The Master of Law (Research) offers students the opportunity to undertake supervised research in the related discipline of their choice.

Candidates develop a range of skills, including independent thinking, project management, data analysis and critical thinking, as well as refined communication skills.

Your industry experience

This program fosters the development of independent research skills, making it ideal preparation if you're looking to undertake further research through a PhD program and/or pursue a career in research.

Research areas

  • Technology in legal contexts
  • Innovation
  • Technology and intellectual property
  • Copyright; trade marks law
  • Innovation and technology in legal services
  • Artificial intelligence and law

Skills you’ll learn

  • Independent thinking
  • Decision-making skills
  • Good judgement
  • Logical thought, rationality
  • Communication skills
  • Project management skills

Your career opportunities

  • Academic
  • Researcher
  • Government consultant
  • Entrepreneur
  • Business development
  • Analyst – policy, market, quantitative

Key codes

CRICOS course code
International student visa

International students in Australia who hold student visas are required to study full-time and on campus. Courses that are taught entirely online are only available to international students studying outside Australia or those in Australia who are not on a student visa. Online courses are not available to international students in Australia who hold a student visa.

Why Swinburne?

Ranked Top 200 in Law

Times Higher Education World University Ranking by Subject 2023 

Ranked Top 150 in Law

ARWU Global Ranking of Academic Subjects 2022


You must have completed a three-year bachelor degree at AQF level 7 (or equivalent) with a minimum average of 65% in the final year units of study. Other relevant experience will also be taken into account in assessing your application.

A prerequisite for many courses, the Pearson Test of English Academic (PTE Academic) can now be done on campus in Hawthorn at Room 132, Building TD. Book now or call +61 3 9214 3584 for more information.

You must have completed a three-year degree with a minimum average of 65% in the final year units of study. Other relevant experience will also be taken into account in assessing your application.

Admission requirements

Meeting the minimum entry requirements for the course does not guarantee an offer of a place. See admission requirements for general information about the admission process.

English language requirements

Satisfactory completion of one of the following:

Need to undertake an English assessment for entry?

A prerequisite for many courses, the Pearson Test of English (PTE Academic) can now be done at our Hawthorn campus.

Finding your fit

At Swinburne, we recognise that not one size fits all. If this course doesn’t meet all your study criteria, check out these alternatives.

Course structure

The Master of Law (Research) degree is generally completed over a period of two years full-time or four years part-time. Candidates carry out a program of research, investigation or development involving the submission of a substantial major thesis of 50,000 – 60,000 words, which is the sole form of assessment for the degree. 
Throughout your candidature you will receive guidance and support from your research supervisors. You will also have the opportunity to participate in a number of research training sessions on topics such as thesis writing, publishing and presenting.

Master of Law (Research)

PhD Thesis

As part of your final submission, you are required to provide a written research thesis, including associated papers, of up to 60,000 words.

Progress reviews

Progress reviews used to monitor academic progress and provide feedback to candidates at different stages of their candidature. Progress review due dates will vary based on your degree and enrolment status.

Progress reviews process Due date from enrolment

Preconfirmation review

Completion of thesis-related tasks and attendance at research training workshops

3 months

Confirmation of candidature review

Completion of thesis-related tasks and attendance at research training workshops

9-12 months

Mid-candidature review

Completion of thesis-related tasks and attendance at research training workshops

I2-24 months

Draft thesis review

Completion of thesis-related tasks and attendance at research training workshops

33-36 months and follow-up 3 months prior to thesis submission

2024 fees

Yearly fee* ($AUD)


Fees are estimates only

The student tuition fees as published are subject to change given individual circumstances at enrolment. These fees apply to 2024 unit enrolments for HE Commonwealth Supported Place (CSP) and Undergraduate Full Fee Paying (FFP) only and may change for units studied in future years. If part-time study is permitted, annual fees will be proportionally lower based on the number of units taken per semester.

Fees are estimates only

The indicative course fees shown apply to international students for the relevant year only. They are based on a standard study load per year. However, please note that fees are assessed according to a student's study load in each semester, and variation to study load will result in an adjustment to tuition fees. International tuition fees are generally inclusive of Student Services and Amenities Fee (SSAF). All fees are subject to annual review and may be adjusted.

How do I pay my fees?

HECS-HELP is a loan and discount scheme available to you if you are eligible and enrolled in a Commonwealth supported place. A HECS-HELP loan can cover all or part of your contribution amount.

International students need to pay tuition fees up-front by the relevant due date. You can find the due dates on your Statement of Account.

To pay your fees:

  • log in to My Finances
  • check your Australian bank account details are correct 
  • check your Statement of Account to see how much you owe 
  • pay using your preferred payment method.

Government-funded Research training program (RTP)

If you are a domestic student (including Australian and New Zealand citizens, and Australian permanent residents) your application will be automatically considered for a Government-funded Research Training Program (RTP) place.


Scholarship applications for 2024 are now open. Our research scholarships are awarded to candidates with exceptional potential who are undertaking doctoral studies. These opportunities seek to promote equity and recognise excellence and achievement. 

Please view our guidebook to help determine which documents you’ll need to prepare an application.

When you apply for a Swinburne course, we automatically consider you for an international scholarship of up to 30 per cent off your course fees – no separate application required! Just apply for your Swinburne course of choice and when we review your course application, we will also assess you for an international scholarship.

Apply through an agent

Most international students use an education agent to help them through the application process. Swinburne has agents all over the world that can help you with your application to study. Search for a Swinburne representative in your country. If your country is not listed, please contact us.

Representatives and agents
Search for agents

Apply for a research degree

Step 1: Decide on a research topic

Your research topic should align with one of the areas of research we are involved in. You can find out about Swinburne's areas of research through our:

Step 2: Find a supervisor

Using the Find a Supervisor tool search for a potential supervisor in your area of interest and contact them directly to discuss supervision. You must find a supervisor for your research project before applying for a research degree. Your application will not be considered unless you have an appropriate and willing supervisor.

Step 3: Submit your application

Once you have decided on a research topic and found an appropriate and willing supervisor, you must complete and submit the online application form.

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