Honours

The Honours Degree of Bachelor of Laws degree (post 2015) provides a deeper knowledge in a substantive area of law by increasing students research and writing skills.  

Honours Degree of Bachelor of Law

2015 Commencing student information

In 2014 the Adelaide Law School proposed the introduction of a Bachelor of Laws (Honours). The program was approved for implementation in 2017 and meets the level 8 criteria in accordance with the Australian Quality Framework (AQF).

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  • What does it this mean for commencing students in 2015 and onwards?

    As a commencing (first year) student in 2015 and onwards, the Bachelor of Laws (Honours) will be an option for you.  The earliest this program will commence is 2017. The current automatic honours award is not available if you commenced as a first year law student in 2015.

  • Admission to the Bachelor of Laws (Honours)

    • Admission into the Bachelor of Laws (Honours) will be by application. Places will be limited and students will be invited in their penultimate year to apply for the program. 
    • Students must have a GPA of 6.00 (Distinction average) to apply.
    • If accepted into the program, your Bachelor of Laws program will be discontinued and admitted into the Honours Degree of Bachelor of Laws. 
    • All the courses completed under the Bachelor of Laws program are automatically counted towards the Honours Degree of Bachelor of Laws.
  • What courses will you complete?

    Students in the Bachelor of Laws (Honours) degree will complete the following courses in their final year:

    • Honours Research and Writing (3 units) – Semester 1
    • Honours Dissertation (6 units) – Semester 2
    • Dispute Resolution and Ethics (Hons) (6 units) – Semester 1
    • Evidence and Proof in Theory and Practice (Hons) (6 units) – Semester 2

    And either:

    • Adelaide Law Reform A/B (Hons) (3 units) – Full year

    Or:

    • Adelaide Law Review A/B (Hons) (3 units) – Full year 

    Full study plans

  • Grading

    Courses completed under the Bachelor of Laws (Hons) will be graded as follows:

    Mark assigned to course Converts to grade
    80-100 1
    70-79 2A
    60-69 2B
    50-59 3
    0-49 F

    Learn more on Grade Point Average (Honours)

Frequently asked questions

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  • What if I don’t qualify for the Bachelor of Laws (Honours)?

    • Under the AQF criteria Universities can no longer award an automatic honours degrees i.e. Bachelor of Laws with Honours.
    • The Adelaide Law School will recognise students who graduate with outstanding results through the award of a prize in the LLB carrying a designation of ‘with Distinction’ or ‘with Merit’. This is restricted to those who choose not to, or do not qualify for, the LLB (Hons) pathway.
    • The designation ‘with Distinction’ will be conferred on those graduating students whose GPA is 5.9 or above (typically, the top 10% of their graduating cohort); the designation ‘with Merit’ will be conferred on those graduating students whose GPA is 5.35-5.899 (typically, the next highest 35% of their graduating cohort).
    • Students meeting the above criteria will be awarded a prize entitled ‘Dean’s Certificate for Completion of the LLB with Distinction’ or ‘Dean’s Certificate for Completion of the LLB with Merit’. This will appear on a student’s academic transcript. 
  • I started in 2015 or after, is automatic honours available to me?

    No, as of 2015, and under the AQF criteria, Universities can no longer award a GPA based automatic honours. 

  • Can I complete the Bachelor of Laws (Honours) part-time/over a 2 year period?

    Yes, the LLB (Hons) can be completed over 2 years. Students must seek permission to complete the program part-time by answering the relevant question on the honours application form.  

    If the application is successful, students must ensure that they take Honours Research and Writing and Honours Dissertation in consecutive semesters.

  • I started before 2015 and heard that automatic honours is no longer available for me, is this correct?

    This isn’t correct. There are no changes for students who commenced before 2015. The existing ‘with Honours’ awards will still be awarded when you graduate.

  • As a continuing student, if my GPA is eligible, can I be considered for the Honours Degree of Bachelor of Laws?

    Yes you can, however the LLB (Hons) program will not be implemented until 2017.

Bachelor of Laws (with Honours)

For students who commenced prior to 2015 the Bachelor of Laws with Honours is awarded as a classified degree. The award abbreviation LLB (with Hons. 1st, 2A, 2B) is used by candidates awarded the Bachelor of Laws with Honours. Students should refer to the Specific Academic Program Rules in the University's Calendar for the full details relevant to the Bachelor of Laws with Honours.

Students graduating under the new curriculum (2009-2014)

Students who are completing their degree requirements in 2009 and were first enrolled in the Bachelor of Laws at the University of Adelaide from 2003 onwards will be governed by the following rules (these rules are applicable to 2008 only):

Qualification Requirements

Bachelor of Laws with Honours in the new curriculum a student must have:

  • Completed all compulsory Law subjects

Enrolled prior to 2009 (old curriculum)

  • Law elective courses to value of 32 units (44 units if undergraduate law only, of which 12 units can be non law)

Enrolled for first time in 2009 (new curriculum)

  • Law elective courses to value of 15 units (39 units if undergraduate law only, of which 12 units can be non law)


In addition to the above all students are required to satisfy one of the following GPA:

  • First Class - 6.00+
  • Second Class (Div A) - 5.50-5.99
  • Second Class (Div B) - 5.20-5.49

In calculating an average for the Bachelor Degree with Honours the following procedure shall be used:
(i) a value is assigned for the grade achieved for each course undertaken in Law at the University of Adelaide as follows:

  • High Distinction 7.0
  • Distinction 6.0
  • Credit 5.0
  • Pass 4.0
  • Conceded Pass 3.0
  • Fail 1.5
  • Withdraw Fail 0.0

(ii) this value is multiplied by the course's units value, added together, and their sum is divided by the aggregate units value of all courses completed.
(iii) Grades of 'withdraw not fail' are not included in the calculation
(iv) courses passed outside the University of Adelaide with the exception of those completed as part of a recognised University of Adelaide Exchange Program will not be included in the calculation.

Download the spreadsheet to assist with calculations for automatic honours.

All law courses undertaken at The University of Adelaide are included in the calculation, the method of calculation (and cut-off score) is different, credit transfer is not included in the calculation and the removal of the 5,000 word essay requirement. Most of these changes have been flagged since mid 2002 and therefore are applicable to all students enrolling for the first time after 2002.

Note students who were enrolled in law at the University of Adelaide prior to 2003 can ask that the old rules be applied but the rules will be applied in their entirety.