Legal Studies Units 3 and 4


Legal Studies Units 3 and 4 is an ideal subject for those who are interested in the Australian legal system.

There are four Outcomes in Units 3 and 4, which focus on:

  • the Victorian criminal justice system
  • the Victorian civil justice system
  • the people and the Australian constitution
  • the people, the parliament and the courts


The emphasis of Unit 3 is the Victorian justice system. In this Unit students examine the methods and institutions in the justice system and consider their appropriateness in determining criminal cases and resolving civil disputes.

Students investigate the extent to which the principles of justice are upheld in the justice system.

The emphasis of Unit 4 is the study of Australia’s laws and legal system. It involves an understanding of institutions that make and reform our laws, and the relationship between the Australian people, the Australian Constitution and law-making bodies. They investigate parliament and the courts, and the relationship between the two in law-making, and consider the roles of the individual, the media and law reform bodies in influencing law reform.

Who is it for?

Legal Studies Units 3 and 4 is for students who would like to gain a thorough understanding of our legal system and how it operates. Students who enjoy analysing and evaluating will find this subject engaging.

What do you do?

This is a fully online course, activities that students will be completing include:

  • skill building
  • note taking
  • class forums
  • quizzes
  • self-assessments
  • case studies
  • short answer questions
  • extended responses

What skills do you need?

Students need to have reading, comprehension and writing skills. The structure of this online course guides students through weekly work and activities. No prior experience in online learning is required.

Students will benefit having done Legal Studies Units 1 and 2, but this is not a compulsory requirement.

What skills do you develop?

The 2018-2022 Study Design has a strong emphasis on application skills. Some of the core skills are:

  • define key legal terms and understand how to use them appropriately
  • describe, discuss, interpret and synthesise legal information
  • develop skills in explanation and critical evaluation
  • apply legal knowledge and principles to relevant cases and issues
  • compare and evaluate aspects of the legal system




Recommended textbook:

Beazer, Justice & Outcomes Legal Studies VCE 3 & 4 (14th ed.) Oxford University
Press, 2017

You must have access to the internet in order to access this course. Weekly work will be completed and submitted online.

Things to think about

Students will benefit from having an understanding of:

  • the role of parliament and the courts
  • the difference between criminal and civil law
  • law reform in the criminal and civil justice system
  • the Australian Constitution
  • current legal issues in the media

Things you can do now

Become familiar with the 2018-2022 Study Design.

View the Legal Briefs video What is Law? which refers to legal processes and procedures. It’s a good starting point to reinforce any prior knowledge you may have on the legal system and begin to think about the principles of justice, equality and fairness.

Go to the VCAA website for more information about this subject.





Things to have a look at

Victorian Law Foundation

The Victorian Law Foundation has collated an excellent bank of legal resources across Units 1-4. These include videos, downloadable PDFs and links to relevant websites.

High Court website

Visit the High Court of Australia website. Here you can read about the role, history and operation of the court. Students are encouraged to access the student resources under the education tab, and listen to the documentary presented.