How to choose courses

What is a session vs a semester?

The ANU College of Law delivers courses throughout the year in semesters or sessions. There are two semesters and four sessions per year.

  • Semester 1 (set period of 12 weeks - February to June)
  • Semester 2 (set period of 12 weeks - July to November)
  • Summer (Dec/Jan/Feb)
  • Autumn (March, April, May)
  • Winter (June, July, August)
  • Spring (September, October, November)

There are two study periods per year: 

  • 1st half of year study period: Summer, Semester 1, Autumn
  • 2nd half of year study period: Winter, Semester 2, Spring.

A full time load in the LLM is considered to be 24 units in a study period. You can enrol in any combination of sessions/semesters as you like up to 24 units.

Should I enrol in semester or session courses?

It's up to you whether you enrol in semeste or session courses, or both. Choose courses you are interested in.

Semester-length courses - these are scheduled in the Semesters and are usually 12 weeks in length with teaching activities taking place each week over the 12 weeks. Semester courses have different teaching activities - such as lectures, tutorials, seminars etc. The census dates are fixed.

Intensive courses - these are scheduled in the sessions (Summer, Autumn, Winter, Spring) and are taught in intensive mode. Attendance is compulsory and classes are often held over 3 or 4 days, 9am - 5pm each day. Major assignments are usually due around 6 weeks from the last teaching day. The census dates are individual for each course.

Online courses - taught online in Semesters (ie. over 12 weeks), or in more intensive mode in Sessions. You do not attend classes on campus.International students cannot take more than two online courses in their LLM.

Blended courses - taught with a mix of online and in-person classes.

A full time load in the LLM is considered to be 24 units in a study period. You can enrol in any combination of sessions/semesters as you like up to 24 units.

What courses are offered this year?

Not all courses listed on Programs and Courses are offered each year. To see what is on offer in the current year, please go to LLM Courses. Here you will find a list of courses running and their dates.

Choosing courses

To decide what courses to enrol in, we recommend you first find out what courses are offered in the current year by going to LLM Courses, and then read the course description on ANU Programs and Courses. You also need to consider the timings of each course, especially if you are doing a full time load, so your courses are spread out across the study period.

For the Program Orders (list of what you must do in each program) please follow the links below to go to ANU Programs and Courses.

Current Programs

Disestablished Programs


You may build your own program by choosing any courses you wish, or you may choose to specialise in one of the following areas. A specialisation requires the completion of 24 units from a specific list of courses. Please follow the link to the list of courses for each specialisation.

Exemptions and pre-requisite waivers


If you have completed a course at another institution which you feel is equivalent to a compulsory course in your program, you can apply for an exemption for that course. If granted you will need to complete another course in its place to satisfy program requirements.

If you are completing a Master of Laws in International Law and have completed Principles of International Law (or an equivalent course in public international law) in your undergraduate or Juris Doctor law degree within the last five years, you should apply for an exemption for this course. (An exemption also acts as a wavier for any courses with LAWS8182 Principles of International Law as a prerequisite.)

To apply for an exemption please email College Student Administration Services.

Waiving prerequisites

Some courses require that you have completed a pre-requisite course before you enrol in it . If you would like to enrol in a course without having met the prerequisite you must apply for a waiver of that prerequisite. To apply, please email the College Student Administration Services team who will refer the request to the Course Convenor to make a decision about whether or not to approve your enrolment in the course without having completed the prerequisite(s).

Course incompatibility

If you have previously completed a course that is regarded as substantially the same as a course in your program, that course may not be chosen. This will not normally apply for courses completed more than five years prior to the commencement of the program.

Law and Legal Insitutions - LAWS8586

If you have not completed an undergraduate degree in Law you must take LAWS8586 as part of your degree. It is strongly advised to do this course first.

If you have completed an undergradate law degree you do not have to take LAWS8586 as part of your degree. You must take another course in its place.

If you completed your undergraduate degree overseas, we recommend you still take LAWS8586 as it will provide you with an understanding on both the Australian legal system and comparative issues around sources, types, systems of law. It will also assist you to develop skills in legal research, citation, problem-solving and legal writing.

Part time/full time enrolment

Domestic students will be classified as enrolled part time if they undertake fewer than 3 courses (18 units) in a half year period. The ANU College of Law encourages part-time enrolment as a mechanism for balancing work, study and caring responsibilities. Students who are working more than 15 hours a week are advised to consider part-time enrolment. No special permission is required for this.

To complete the program in one year you must be enrolled full time. This usually equates to two courses per session in Summer, Autumn, Winter, Spring, or four courses in each half year period.

Updated:  10 August 2015/Responsible Officer:  College General Manager, ANU College of Law/Page Contact:  Law Marketing Team