The University of Newcastle, Australia

Why study law?

Working with real clients at our in-house legal centre, you'll gain the practical experience needed to become a fully qualified lawyer in just five years. See yourself here in 2020.

World top 300 ? for law
5 Years at the Newcastle Law School, Australia's leading clinical law school, you can become a fully qualified lawyer in 5 years of full-time study
94.7% Employed ? for Bachelor of Laws (Honours)/Diploma of Legal Practice within four months

About law, crime and criminology

If you’re inspired by social justice and access to justice issues, and want to understand more about creating real change through legislation and policy – law is the career for you. You’ll learn about the principles underlying the Australian legal system while also advocating for legal rights on local, national and global issues. As Australia’s leading clinical law school, the Newcastle Law School’s Legal Centre provides you with the practical legal training and supervised clinical legal experience needed to practice as an Australian lawyer without any further study.

Our Bachelor of Laws (Honours) Combined degree is your entry to a career as a lawyer, or a range of other professions where a passion for justice and attention to detail are key. Work with real clients under the supervision of the Legal Centre to kick start your career as a barrister, corporate lawyer, judge’s associate, policy advisor, and more. You have the flexibility to choose what program to combine your law degree with, enabling you to take full control of your future and focus on the areas that matter to you the most.

  • Join Australia’s premier clinical law school offering advanced programs, training and mentoring from world-class academics and practicing legal professionals through our Newcastle Legal Centre.
  • Become a lawyer sooner with the required practical experience to be admitted to the bar. This gives you a kick start to your career and puts you at least 6 months ahead of other graduates in a similar position.
  • Study in NeW Space, located in Newcastle’s business district, right next to the Newcastle Law Courts. Experience new-age learning and a strong community of practice.
  • Connect with industry through practical placements, guest lectures and industry visits. The Law Students' Association (UNLSA) is at the heart of the student community and allows you to form relationships to help you at uni and beyond.
  • Our graduates get jobs with 94.7% of Bachelor of Laws (Honours)/Diploma of Legal graduates employed within four months (Overall employment rate – 2018 Graduate Outcomes Survey).

Undergraduate law degrees

We understand that sometimes you don't know exactly which degree you'd like to pursue, but you know which field excites you. Use these areas of interest to narrow down your study options based on your interests and career goals.

All degrees

Degree name Selection rank
Bachelor of Arts / Bachelor of Laws (Honours)
Bachelor of Business / Bachelor of Laws (Honours)
Bachelor of Commerce / Bachelor of Laws (Honours)
Bachelor of Communication / Bachelor of Laws (Honours)
Bachelor of Development Studies / Bachelor of Laws (Honours)
Bachelor of Global Indigenous Studies / Bachelor of Laws (Honours)
Bachelor of Innovation and Entrepreneurship / Bachelor of Laws (Honours)
Bachelor of Laws (Honours) Combined
Bachelor of Laws (Honours) / Diploma of Legal Practice
Bachelor of Science / Bachelor of Laws (Honours)
Bachelor of Social Science
Bachelor of Social Science / Bachelor of Laws (Honours)

Aboriginal issues and advocacy

If you have an interest in Aboriginal issues and want to advocate for this group you could focus your legal studies in this area. You will learn about the social, political and justice issues impacting the Aboriginal community. Working closely with Aboriginal clients you will touch on various fields of law including Aboriginal law, human rights law and constitutional law. You do not necessarily have to be a lawyer and could focus your specialist knowledge in a range of roles helping the Indigenous community.

Career examples

  • Native Title Consultant
  • Human Rights Lawyer
  • Legal Aid Lawyer
  • Lobbyist


  1. Bachelor of Global Indigenous Studies / Bachelor of Laws (Honours) (combined)

Arts and humanities

Focusing your law degree alongside arts and humanities allows you to understand issues within a wider context. An understanding of how society functions will allow you to advise and advocate for a range of different groups on a range of issues. Your studies will enhance your understanding of society and humanity and could see you focus on criminal law, family law, social justice, anti-discrimination, copyright or human rights. You are also well placed to operate in government, political or diplomatic environments.

Career examples

  • International Aid Worker
  • Political Adviser
  • Criminal Lawyer
  • Witness Assistance Officer


  1. Bachelor of Arts / Bachelor of Laws (Honours) (combined)
  2. Bachelor of Social Science / Bachelor of Laws (Honours) (combined)

Business and corporations

Tackle the world’s most complex challenges and be an in-demand professional with a focus on business and law. Specialists in this area understand Australian and global legal systems but also have a deep understanding of companies including operating structures; financial systems; governance frameworks; employment and staff awards; and legislative environments. You could work in various fields of law relating to companies including corporate law, contract law, employment law, workplace health and safety, taxation law and commercial law.

Career examples

  • Corporate Lawyer
  • Industrial Relations Officer
  • Resource and Regulatory Compliance Manager
  • Contracts Manager


  1. Bachelor of Business / Bachelor of Laws (Honours) (combined)
  2. Bachelor of Commerce / Bachelor of Laws (Honours) (combined)

Crime and criminology

Crime cuts across all facets of society. Students focusing their degree on this area defend, prosecute and attempt to understand the people involved in crime. Criminal lawyers deal with simple criminal cases like parking fines to more complex charges such as murder. They can either represent the accused or work for the Crown Prosecutor.

Criminologists on the other hand explore the social causes and consequences of crime, deviance, and criminal justice issues. Students specialising in this area are not trained as law professionals, but in the investigation of social responses to crime and crime prevention, including organised crime, online crime, terrorism and violence. Criminology specialists are employed all over the world and operate in interesting roles tackling inequality, sustainability and conflict.

Career examples

  • Criminal Lawyer
  • Correctional Services Officer
  • Security or Intelligence Officer
  • Crime Prevention Adviser


  1. Bachelor of Social Science / Bachelor of Laws (Honours) (combined)
  2. Bachelor of Social Science (major in Criminology)

Communication and media

Communication and media law encompasses all legal issues affecting the media and telecommunications industries. Your study will focus on issues including free speech, defamation, copyright and censorship. Communications and media law used to historically affect journalists and publishers, however with the advent of the internet, blogs and social media, everyday people are just as likely to face similar legal complications. Communication and media legal professionals operate within organisations or as advisers to individuals and companies.

Career examples

  • Communication and Media Lawyer
  • Legal Counsel
  • Political Advisor
  • Speechwriter


  1. Bachelor of Communication / Bachelor of Laws (Honours) (combined)

Small business and start-ups

It is becoming increasingly easy for individuals to set up small businesses and get innovative ideas off the ground. Students focusing their studies on this area will learn various aspects of law including copyright, intellectual property, trademarks and patent law. You may want to use the skills and legal knowledge you gain in your degree to navigate the regulations and requirements of starting your own business. You might also use your degree qualifications and know-how to specialise as a legal professional in the area.

Career examples

  • Knowledge Manager
  • Patent Attorney
  • Small Business Owner
  • Trademark Registration Attorney


  1. Bachelor of Innovation and Entrepreneurship / Bachelor of Laws (Honours) (combined)

Globalisation and development

The world is becoming more global and the interplay of countries through trade agreements, treaties, foreign investment and governing bodies is becoming increasingly more common. Students in this field will develop a global outlook and a strong understanding of international laws surrounding economics, social justice and politics. With this background, there are opportunities to make a real difference in the areas of development, poverty and inequality.

Career examples

  • Immigration Officer
  • Political Scientist
  • Foreign Diplomat
  • Foreign Affairs and Trade Officer


  1. Bachelor of Business / Bachelor of Laws (Honours) (combined)
  2. Bachelor of Development Studies / Bachelor of Laws (Honours) (combined)

Science and technology

Many industries need graduates who can understand and translate complex science—and law is one of these. With the growth in scientific research and the commercialisation of new technologies, professionals with knowledge in both science and law are increasingly sought after. At the same time, with growing awareness of the importance of environmental sustainability, science/law professionals are required to work on regulation and legislation surrounding environmental protection.

Career examples

  • Scientific Patent Examiner
  • Environmental Lawyer
  • Regulatory Innovation Officer
  • Forensic Scientist


  1. Bachelor of Science / Bachelor of Laws (Honours) (pre 2019) (combined)

Combined degrees

All law degrees at UON are offered as a combined program. This means you broaden your knowledge and get two degrees in only five years of study. No matter if you want to be a practising lawyer or are interested in pursuing something else, a strong legal understanding and the ability to apply logical reasoning means that law graduates are extremely competitive for employment opportunities in a range of sectors.

  1. Bachelor of Aboriginal Professional Practice: You will develop an understanding of the social, political and justice issues impacting the Aboriginal community and learn how to communicate effectively with Aboriginal clients.
  2. Bachelor of Arts: Broaden your understanding of legal issues by seeing them within a wider context choosing, for example, Arts with a History major. This combination will complement your legal knowledge with an understanding of how society functions.
  3. Bachelor of Business: A combination of Laws with Business ensures you will have specialist in-depth legal knowledge, but also possess a strong understanding of business affairs. This is a valued and useful asset for a career such as an in-house lawyer.
  4. Bachelor of Commerce: If numbers stimulate you, a law degree combined with Commerce will improve your understanding of important legislation that is relevant to economics, finance and accounting.
  5. Bachelor of Communication: Some of the most powerful and influential forces within our society are the mass media and communication technology. Be on the forefront of constantly developing laws and regulations.
  6. Bachelor of Innovation and Entrepreneurship: This combination is for people who are interested in turning big ideas into new ventures, with the added understanding of the surrounding legal environment.
  7. Bachelor of Development Studies: Development Studies focuses on key global issues in a local, national or international context. By combining this degree with law you will be able to advocate for change and make a real difference in issues like development, poverty and inequality.
  8. Bachelor of Science: The Bachelor of Science combination will enable you to apply your scientific knowledge to a range of legal contexts including industry, agriculture and the information revolution.
  9. Bachelor of Social Science: The Bachelor of Social Science combination is ideal if you are interested in improving social justice, anti-discrimination and human rights.


Watch Alissa's story

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Are you looking to put your purpose into practice? Working at leading international law firm Allen & Overy, Bachelor of Commerce/Bachelor of Laws (Honours) and Diploma of Legal Practice alumnus Alissa Lucas is doing just that.

“I believe that success for big business is becoming increasingly synonymous with sustainability and social responsibility,” says Alissa. “I would like to have a career in which I can lead companies to improve on these aspects in a way that improves both society and the success of their business.”

In fact, her commitment to social impact drove many of Alissa’s choices as a student at the University of Newcastle. Eager to understand different cultures and perspectives, she sought new and challenging professional experiences across Asia. An internship making a difference through community development in Cambodia.  An exchange program in Hong Kong. A study tour and homestay in Japan.

“As my experiences varied from working at a big corporate to interning at a community development organization, I have had such a great insight into Asia, commercially, socially, and culturally,” says Alissa.

Most recently, Alissa was selected as a Ma & Morley Scholar, and was able to travel to China for an immersion experience.

“While we were in China, we went to many different community development groups and also big corporate companies. It really highlighted the fact that even big corporates have a responsibility. And big corporates have the opportunity to implement social change in a way that improves their business.”

But Alissa was also able to make the most of her time right here in Newcastle. She volunteered at the Aboriginal Legal Service, tutoring and mentoring refugee students. And as part of her program, she gained vast experience in practical law at the University Law Centre.

“The clinical education offered by the law school is unique and extremely beneficial,” says Alissa. “Not only does it provide a service for our community, but it also provides an opportunity for students to work on real cases and to gain an understanding of the legal issues that can have huge impacts on our community and individuals’ lives.”

“It was also great to study at NeW Space because you’re right in the centre of the city, and the courthouse is nearby, different law firms are nearby,” she adds.

Alissa shares that the thing that excites her most about her current role is the expanded opportunities to “cultivate social change in a commercial setting.”

“I would also like to use the skills, networks and knowledge I gain in a way that makes a positive, and sustainable, impact on society.”

And by combining her passion with her professional path, Alissa is finding new ways to make that impact.


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