|04251025||Faculty of Law|
|Minimum duration of study: 2 years||Total credits: 200|
|Prof FJ Viljoen|
|Prof CG Ngwena|
Closing date for applications: SA applicants - 30 November; non-SA applicants - 31 August.
The curriculum will generally consist of:
Also refer to the Postgraduate Brochure for the complete study programme as well as the Postgraduate administrative processes after registration.
At least an honours degree in an academic discipline relevant to legal aspects in South Africa or Africa as well as to the contents of the specific MPhil (coursework) programme,
any other qualification in an academic discipline relevant to legal aspects in South Africa or Africa as well as to the contents of the specific MPhil (coursework) programme that allows admission to a master’s programme at the institution where the undergraduate qualification was obtained. If the duration of that qualification is less than four years, substantial proven practical or professional experience in legal aspects in South Africa or Africa will furthermore be required, subject to the discretion of the Dean.
A minimum average mark of 65% with respect to the prescribed modules of the honours programme is required for admission to the MPhil coursework programmes.
Where an average of below 65% is achieved, the student may be admitted on recommendation of the relevant head of department after consultation with the programme coordinator and consideration of other merits (eg relevant professional experience; the applicant’s performance in undergraduate modules related to the particular MPhil; the candidate’s performance in independent research essays or similar components) and/or an admission examination.
Linguistic competence, primarily in English; foreign applicants who did not complete undergraduate studies through the medium of English must show proof of competence in English at a minimum average level of 6 out of 10 for IELTS or a minimum total score of 83 in TOEFL calculated as follows: reading 21, listening 17, speaking 23 and writing 22. In any other instance where there is doubt as to the English linguistic competence of an applicant, the Dean may require the same proof as prescribed for foreign applicants.
Foreign qualifications are subject to SAQA evaluation. (Some MPhil coursework programmes or modules as indicated in the yearbook may only be available to students who hold a relevant South African qualification.)
Even though a student may comply with the above requirements, the Dean may, on the recommendation of the head of department presenting a specific degree or module, refuse to accept a prospective student for any MPhil programme if such a student's performance in the chosen modules or field of study during undergraduate study was not satisfactory. Alternatively, the Dean could set additional requirements with a view to admission.
An admission examination may also be required in respect of a particular programme or module.
In the event of having failed all modules during a particular year of study, a student will only be allowed to continue with his/her studies with the consent of the Postgraduate Committee.
Although no supplementary examination will be granted with regard to LLM and MPhil modules, the General Regulations and rules apply with regard to special and ancillary examinations.
The relevant head of department must recommend a supervisor and title for a mini-dissertation and these must be approved by the Postgraduate Committee. The mini-dissertation must be assessed and finalised as set out in the Faculty Board-approved LLM/MPhil Policy Document of the Faculty.
Mini-dissertations, where required, must be submitted in the format determined by the supervisor and approved by the Postgraduate Committee. The supervisor may likewise, subject to the approval of the Postgraduate Committee, also determine the research topic and the scope of the proposed research. (Refer to the Faculty of Law regulations regarding mini-dissertations and also Postgraduate administrative processes brochure for the Faculty)
For the degree to be awarded with distinction a student must obtain an average of at least 75% for all the coursework modules, as well as a minimum of 75% for the mini-dissertation. The modules must have been written for the first time.
Language of tuition
The official language of tuition is English. However, should circumstances allow it, an master's module may be presented in Afrikaans. The dean, in consultation with the relevant head of department, determines the language of tuition.
Limiting of modules on offer in a particular academic year and availability to foreign students
The Dean may on recommendation of the relevant head of a department limit the number of students to be allowed to register for any MPhil programme or module. Where such limitation applies, prospective students must be informed about the limitation when they apply. Where the Dean allows such a limitation, the head of the department must, in consultation with the relevant programme coordinator, select students who otherwise comply with the admission requirements for an MPhil coursework degree, according to the following selection guidelines:
Where applicants satisfy the criteria set out above, applicants will in general be accepted on a date-of-receipt order of preference.
Re-registration for modules
A student may not register more than twice for the same module. In order to pass a module the student must obtain a final mark of 50%.
The duration of the programme will in general be four semesters (2 years). The two-year period may only be extended by the Postgraduate Committee on recommendation of the Head of Department based on good reason shown and if it is clear that the student will be able to complete the programme in a further year of study.
Minimum credits: 85
The focus of this module is on the principles and processes of international human rights law at the global and regional level, and their relevance to issues of reproductive and sexual health and to the situation of sexual minorities, with specific reference to Africa.
(a) History, philosophy and ideology of human rights, with particular reference to Africa
(b) Basic concepts of international and national human rights law
(c) The global (UN) system of human rights protection: norms, institutions, procedures, and their relevance to reproductive and sexual rights
(d) The African (African Union) system of human rights protection: norms, institutions, procedures, and their relevance to reproductive and sexual rights (placed in comparative perspective, with reference to European and inter-American systems)
(e) The actual and potential role of regional economic communities regional level) in Africa in the protection of human rights in Africa, with specific reference to reproductive and sexual rights
(f) An overview of human rights protection at the domestic level, with specific reference to selected African states
(g) Understanding the role of international human rights mechanisms in the protection of sexual minorities.
The focus of this module is on the application of human rights principles to reproductive and sexual health with a view to realising claims on these rights at domestic, regional and global levels.
(a) Applying human rights to sexual and reproductive health, including the rights
to equality, life, human dignity, freedom from inhuman and degrading
treatment, health, information, education, reproductive self-determination,
maternity protection in employment, liberty and security of the person, and
(b) Developing a sexual and reproductive rights claim through identifying the
reproductive health wrong, its causes and the wrongdoer; documenting the
alleged wrongs; determining which laws are implicated, identifying human
rights standards for determining breach of a reproductive right.
(c) Advancing a sexual and reproductive rights claim at the domestic level with
reference to realising reproductive rights through regulatory and disciplinary
procedures, courts of law, alternative dispute resolution, domestic human
rights institutions, and ombudspersons.
(d) Advancing a sexual and reproductive rights claim at the regional and sub-
regional levels with reference to realising reproductive rights through African
regional and sub-regional institutions.
(e) Advancing a sexual and reproductive rights claim at the global level with
particular reference to realising reproductive rights through United Nations
treaty monitoring bodies.
(f) Drawing lessons from comparable regional human rights systems with
particular reference to the European and Inter-American regional human
The focus of this module is on the application of human rights principles to discrete reproductive health issues with a view to developing human rights responses to contemporary reproductive health challenges in the African region.
(b) Domestic violence
(c) Female genital cutting
(d) Infertility and medical-assisted reproduction
(e) Maternal death
(f) Sexual violence in times of conflict
(g) Sexuality and reproductive health education
(h) Trafficking in women and children
(i) Unsafe abortion
The focus of this module is on the application of human rights principles to selected issues related to sexual and sexuality issues in Africa, with a view to developing human rights responses to related contemporary challenges in the African region.
(a) Overview of relevant concepts
(b) The foundation of sexual rights in international human rights instruments
(c) Sexual norms and gender stereotypes
(d) Sex work and human rights
(e) Sexual coercion and abuse
(f) Sexually transmitted infections including HIV and rights relating to
information and prevention
(g) The right to comprehensive sexual education
(h) Harmful traditional practices that violate sexual rights
(i) Link between sexual rights and reproductive health rights
(j) Advocacy strategies for sexual rights
In this module, the focus is on aspects of human rights research, fact finding, advocacy and education.
Minimum credits: 160
The focus of this module is on the application of human rights principles to selected issues affecting sexual minorities in Africa, with a view to developing human rights responses to related contemporary challenges in the African region.
(a) Providing a critical understanding of the concepts ‘sexual orientation’
and ‘gender identity', ‘homosexual’, ‘bisexual’, ‘gay’, ‘lesbian’, ‘transgender’,
‘intersex’, ‘sexual minority’, ‘heterosexism’, and ‘queer’
(b) Understanding theories on the psychology, biology and sociobiology of
(c) Investigating the global history of homosexuality, particularly in the ‘West’
(USA and Britain) and its influence on Africa
(d) Investigating the evolution of homosexuality and society in Africa, including
an anthropological review of homosexuality in traditional African societies,
and under colonialism and in post-colonial Africa
(e) Understanding the nature of the violation of rights of ‘sexual minorities’
including violations to the rights to health; discrimination based on actual
or presumed sexual orientation, gender identity and HIV status; sexual and
other forms of violence; violations of the right to privacy; stigmatisation and
its consequences) particularly by states and non-state actors in Africa
(f) Understanding the reasons for rights violations and homophobia in Africa by
investigating the role of culture/tradition, religion and majoritarianism
(g) Considering the role of public policy, by focusing on the need and
possibilities for legal reform, and strategies to sensitise communities for
the rights of sexual minorities and change homophobic attitudes
This module aims to equip students with the skills for advocacy of and to conduct research on sexual and reproductive health issues, with a view to the realisation of these rights and the rights of sexual minorities in Africa.
(a) Defining human rights violations
(b) Analysing root causes of human rights violations
(c) Social sciences research methods
(d) Investigating facts and gathering evidence
(e) Conducting interviews
(f) Strategic thinking including developing strategic partnerships
(g) Advanced legal reasoning and legal writing
(h) Strategic impact litigation
(i) Negotiation and mediation
(j) Media advocacy
(k) Engaging government and other stakeholders
(l) Conducting a practical exercise as simulation of an actual intervention to
decrease stigma and increase sensitisation and acceptance of the rights of
LGBTI communities in the context of the country in which the students find
(a) The student must submit a research proposal during his/her first year of registration for the LLM degree to the supervisor prior to commencing with the writing of the mini-dissertation.
(b) A mini-dissertation (MND 802) of 18 000 to 20 000 words inclusive of footnotes but excluding the list of contents and the bibliography, is required. The mini-dissertation must be submitted to the study leader not later than August of the second year of registration for the LLM programme. The mini-dissertation must deal with the subject content of one of the modules or a combination of the modules registered for by the student for his/her LLM degree. Any request for an extension of the period for submission of the mini-dissertation may only be granted by the Dean on recommendation of the LLM Committee.
Development and presentation of a research proposal. (A research proposal must be submitted to the supervisor and accepted in the first semester of the second year of study before the student will be allowed to register for the mini-dissertation.)
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