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What’s involved in studying Law online?

This article appears in: Law, Online study
Parent in the library with a baby

Are you considering studying a Bachelor of Laws, but struggling to figure out how you’ll fit lectures, library visits and study groups into your already busy schedule? Good news: like most things these days, you can study your Law degree online through CDU. Read on to find out what’s involved. 

1. What will my study commitments be each week?

Good question! Your law degree will be made up of a set of units. The number of units you study per semester is up to you. If you study full time, it’ll be four units. If you study part-time, you’ll do between one and three units.

The time commitment each week varies by student and unit, but as a general guide, you can expect each unit to involve:

  • One 2-hour lecture
  • 2 to 4 hours of reading and tutorial prep
  • One 1.5-hour tutorial or seminar

So on average, you’re looking at approximately 6-8 hours a week per unit. During assignment periods – which typically fall once or twice a semester – you can add a few extra hours of study to your week.

2. Huh? What’s a unit?

A unit is what we referred to in high school as a ‘subject’. A Bachelor of Laws is made up of 24 units. Each unit covers a different topic or area of law. You can study all 24 units in as little as three years, or study part time and spread them out over six years. 

3. What do online classes involve?

Being flexible! For the most part, you’ll have the freedom to study when, where and how you like.

You can watch your lectures as videos online or listen to them as podcasts while you’re on the go. Your lectures will be recorded and downloadable, so you can do them when it suits you.

Your tutorials will take place at a fixed time each week in an online classroom via two-way video (or one-way if you’d prefer) and chat with your lecturers and other students enrolled in the unit.  You’re encouraged to attend, but if you can’t, you’ll receive a recorded version to catch up in your own time. These are dedicated tutorials for online students, so everything is designed to make it easy for you to interact from a distance.

4. How do I sit exams?

This is one thing you have to do in person, but you can do it in your home state. All exams take place in a supervised environment to maintain academic integrity. CDU has partnerships with universities around the country, so we’ll arrange for you to sit your exams close to home at one of their campuses.

5. How do I submit assignments?

All your assignments will be submitted through CDU’s online learning program, Learnline. Your lecturer will also provide feedback through this portal by putting your grades into the system and marking up your assignment with comments, so the whole process is seamless and centralised. 

6. What happens if I need to speak with my lecturer?

We know that staying connected is really important to online students, so our lectures and tutors are always available on email or by phone to discuss assignments, course content or any questions you have.

We aim to respond within 24-72 hours, but in today’s always-on environment, it’s often faster. And because we’ve been offering flexible and online Law degrees for more than 15 years, we know that being responsive is important and our lecturers are experts in maintaining relationships with online students.

7. Will I be lonely?

The beauty of online study is that you forge relationships with fellow students and lecturers irrespective of place and time. 

We hope not! The beauty of online study is that you forge relationships with fellow students and lecturers irrespective of place and time. You can communicate when it suits you. 

Flat out with work or the kids? No pressure to make an on-campus study group. Last-minute assignment question? No need to wait until class. Put it to your online study group immediately (someone else is probably awake at 11pm, too).

CDU’s online Law students create study groups in all sorts of ways. All our students have access to our online learning platform, which allows for discussion. Some create their own online study groups through Facebook or email, and a few have even studied together IRL* in their home state.

*Internet speak for in real life

8. What if I struggle to fit my studies in?

That’s okay. We know that online students are managing busy lives around their studies. If you start studying Law online and find that you need support with managing your time, adjusting your study load or navigating your way through uni, your course coordinator and student services are on hand to help. It’s just a case of reaching out.

You have the flexibility to adjust the number of units you study each semester to suit your lifestyle. If you enrol in a unit and change your mind, you can withdraw without penalty up until the semester’s census date. 

9. How do I do practical subjects or placements?

Practical experience matters, which is why our Bachelor of Laws students choose from one of three hands-on units that teach them valuable skills for working in the field of law.

  • Legal clinic is a placement program where you get experience in a firm or with a government agency. If you’re an online student, we’ll aim to find an opportunity for you in your home town.
  • Moot court is a mock courtroom, where students role-play legal situations. As an online student, you’ll take part via video conference (in much the same way lawyers do when they’re working with regional or remote areas).
  • Dispute resolution is a unit where you use simulation and roleplay to learn the negotiation skills to settle legal matters outside of court. As an online student, you’ll be taught in an online classroom as normal, and when it comes time to do the simulation and roleplay exercises, you’ll be in a video conference with another online student (just like you would Skype during a business meeting).

10. How do I ‘go to the library’?

Lawyers – and law students – spend a lot of time reading. You’ll be able to access CDU’s library online to borrow e-Books, journals and hard copy books (we’ll post them to you).

Does it sound like studying Law online might be for you? At CDU, you can study your Bachelor of Laws 100% online and be supported to succeed. Find out more. 


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