The Sydney Juris Doctor (JD)


Anna Shilova from Russia, talks about why she chose the Sydney Juris Doctor (JD)

Program structure – Full-Time

The Sydney JD consists of 144 credit points or 25 units of study. A full-time study load entails 48 credit points per year. Most units of study consist of three contact hours per week for thirteen weeks. A normal full-time class load is 12 contact hours per week. You will complete the following units of study in sequence:

Year Unit of study Pre-requisite
Year 1 Foundations of Law  
  Torts  
  Contracts  
  Civil and Criminal Procedure  
  Criminal Law Civil and Criminal Procedure
  Torts and Contracts II Torts, Contracts
  Public International Law  
  Public Law  
Year 2 Federal Constitutional Law Public Law
  Administrative Law Public Law
  The Legal Profession  
  Introduction to Property and Commercial Law  
  Real Property Introduction to Property and Commercial Law
  Equity  
  Evidence Civil and Criminal Procedure
  Corporations Law  
Year 3 Private International Law A  
  7x Elective units of study (including 1 x Jurisprudence elective)  

Program structure – Part-Time

You can also study the Sydney JD on a part-time basis. There are limited places available for both Domestic CSP and DFEE students. You will be given the chance to apply for a part time place when you accept your place into the JD. You will be required to undertake 4 units of study for the academic year. Classes will be held in the evenings. A typical part-time study pattern might appear as follows but this is a guide only and may be subject to change:

Year Unit of study Pre-requisite
Year 1 Foundations of Law  
  Torts  
  Public International Law  
  Public Law  
Year 2 Contracts  
  Civil and Criminal Procedure  
  Torts and Contracts II Torts, Contracts
  Criminal Law Civil and Criminal Procedure
Year 3 Administrative Law Public Law
  Federal Constitutional Law Public Law
  Evidence Civil and Criminal Procedure
  Corporations Law  
Year 4 Introduction to Property and Commercial Law  
  The Legal Profession  
  Equity  
  Real Property Introduction to Property and Commercial Law
Year 5 Private International Law  
  3 x Electives  
 Year 6 4 x Electives  

Learning & Teaching Methods

During the course of the Sydney JD, you will experience three primary learning and teaching methods:

  • Lecture & tutorial teaching
  • Seminar-style teaching
  • Self-directed learning

Lecture & Tutorial Model
During Lectures, you will receive complex information within a large class setting. This method makes it possible for the Unit Coordinator to arrange for you to hear experts such as practitioners and international scholars during special guest lectures.
During Tutorials, you will synthesise the information from readings and lectures, discuss the application of legal principles with your peers and tutor, and apply your legal knowledge to problem questions and case studies.

Seminar Style Teaching
Seminar-style teaching allows you to discuss issues in small and large groups, with input and information from your teacher. Although seminar classes are generally larger than tutorials, you are given greater scope for interaction and deeper engagement with the subject matter, than in a large lecture.

Self-Directed Learning
You will experience self-directed learning through online quizzes, problem questions, additional readings, and discussion boards, which complement in-class learning. You will use WebCT extensively, which provides you with resources to assist your understanding of the subject matter and provide opportunities to undertake further self-directed learning.

Teaching & Assessment Principles

When studying the Sydney JD, you will acquire a scholarly attitude to knowledge and understanding, demonstrated through inquiry, critique and synthesis. As a Sydney JD student you will have the capacity to:

  • Articulate a synthesis of legal principles emerging through a series of cases
  • Encapsulate the critical principles that emerge from complex legislation
  • Inquire into and develop a perspective on the context in which law operates, or on the implications of law reform in particular sectors or issues in society
  • Evaluate the merits and shortcomings of law (as found in cases, legislation, international legal instruments, tribunal decisions and other sources), while making the basis of this evaluation transparent.

As a Sydney JD student, you are expected to articulate law in terms of the values it embodies and its social impact, both at a national and international level. You will develop an appreciation that law is a social construct that is capable of achieving both good and bad, in moral terms, and that law is capable of privileging particular philosophical and political positions. Further, you will develop a perspective that encompasses concerns at the local, national and global level.

Australian Qualifications Framework (AQF)

The Sydney Juris Doctor is regarded as an AQF level 9 Masters Degree (extended) under the Australian Qualifications Framework.