Yearbooks

Programme: MPhil Option: Sexual and Reproductive Rights in Africa (Coursework)

Code Faculty Duration Credits Download
04251022 Faculty of Law Duration of study: 2 years Total credits: 250
Contact:
Prof FJ Viljoen
[email protected]
+27 (0)124203228
Prof CG Ngwena
[email protected]
+27 (0)514367357

Programme information

Closing date for applications: SA applicants - 31 October; non-SA applicants - 31 August.

This programme is available for international students.

Unless stated otherwise, the curriculum will generally consist of:

  • Three modules counting 30 credits each (at least one of these modules must be completed during the first year of registration).
  • A module in research methodology (RHP 801) counting 5 credits (this module must be completed during the first year of registration).
  • A research proposal (RHP 803) counting 5 credits. The student must submit the research proposal (RHP 803) to the supervisor not later than the end of the first semester of the second year of registration for the LLM degree, prior to commencing with the writing of the mini-dissertation. This period may be extended with the approval of the head of department.
  • A mini-dissertation is required. The examination copy of the mini-dissertation must be submitted to the Student Administration not later than the end of October for the Autumn Graduation Ceremony and the end of April for the Spring Graduation Ceremony and end of August for the December ceremony. After approval of the examination copy of the mini-dissertation, a final version must be submitted to Student Administration on or before 15 February for the Autumn Graduation Ceremony and 15 July for the Spring Graduation Ceremony and 15 November for the December graduation ceremony. This 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 Postgraduate Committee on recommendation of the head of department.
  • Also consult General Regulations G.30-G.56 as well as the LLM Policy Document of the Faculty.
The duration of the programme will in general be four semesters (2 years) but may be completed within two semesters (1 year) where possible, subject to fulfilment of all the requirements for the degree and payment of the full amount prescribed for the MPhil degree. Programmes may also be structured to allow for one year of study only. The one- or 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.

Admission requirements

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,

OR

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.

 

Additional requirements

Please contact the Faculty with regard to specific requirements pertaining to the MPhil degree programmes.

Other programme-specific information

  1. This is a selection programme and only selected applicants will be admitted to the programme.
  2. The programme will be offered as a part-time, distance education programme, with a block session of one week (30 contact hours) per module.
  3. The mini-dissertation must comprise 18 000-20 000 words – including footnotes but excluding the list of contents and the bibliography. (The methodology and content of the mini-dissertation should reflect a multidisciplinary perspective on human rights.)

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 (Regulation G.12.3 and G.12.6) apply with regard to special and ancillary examinations.

Research information

The duration of the programme will in general be four semesters (2 years) but may be completed within two semesters (1 year) where possible, subject to fulfilment of all the requirements for the degree and payment of the full amount prescribed for the MPhil degree. Programmes may also be structured to allow for one year of study only. The one- or 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.

Pass with distinction

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.

General information

Language policy
The medium of instruction will be English. However, should circumstances allow it, an MPhil module may be presented in Afrikaans. The Dean, in consultation with the relevant head of department, determines the language policy.

Period of registration
At the commencement of a particular module students must be registered for that module and attend the lectures. Alternatively, the permission of the programme coordinator or head of the department should be obtained before a student may be allowed to follow a specific module in a another year of study.

Limiting of modules on offer in a particular academic year and availability to foreign students
The Dean determines which modules will be presented each year, taking into consideration the availability of lecturing personnel, space and financial implications and/or other circumstances. The Dean may, on recommendation of the relevant head of department, determine the maximum number of registrations for a specific elective module in terms of the guidelines referred to in paragraph (a). The Dean may also, on recommendation of the relevant head of department, determine that a particular LLM or MPhil module will not be offered where on the first day of lectures four or fewer students are registered for such module.

In the case of foreign students additional requirements may be set by the Dean and the modules available to such students may also be limited.

Replacement of modules
The Dean may on recommendation of the relevant Head of Department allow a student to replace one prescribed /MPhil module for a particular LLM/MPhil programme with another LLM/MPhil module where such an exception is not otherwise permitted, on condition that good cause is shown why such an exception is required.

Credit for modules completed at another institution
The Dean may, on the recommendation of the relevant head of department, credit a student for a maximum of two modules completed at another institution on condition that it complies with the requirements of this Faculty. Where such modules do not bear the same titles as modules offered at this Faculty, modules with substantially the same content as determined by the relevant head of department may be granted credit in their place, or where, in the absence of such closely related modules, modules that are still relevant within the broad ambit of a specific MPhil degree may be granted credit under special codes for the purposes of such a degree. Additional requirements may also be set before any such module will be granted credit in order to ensure compliance with the requirements of this Faculty.

Credit for another degree
Note that with regard to the above paragraphs, credit will not be given for modules which form part of another degree where the student has already complied with the requirements of such a degree. This rule is also applicable in instances where the student is currently also registered for another degree.

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%.

Minimum credits: 250

Fundamental modules

Core modules

  • Module content:

    (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.

    View more

  • Module content:

    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.)

    View more

  • Module content:

    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.
    Topics include:
    (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

    View more

  • Module content:

    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.
    Topics include:
    (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
          homosexuality
    (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

    View more

Minimum credits: 250

Core modules

  • Module content:

    (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.

    View more

  • Module content:

    In this module, the focus is on aspects of human rights research, fact finding, advocacy and education.

    View more

  • Module content:

    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.)

    View more

  • Module content:

    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.
    Topics include:
    (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

    View more

  • Module content:

    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.
    Topics include:
    (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
          homosexuality
    (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

    View more


The information published here is subject to change and may be amended after the publication of this information. The General Regulations (G Regulations) apply to all faculties of the University of Pretoria. It is expected of each student to familiarise himself or herself well with these regulations as well as with the information contained in the General Rules section. Ignorance concerning these regulations and rules will not be accepted as an excuse for any transgression.

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