Juris Doctor

Postgraduate coursework

Receive comprehensive training in major areas of the legal practice with a Juris Doctor at Deakin University.

Domestic student information

Key facts


3 years full-time or part-time equivalent


Course information

The Deakin Juris Doctor (JD) combines its commercial focus with the development of practical skills essential to contemporary legal practice. Designed for non-law graduates, this intellectually-stimulating course is offered fully online after an initial compulsory three-day Induction program held in Melbourne, in February.

The Deakin JD goes beyond the teaching of legal knowledge and practical skills, to the development of a broader understanding of the policy informing the law, focusing on current policy issues and developing skills in the use of legal theory and legal research methods.

Your assignments might include problem-based written advice, an oral bail application, an assignment focusing on the implementation of procedural rules, preparation of a memorandum of advice, oral court submissions and a file management project. Group assignment work is also a feature of some units to ensure you develop the important skills necessary to work as part of a team.

The Deakin JD meets the academic requirements for admission to legal practice in Victoria. A person wishing to practice as a lawyer is also required to complete a 12-month traineeship program or six-month legal practice course and demonstrate that they are a ‘fit and proper person’.

The Deakin JD course is designed to produce first-class commercial law practitioners by providing comprehensive training in each of the major areas of legal practice and systematically embedding research, theory and policy considerations throughout the curriculum. A distinctive feature of the course is its orientation towards commercial law.

Leading, practising lawyers help shape our courses, so everything you learn is relevant to the industry and preparing you for a career in law.

Read More

Course structure

To complete the Juris Doctor, students must attain a total of 24 credit points, including 17 core units and 7 elective units. Each unit (think of units as 'subjects') is equal to 1 credit point.

Students are introduced to research tools and techniques in core units of the course where they learn analytic skills and the practical application of those skills in professional contexts. They must also complete advanced level units and a capstone unit that require them to integrate the skills learnt over their course of study and produce applied pieces of research with reference to prevailing literature.


Core units


Elective units


Total units

Key information

Award granted
Juris Doctor
2018 course information
Deakin code
Higher Degree Coursework (Masters and Doctorates)
Approval status
This course is approved by the University under the Higher Education Standards Framework.
Australian Quality Framework (AQF) recognition
The award conferred upon completion is recognised in the Australian Qualifications Framework at Level 9.

Campuses by intake

Campus availability varies per trimester. This means that a course offered in Trimester 1 may not be offered in the same location for Trimester 2 or 3. Read more to learn where this course will be offered throughout the year.

Trimester 1 - March

  • Start date: March
  • Available at:
    • Cloud (online)

Trimester 3 * - November

  • Start date: November
  • Available at:
    • Cloud (online)

    *part time study only



Trimester 3 study is available part-time only.

This course includes an initial compulsory three-day Induction program held in Melbourne, in February (please refer to 'Additional course information' below).

Additional course information

All commencing students are required to attend a compulsory three day Induction program.

2018 Dates:

28 February: 8.45am - 5.00pm

1 March: 8.45am - 5.00pm

2 March: 9.00am - 12.00pm

Venue: Burwood Corporate Centre, Burwood Campus, Deakin University.

Course duration - additional information

Course duration may be affected by delays in completing course requirements, such as accessing or completing work placements.


As a student in the Faculty of Business and Law, you can expect to participate in a range of teaching activities each week. This could include classes, seminars, practicals and online interaction. You can refer to the individual unit details in the course structure for more information. You will also need to study and complete assessment tasks in your own time.

Work experience

This course does not require students to complete compulsory work integrated learning units.

Entry requirements

Entry information

Deakin University offers admission to postgraduate courses through a number of Admission categories.
In all categories of admission, selection is based primarily on academic merit as indicated by an applicant's previous academic record.

All applicants must meet the minimum English language requirements.

Entry will be based on performance in:

  • a Bachelor degree in different discipline with a minimum Weighted Average Mark (WAM) of 65% OR
  • Bachelor degree in a different discipline with a Weighted Average Mark (WAM) of 60% and three years relevant work experience* OR
  • a Master's degree in a different discipline

A) A bachelor’s degree in a non-law area is defined as a bachelor’s degree that is not accredited or approved by the Victorian Legal Admissions Board (previously COLE) as meeting the requirements for admission to the legal profession.

B) Applicants with a law degree from an overseas jurisdiction, deemed to be the AQF equivalent of a 3 year bachelor’s degree, will be eligible to apply.

C) A master’s degree is defined as a master’s degree that is not accredited or approved by VLAB as meeting the requirements for admission to the legal profession.

For more information on the Admission Criteria and Selection (Higher Education Courses) Policy visit Deakin Policy Library.

Fees and scholarships

Fee information

Estimated tuition fee - full-fee paying place
$30,800 for 1 yr full-time* - Full-fee paying place
Learn more about fees and your options for paying.
Estimated tuition fee - (CSP)?
Not applicable

The available fee places for this course are detailed above.

Tuition fees are determined by your enrolment:

  • If you are offered a full fee paying place, your tuition fees are calculated based on your course.
  • If you are offered a Commonwealth supported place, your tuition fees are calculated depending on the units you choose. Not all courses at Deakin have Commonwealth supported places available.

The 'Estimated tuition fee' is provided as a guide only based on a typical enrolment of students completing the first year of this course. The cost will vary depending on the units you choose, your study load, the length of your course and any approved Credit for Prior Learning.

* One year full-time study load is typically represented by eight credit points of study. Each unit you enrol in has a credit point value. The 'Estimated tuition fee' is calculated by adding together 8 credit points of a typical combination of units for your course.

You can find the credit point value of each unit under the Unit Description by searching for the unit in the Handbook.

Learn more about fees and available payment options.


You may be eligible for the Government's FEE-HELP scheme. This scheme covers your tuition fees and can help make studying significantly more affordable.

It's similar to HECS-HELP, but designed for full-fee place courses. It doesn't matter how much you earn, you may still be eligible for FEE-HELP.

Learn more about your FEE-HELP options.

Scholarship options

A Deakin scholarship might change your life. If you've got something special to offer Deakin – or you just need the financial help to get you here – we may have a scholarship opportunity for you.

Search or browse through our scholarships

Postgraduate bursary

If you’re a Deakin alumni commencing a postgraduate award course, you may be eligible to receive a 15% reduction per unit on your enrolment fees. Your spouse and members of your immediate family may also be eligible to apply for this bursary.

Learn more about Deakin’s 15% postgraduate bursary

Graduate outcomes

Career outcomes

A Juris Doctor is a qualification that offers un-equalled career opportunities.  In addition to opportunities within law firms, which range from small rural and regional general legal practices through to large national or international practices, law graduates may enter other industries such as business (e.g as a corporate lawyer, company administrator or business manager); government service (as a lawyer with departments or authorities as diverse as the Attorney Generals Department, the office of Parliamentary Counsel, the Director of Public Prosecutions, and the Australian Securities Commission); industrial relations, public administration; academic; or in law reform (as a law reform commissioner).

Professional recognition

Deakin's Juris Doctor is designed to satisfy the academic qualifications necessary for admission to the legal profession. In Victoria these have been set by the Victorian Legal Admissions Board (VLAB).  In addition to satisfying the academic qualifications, a person seeking admission to the legal profession in Victoria is required to have satisfactorily completed certain practical legal training requirements and must be considered a fit and proper person to be admitted to the legal profession.

Course learning outcomes

Deakin's graduate learning outcomes describe the knowledge and capabilities graduates can demonstrate at the completion of their course. These outcomes mean that regardless of the Deakin course you undertake, you can rest assured your degree will teach you the skills and professional attributes that employers value. They'll set you up to learn and work effectively in the future.

Graduate Learning Outcomes

Course Learning Outcomes

Discipline Specific knowledge and capabilities

Develop an advanced and integrated understanding of a complex body of knowledge, including:
(a)    The fundamental areas of legal knowledge, the Australian legal system and underlying principles and concepts, including international and comparative contexts;
(b)    The broader contexts within which legal issues arise;
(c)    The principles and values of justice and of ethical practice in lawyers’ roles;
(d)    extended understanding of contemporary developments in law (and law reform);
(e)    extended understanding of contemporary developments in professional practice.


Develop high level communication skills, including:
(a)    Communication of findings both orally and in writing using plain English and legal terminology through formal legal channels and contemporary Internet- based forms of communication;
(b)    Knowledge of different genres of legal writing;
(c)    Knowledge of different genres of oral communication with culturally diverse audiences;
(d)    Effective and persuasive communication depending on needs and backgrounds of legal and non-legal audiences
(e)    Ability to engage constructively with needs of audiences and choose right communication approach.

Digital Literacy

Use technologies to identify, locate, evaluate information for complex problem solving scenarios as well as communicating legal solutions, including:
(a)    Identifying, researching, evaluating and synthesising relevant factual, legal and policy issues, effectively using technologies where appropriate;
(b)    Finding, using and disseminating information using technologies;
(c)    Using digital sources to organize and present information in authentic and complex legal situations.

Critical thinking

Exercise critical thinking
capacities to:
(a)    Identify and articulate complex legal issues;
(b)    Apply legal reasoning and research to generate appropriate jurisprudential and practical responses to legal issues;
(c)    Engage in critical analysis and make reasoned and appropriate choices amongst alternatives; an
(d)    Demonstrate sophisticated cognitive and creative skills in approaching legal issues and generating appropriate responses

Problem Solving

Develop sophisticated
problem solving capacities by developing intellectual and practical skills needed to justify and interpret theoretical propositions, legal methodologies, conclusions and professional decisions through the ability to:
(a)    Identify the need for research;
(b)    Identify factual, legal and policy issues;
(c)    Research factual, legal and policy issues;
(d)    Evaluate factual, legal and policy issues
(e)    Synthesise factual, legal and policy issues.


Develop high level capacities to:
(a)    Learn and work with a high level of  autonomy, accountability and professionalism particularly in regard to undertaking independent research;
(b)    Reflect on and assess own capabilities and performance, and make use of feedback as appropriate, to professional development;
(c)    Commit to and lead lifelong learning and continuing professional development.


Develop high level
capacities to:
(a)    Collaborate effectively with others from a diversity of backgrounds;
(b)    Lead diverse teams and resolve interpersonal and team-based
(c)    negotiate and work effectively through team disputes and problems with team dynamics.

Global Citizenship

Develop a sophisticated awareness of, and a high level capacity to, apply legal knowledge in different environments and global contexts, including:
(a)    An advanced and integrated understanding of approaches to ethical decision making;
(b)    An ability to recognise and reflect upon, and a developing ability to respond to, ethical issues likely to arise in professional contexts;
(c)    An ability to recognise and reflect upon the professional responsibilities of lawyers in promoting justice and in service to the community
(d)    A developing ability to exercise mature professional judgment in the context of cultural and community diversity.



Application information

How to apply

Apply direct to Deakin

Applications can be made directly to the University through the Applicant Portal if you are only applying for one course. For information on the application process and closing dates, see the how to apply web page. Please note that closing dates may vary for individual courses.

Apply through Deakin
Need more information on how to apply?

For more information on the application process and closing dates, see the How to apply webpage. If you're still having problems, please contact us for assistance.

Register your interest to study at Deakin

Please complete the Register your interest form to receive further information about our direct application opportunities.

Credit for prior learning

The University aims to provide students with as much credit as possible for approved prior study or informal learning which exceeds the normal entrance requirements for the course and is within the constraints of the course regulations. Students are required to complete a minimum of one-third of the course at Deakin University, or four credit points, whichever is the greater. In the case of certificates, including graduate certificates, a minimum of two credit points within the course must be completed at Deakin.

You can also refer to the Credit for Prior Learning System which outlines the credit that may be granted towards a Deakin University degree and how to apply for credit.

Credit for prior learning into the Master of Laws (Juris Doctor) may be granted to students who have successfully completed appropriate Masters-level law studies in Juris Doctor programs offered at other universities.

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