Join the law school ranked top in New Zealand for the quality of its research, and study in the heart of the capital city’s legal and political district.

The Faculty of Law at Te Herenga Waka—Victoria University of Wellington is New Zealand’s leading centre of academic legal research. In the most recent Performance-Based Research Fund evaluation, the Faculty had the highest proportion of world-class legal researchers in the country. It is also frequently ranked in the top 75 in the QS World University Rankings by Subject, confirming our position as one of the very best places in the world to study law.

The School has a culture of research excellence fostered by the diverse, knowledgeable, analytical, and experienced staff.
Nathan Ross, PhD candidate in Law

Staff have a consistent record of producing publications and research papers of national and international significance. The Faculty publishes two of its own major research journals—the Victoria University of Wellington Law Review and the New Zealand Journal of Public and International Law.

Read more about Faculty of Law publications.

Research focus and strengths

The Faculty’s research strengths extend across the core subjects of private and public law as well as a range of specialised fields. It has particular research strengths in public law, intellectual property, and international public and private law.

  • administrative law
  • commercial law
  • competition law
  • constitutional law
  • consumer law
  • contracts
  • criminal law and justice
  • dispute resolution
  • employment law
  • environmental law
  • ethics
  • family law
  • human rights
  • indigenous rights
  • intellectual property
  • international public and private law
  • international trade
  • labour and employment law
  • legal history and theory
  • maritime law
  • tax law
  • torts
  • Treaty of Waitangi law
  • youth justice

Find out which academic staff work in each research area and discover more about Law research at Te Herenga Waka—Victoria University of Wellington.

Research degrees

The Faculty of Law offers a Master’s degree and a PhD.

Research across disciplines

Te Herenga Waka—Victoria University of Wellington encourages thinking beyond traditional subject boundaries. You can take an interdisciplinary approach to your research—combining knowledge, ideas and methods from other subjects within the Faculty or collaborating with schools outside the Faculty.


All research students have an academic supervisor to guide and mentor them. If you are applying for admission to a research degree, you can start your own search for a supervisor or get in touch with the faculty's postgraduate coordinator.

Research centres

Research students may have the opportunity to work with one of our two specialised research centres.

New Zealand Centre for International Economic Law

The New Zealand Centre for International Economic Law is an interdisciplinary centre of research, discussion and debate.

New Zealand Centre for Public Law

The New Zealand Centre for Public Law works to stimulate interest and debate in public law issues and to promote research.