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Study a Doctor of Legal Science (Research) in Australia

The Doctor of Legal Science (Research) is an industry and professional focused program which combines course and thesis work in an area of legal discipline that is of interest to you, providing you with the opportunity to deepen your research skills and knowledge in an area of the law.

You will benefit from the teaching and supervision expertise of Faculty professors as well as visiting academics and professionals from across Australia and around the world.

Key features

  • Opportunity to develop advanced academic research skills
  • Opportunity to independently research in a specialist area of law
  • Coursework component allows students to benefit from the excellent teaching environment at Bond
  • Provides the foundation for an academic career
  • Supervised by outstanding academics with specialist knowledge

About the program

The Doctor of Legal Science (Research) (SJD) is a higher degree by research program awarded for a combination of coursework followed by a 50,000 word thesis. Students with an awarded Master of Laws (LLM) may choose to reduce the coursework component in lieu of a longer thesis. The thesis represents a significant contribution to the knowledge or understanding of an aspect of law and demonstrates the capacity of the student to carry out independent research at an appropriate level.

ModeOn Campus
Duration12 semesters (4 years)
Starting semesters
  • September 2022
  • January 2023
  • May 2023
  • September 2023
  • January 2024
  • May 2024
  • September 2024
Program typeDoctorate by Research
Study areaLaw
Program codeLA-43040
CRICOS code093848D
Credit for prior studyFor more details on applying for credit, please contact the Student Business Centre: [email protected]

The Doctor of Legal Science (Research) program has two components, as follows:

Coursework (6 subjects)

Students must choose six subjects from the list of postgraduate law electives.

A full-time enrolment load is equivalent to 30cps per semester. 


Students must complete a major dissertation (of approximately 60,000 words which represents an original contribution to the knowledge and understanding of an aspect of law and which demonstrates a capacity for independent research. The Faculty must approve the topic and appropriate supervision must be available.

Teaching methodology

Bond University’s teaching methodology involves a combination of lectures, tutorials, seminars, examinations, projects, presentations, assignments, computer labs and industry projects.

The below fees are based on an annual fee over a three-semester academic calendar.

Annual program fee:

  • Students commencing study in 2022: $40,160* annually.
  • Students commencing study in 2023: $41,170* annually.

International students may apply for a partial fee waiver. If approved, this fee waiver is valid for a maximum period of four years for full-time study.

Find out your financing options and other costs to consider.

* The fees listed are average costs displayed to provide an indicative program cost only, they may differ to the indicative fee included in the Bond University offer letter due to differences in individual and exact study schedules.

Tuition fees are subject to change on an annual basis and will be charged at the appropriate fee for the year of enrolment.

Applicants must have a Bachelor of Laws or Juris Doctor with Honours, Master of Laws degree or equivalent.

Candidates for the Doctor of Legal Science (Research) degree must satisfy the Dean that they have the academic, research and writing abilities to produce a written research thesis in English of approximately 50,000 words.

Admission is on the basis of an approved research proposal and availability of appropriate supervision. Applicants are required to complete six subjects listed under the Master of Laws before undertaking the thesis component.

Alternatively, admission may be awarded through transferring from the Master of Laws coursework to the thesis component of the research. Applicants will have achieved an average of at least 75 per cent in the Master of Laws coursework.

How to apply

Applicants must submit an Expression of Interest as to why they wish to undertake a research degree and the area of research.

Future outcomes

This program provides you with the research skills for academic careers in the university sector or research roles in law or related fields.


What our academics say

"Bond University is renowned for the exceptional quality of its teaching and the personalised learning experience offered to its students. This extends to law students enrolled in its postgraduate research programs including the Doctor of Philosophy and the Doctor of Juridical Science. Our students are supervised and mentored by legal scholars at the forefront of their discipline, and offered extensive personalised support in the completion of their thesis. If you are interested in an advanced degree in commercial law, comparative law, legal education, dispute resolution or any one of our many area of expertise, you can join us at Australia's leading law school."

Professor Nick James Executive Dean, Faculty of Law

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