Closing date for applications: 31 July
A limited number of up to 30 students are selected per year. Depending on the availability of funding, scholarships covering at least tuition, accommodation and official programme activities are covered for as many of these students as possible. Students who do not receive scholarships may be admitted as self-funding students, provided they meet all the minimum criteria below, and provided they guarantee payment of all or at least a significant part of tuition, accommodation and official programme activities, to an amount set by the Centre annually.
Applicants must submit fully completed applications to the Centre for Human Rights by 31 July every year.
In addition to the general admission requirements, the following specific selection criteria are used in combination to select the eligible students:
- a demonstrated professional, academic and personal interest in and commitment to human rights and democratisation in Africa;
- an indication that the applicant would be likely to put the qualification to good use in his or her future career, preferably in his or her country of origin (the ‘multiplier effect’);
- geographic representation (in the sense that an overrepresentation of students from a particular African country will be avoided, given the pan-African scope and ambitions of the programme);
- gender representation (in the sense that an equitable balance between women and men is sought);
- equitable representation of persons from vulnerable communities (such as persons with disabilities, persons belonging to indigenous communities and LGBTI persons).
All complete applications, received by 31 July of a particular year, are processed and considered by the LLM Programme Manager and Head of Research of the Centre, who identify a number of eligible candidates three times the available positions.
The Assistant Director of the Centre identifies a number of candidates twice the number of available positions.
Each of these applicants is then contacted and required to write an essay within a restricted time period (for example, 24 hours) of being given the topic. The Head of research and Director of the Centre assess these essays.
On the basis of all the assessments, including the essay, the Chair of the Council of Directors of the LLM Programme, who is a representative of one of the partner faculties, scrutinises the applications and makes a recommendation on the pre-selected students.
A final selection is made by the full Admissions Committee, consisting of the Chair of the Council of Directors of the LLM/MPhil Programme (if available), the Director of the Centre for Human Rights, the Assistant Director of the Centre for Human Rights, the LLM/MPhil Programme Manager and the Head of Research, Centre for Human Rights.
The curriculum will generally consist of:
- Six modules which are compulsory and has to be completed during the first year of registration.
- A module in research methodology (NRM 801 – 5 credits) (this module must be completed during the first year of registration).
- A research proposal (RHP 803 – 5 credits). The student must submit the research proposal to the supervisor no later than the end of the first semester of the second year of registration for the degree, prior to commencing with the writing of the mini-dissertation. This period may be extended with the approval of the relevant head of department.
- A mini-dissertation. 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/MPhil degree. Any request for an extension of the period for submission of the mini-dissertation may only be granted by the Postgraduate Committee on recommendation of the relevant head of department.
Also refer to the Postgraduate Brochure for the complete study programme as well as the Postgraduate administrative processes after registration.
In addition to an LLB, BProc or equivalent qualification from a foreign university that allows the applicant entrance to the formal legal profession, the following requirements are set for admission of a prospective student to the LLM Coursework programme:
A minimum average mark of 65% with respect to the prescribed final-year modules of the undergraduate programme is required for admission to an LLM coursework programme.
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 LLM; 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 LLM coursework programmes or modules as indicated in the yearbook may only be available to students who hold a relevant South African legal 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 LLM 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.
Other programme-specific information
The mini-dissertation must comprise 18 000 – 20 000 words – including footnotes but excluding the list of contents and the bibliography.
Examinations and pass requirements
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.
Contact the programme coordinator.
Language of tuition
The medium of instruction will be English.
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 be completed within two semesters (1 year). This study programmes is structured to allow for only one year of study.