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.

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

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 50,000 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.

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.