgraduate research gives students the opportunity to further enhance their legal skills and advance their qualifications. At the UniSA School of Law we offer the following postgraduate research degrees:

PhD Business and Management (Laws)

Master of Business (NB: Law specialisation is offered by research only)


Honours is a prestigious qualification recognised across the globe. It provides you with a point of distinction from other graduates when applying for jobs and is the best way to start a research career.

Honours at the University of South Australia (UniSA) School of Law is by invitation only and students are selected based on their academic merit. To be eligible for the Honours program, students must be currently enrolled in a Bachelor of Laws or Laws Double Degree, have completed 72 law units of their Bachelors degree, and have a minimum GPA of 5.3.

For more information visit the School of Law Honours webpage