FAQs and useful links

For law students

You may find the following FAQs and useful links helpful with your studies and employment opportunities.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

For law specific questions, click on the relevant question below. If you cannot find what you are looking for please contact law.enquiries@unisa.edu.au.

Where can I go for general student admin questions or advice? 
Ask Campus Central on 1300 301 703 or email campuscentral.citywest@unisa.edu.au.

What are the law study periods? 
Study periods are terms of study. There are seven study periods in a year:

  • Undergraduate law periods: SP2, SP4 and SP6 are the main teaching periods (see law academic calendar)
  • Other undergraduate disciplines, such as marketing and commerce (affecting Law Double Degree students): SP2 and SP5 are the main teaching periods
  • SP1 and SP7 are the summer school periods.

What are electives and what is the difference between law electives and non-law electives? 
Electives are courses in addition to the core and major courses within your program. Law electives are offered only within the law discipline subjects whereas a non-law elective can be selected from any discipline within the University (e.g. management, psychology, health sciences).

Where can I find a list of available electives? 
An easy way to search for non-law electives is by looking at the relevant course homepage, or by searching courses by discipline. Please ensure the electives you select are from the undergraduate listing.

How many courses do I have left in my degree, and where can I access enrolment advice? 
Students can visit the enrolment advice webpage for enrolment advice and also download a law degree planner - a great way to keep track and plan your study. For further information on the program structure or on individual courses (e.g. which study period courses are offered in) visit the relevant program page: Bachelor of Laws (Honours) or Laws Double Degree.

What is cross-institutional study? 
Cross-institutional study is studying courses at a different university. Current UniSA students are required to complete an application for cross-institutional study form if they want to study a course cross-institutionally. Permission from your Program Director will need to be granted.

What is a double degree? 
A double degree is the combination of two UniSA bachelor degrees and allows you to graduate with two parchments in just five years. For more information visit the law programs webpage.

How do I transfer into the Laws Double degree? 
If you would like to transfer from the Bachelor of Laws to a Laws Double Degree you will need to complete an internal transfer form and lodge it at Campus Central for processing. Please visit criteria for transfer to determine if you are eligible to transfer.

If I decide I need a break from study, can this be arranged? 
Students are entitled to a total of one year of leave during study. If you are a first year student, you will need to have completed a full study load (at least three courses) in one study period. Students who are Australian citizens, permanent residents or temporary residents not on a student visa, will need to fill in a leave of absence or withdrawal from program form. International students studying in Australia on a student visa need to complete the leave of absence from program form.

What is the difference between internal and external study? 
The Bachelor of Laws degree is ONLY an internal mode of study. Internal students study on-campus, which includes going to lectures and tutorials. If you are studying a non-law elective or are undertaking a Laws Double Degree you may come across disciplines that offer an external mode of study. External students study off-campus and may be required to participate in online discussions and submit assignments through LearnOnline. External exams will be setup by the Learning and Teaching Unit and students can either sit the exams at Wayville Showground with the internal students or at an external location arranged by the Flexible Learning Centre for rural or interstate students.

How many hours should I study each week? 
On average there are four contact hours per course per week, in addition, students must do approximately 15 hours of individual study per course per week. This is a guide and you should check with your lecturer/tutor for each individual course. For information on study requirements and additional resources, visit the study support webpage.

Is it acceptable to use second hand textbooks and previous editions of a set text? 
You will need to check with your Course Coordinator before using previous editions of a set text in the event that there may be changes.

I need advice on my study progress, who do I contact? 
Consultation appointments are available with our Academic Services Officers. Please contact law.enquiries@unisa.edu.au where all your questions are answered and consultation appointments can be made.

I have a personal issue that is affecting my studies, who can I talk to? 
The Learning and Teaching Unit (based at all campuses) offers free and confidential counselling services.

I have received a supplementary and/or deferred examination (secondary assessment), what does this mean? 
You have been awarded a second opportunity to re-sit the examination. Supplementary and/or deferred examinations are offered in the study period following the original examination. For example, if you were awarded a supplementary/deferred exam in study period 2 you would sit the supplementary/deferred exam in the Study Period 4 exam period. Campus Central will send a detailed email to you confirming your secondary assessment.

Supplementary exams are offered based on criteria from your student record. You cannot apply for one. Please see section 7 of assessment policies and procedures for further information. If you fail the exam you will receive an F grade, if you pass you will receive a supplementary pass (SP) grade.

A deferred examination can be granted for extenuating circumstances only, for example hospitalisation or immediate family death. Leisure travels or entertainment will not be accepted as a reason to defer. Exam periods are made known at the beginning of each year and it is your responsibility to ensure you do not make other commitments during the two week exam period.

How do I apply for credit? 
You will need to contact your Program Director via email and complete an application for credit form.

How do I apply for overseas exchange? 
Please visit the student exchange website to find out more information on travel opportunities and grants. Once you have researched your options on where you would like to travel please make an appointment with your Program Director to ensure the courses you study overseas can be credited to your degree.

Is there a law student association? 
Join the UniSA Law Students Association USALSA today - membership is free!

What is the Legal Advice Clinic and how can I get involved? 
The Legal Advice Clinic offers a free legal advice service to members of the public. The clinic aims to assist in providing access to justice for those who need it, whilst simultaneously fostering a pro-bono ethic in law students. The clinic also builds directly on the practical skills and experiential learning within the curriculum. Students may participate in the clinic by enrolling in the elective course called Legal Professional and Community Service Experience. Once enrolled in the course, students may elect to be placed at the clinic for their work experience placement which is an integral part of the course. The clinic also has a community legal education program. Students may select a community legal education project as their placement. Students who have completed a clinic placement within Legal Professional and Community Service Experience may also apply to complete their GDLP placement at the clinic. For more information, please contact Rachel Spencer, Director: Professional Programs, or visit the Legal Advice Clinic webpage.

Once I complete my degree can I practise law? 
No. If you wish to practise as a lawyer, you must complete a Practical Legal Training program. For further information visit the admission to practice webpage.

Should I study part-time or full-time? 
The minimum requirement for full-time study is 13.5 units, i.e. 3 courses each trimester, a favourable enrolment number for students who have work commitments. Students should consider that on average there are four contact hours per course per week, plus an additional 15 hours of individual study per course per week. Students are expected to attend all on campus classes and partake in all required readings, tasks and assessments.


Useful Links

Professional Associations

The Law Society of South Australia 
The Law Council of Australia 
Council of Australian Law Deans (CALD) 
South Australian Bar Association 
Legal Education Teachers Association of South Australia Inc (LETASA)

Studying Law

Studying Law in Australia


Apply Online


Government of South Australia Graduate Program 
The South Australian Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions 
Legal Services Commission of South Australia