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Associate Degree in Law (Paralegal Studies)

2014 | 2015 | 2016 | 2017

About this course

This course produces skilled graduates, ready for work in a legal environment with just two years of study. Combining intellectual rigour with practical legal skills, it gives students an exceptional foundation for a career as a paralegal professional in a broad range of settings. 

Paralegals perform substantive legal work in legal practices, banks, insurance companies, or other public and private organisations with in-house legal departments. A paralegal’s tasks may include legal research, drafting wills, preparing legal arguments, preparing agreements, compiling court documentation, legal record keeping, legal communication and client services.

Students who achieve the required grade point average during or on completion of this degree may apply for admission into the undergraduate entry Bachelor of Laws.

Career opportunities

Graduates typically work with a solicitor or barrister, and become involved in most areas of legal practice. Others become valued paralegal professionals in legal firms, government legal departments, law enforcement agencies, legal aid offices, court administration, public prosecutions, and in the corporate sector in finance, banking and insurance. If they have completed the required units, they may apply for a conveyancer’s licence in NSW.

Professional recognition

The Associate Degree in Law (Paralegal Studies) provides students with the academic requirements necessary to obtain a conveyancer’s licence in NSW, and is accredited by NSW Fair Trading. For licensing requirements, and details of mandatory additional work experience required to enable registration, enquiries should be made to NSW Fair Trading. Note that each Australian state or territory has its own legislation regulating conveyancing practice, except QLD where only qualified solicitors are legally permitted to engage in conveyancing.

Professional placement

Students can undertake voluntary legal experience and para-professional placement with legal firms or offices to complement their practical legal skills and become familiar with the issues facing working paralegals.

Major areas of study

This course consists of compulsory law units and elective units. Students can choose to study a major in Conveyancing.

Conveyancing provides students with the academic requirements necessary to obtain a conveyancer’s licence in NSW, and is accredited by NSW Fair Trading. For licensing requirements, and details of mandatory additional work experience required to enable registration, enquiries should be made to NSW Fair Trading. Note that each Australian state or territory has its own legislation regulating conveyancing practice, except QLD where only qualified solicitors are legally permitted to engage in conveyancing.

Additional information: Some elective units, when studied by distance education, require students to attend on-campus workshops. See teaching methods below, and contact the University for more information. 

Assessment methods

The assessment methods used in this course vary from unit to unit. They may include research proposals, research essays, reports, oral and written presentations, case studies, online and class participation, and examinations. The weighting of assessment marks between assignments and examinations also varies.

Teaching methods

On-campus students experience a variety of teaching approaches including face-to-face lectures and tutorials. Some units offer online activities, classes, pre-recorded and/or live lectures. The method of teaching may vary from unit to unit.

The distance education study option is highly interactive and strives to promote collaboration and a sense of community. Students may receive online pre-recorded and/or live lectures, electronic study materials, workshops, online discussion forums and virtual classes. The method of teaching may vary from unit to unit.

If distance education students choose to study the following elective units, they will need to attend workshops at either the Lismore or the Gold Coast campus:

Advanced standing

Your previous learning experiences relevant to one or more units in this course may help you cut months or years off your degree.

  • Recognition of formal and non-formal learning
    Credit may be awarded to a student for formal learning (gained through full or partial achievement of an accredited qualification or course) or non-formal learning (that takes place through a non-accredited course or program of learning) completed at Southern Cross University or in other learning settings in Australia and/or overseas.
  • Recognition of informal learning
    Credit may be awarded on the basis of current informal learning (that takes place through work, social, family or leisure activities).

To help you identify how much credit you may receive for your related prior learning, the University has evaluated the learning within some Australian and overseas qualifications/courses, visit SCU Pathways. If your previous study or educational institution is not listed, we still encourage you to apply for advanced standing because you might still be eligible.

An application for advanced standing must be submitted so we can assess your prior learning. Please apply for advanced standing at the same time as you apply for admission into this course, because the amount of credit awarded will determine the sequence of units you will study.

 Go to course structure to see if specific advanced standing rules also apply to this course.

Learning support

Learning resources

MySCU is a student’s point of entry to a range of online services and resources that support study and student life. The portal includes unit learning sites and information sites where students can access resources, communication tools and useful links that are integral to their studies.

The web-based study environment Blackboard Learn delivers an advanced online learning environment for students and lecturers to communicate and collaborate through virtual meeting spaces, classrooms, and discussion boards. They can share files, presentations and applications. If a tutorial or lecture is recorded, students can view it afterwards.

Learning materials include the provision of unit information guides, study guides and readings. Students may need to purchase or access prescribed text books.

The SCU library provides a wide range of services including librarian assistance, print and electronic resources, a document delivery service, catalogues, databases, ebooks, ereadings, and full-text journal literature.

The academic skills development team supports student learning by offering online and on-campus academic skills workshops, email, phone, and one-on-one support.

 

Equipment and facilities

Southern Cross University provides students with modern well-equipped teaching spaces such as lecture theatres, classrooms, and studios or laboratories tailored to meet the needs of specific study disciplines. Contemporary audio-visual equipment is standard in most teaching venues, and students have access to computer labs for individual study purposes.

Students at Lismore have access to a Moot Court with a two-way viewing room, which is used for teaching practical skills in a court setting.

Course structure

See the University’s Rules Relating to Awards, in conjunction with the Specific Award Rules listed below.

Course requirements

  1. To be eligible for the award of Associate Degree in Law (Paralegal Studies) a candidate shall successfully complete sixteen (16) units (192 credit points) comprising:
    1. all units listed in Part A of the Schedule of Units;
    2. the eight (8) unit Conveyancing major from Part B, OR eight (8) elective units including at least six (6) units from Part B.

Schedule of units

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How to apply

Domestic students

On-campus

On-campus applications for this course are made through the NSW Universities Admissions Centre (UAC) or Queensland Tertiary Admissions Centre (QTAC).

Distance education (external)

Applications for this course to study by distance education are made directly to SCU via our online application service.

International students

On-campus

Confirm you meet the entry requirements including English language and academic entry and any specific pre-requisites.

Southern Cross University accepts applications directly through the International Application for Admissions form.

Additional information on how to apply is available at SCU International.

Please note applicants from some countries need to go through an Education Agent.

The information on this page may be subject to change over time. Please check this page again before acting and see our disclaimer.