Master of Health Law (MHL) & Graduate Diploma in Health Law (GradDipHL)

Joanna Warburton, Master of Health Law (MHL)

“After becoming a personal injury lawyer, I realised my passion was for medical law. Through this postgraduate degree, not only is my desire for academic enquiry satisfied, but my critical legal thinking skills have also broadened substantially. My professional network has expanded to include inspiring experts in the field.”

Joanna Warburton, Master of Health Law (MHL)

Sydney Law School offers one of the nation’s leading postgraduate programs in health and medical law. The Master of Health Law (MHL) prepares graduates for professional work in the fields of health practice, governance and management by equipping them with skills and knowledge to negotiate the legal, ethical and policy issues affecting healthcare and the provision of health services. The core curriculum covers legal issues arising from the provision of health care services, the impact of new technologies on health care, the regulation of the health professions, and public health. The elective curriculum currently explores the fields of public health law; mental health law; legal issues affecting reproduction, death, and genetics; dispute resolution, mediation, and class actions; global governance and policy; and health, development, trade and investment.

The MHL combines the experience and expertise of teachers and students from the legal and health professions. This allows the study of health law issues to be considered in an interdisciplinary context with knowledge of health structures and medical procedures integrated with knowledge of legal structures and principles.

Candidates enrolled in the MHL must choose three out of four core units, and five optional units. Candidates without an undergraduate law degree must also complete, in lieu of one of the optional units, either Legal Reasoning and the Common Law System or Health Law for Health Professionals.

The core and elective units of study will develop students' ability to identify, analyse and solve complex legal, ethical and policy issues affecting health and the provision of health services.

The Graduate Diploma in Health Law (GradDipHL) is designed for students who have an interest in health law, but do not wish to complete the full Master's program. The Graduate Diploma consists of two core units, and two optional units. (N.B. The Graduate Diploma in Health Law is not open to International Students.)

Program Structure

Each unit of study in the health law program is equivalent to six credit points. A total of 48 credit points (or eight units of study) is required for the award of the Master of Health Law (MHL). 24 credit points (four units of study) is required for the Graduate Diploma.

Attendance Pattern

Each unit of study entails 26 contact hours. Units are offered on a semester length basis or intensive basis. Semester length units are taught once a week over 13 weeks on either a Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday evening between 6pm and 8pm. Intensive units of study condense the 26 hours over a period of four to five days. The units are then taught between 9am and 5pm over a block period. For example, an intensive unit may be taught two consecutive days one week and then two consecutive days in a fortnight's time. All classes are held in the Law School or another Sydney CBD location.


(from first enrolment)
Master's Coursework FULL-TIME 18-24 CP 6 YEARS*
Graduate diploma FULL-TIME 18-24 CP 3 YEARS*
*Periods of suspension, exclusion or lapsed candidature will be added to the maximum completion times except that no completion time will exceed 10 years from first enrolment. Credit will not be granted for previous studies older than 10 years at the time of first enrolment. If a student is admitted with credit, the Faculty will determine a reduced time limit for completion of the award course.

Units of Study

Please note: some units of study may have pre-requisite requirements or prohibition guidelines and may not be available to those without a law degree. Please check with the Sydney Law School directly if in doubt.

Please select from the dropdown box for the units of study list:

Master of Health Law 2016

Core Units of Study (2016)
(students must complete three core units)

Critical Issues in Public Health Law
Government Regulation, Health Policy & Ethics
Health Care and Professional Liability
Information Rights in Health Care
Introduction to Law for Health Professionals or Legal Reasoning and the Common Law System*

Elective Units of Study (2016)

Dispute Resolution in Australia
Expert Evidence Law and Class Action Procedure
Forensic Psychology
Fundamentals of Regulation
Global Health Law
Independent Research Project
Law, Business and Healthy Lifestyles
Mediation – Skills and Theory
Mental Illness: Law and Policy
Neurolaw: Brain, Mind, Law and Ethics
*An additional, core unit for candidates without a law degree from a common law jurisdiction
# Non highlighted subjects are not offered this year.

Enrolment Enquiries

Applications are still open. However, some units may have restricted class size and compulsory units may run early in the semester. It is strongly recommended that applicants submit their application on time to avoid disappointment. Please contact the Postgraduate Team for further details.

Current Students

Please visit the Enrolment information for Master’s and Graduate Diploma students page.

Future Students

While an undergraduate degree is required, admission in the program is open to both lawyers, health professionals working in their respective professions, and other approved applicants.

Please refer to the Admission to candidature - Faculty Handbook

Please read through How to apply and ensure all relevant application documents are available to upload before applying online:

Master of Health Law (MHL)

Graduate Diploma in Health Law (GradDipHL)

Program Co-ordinator


Information on individual staff, their research interests and publications, may be obtained from the Our People section of the website.