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 Academic Programmes


The Faculty of Law offers coursework LLM and MPhil degrees in several areas of specialisation: Constitutional Litigation; Environmental Law; International and Human Rights Law; International Trade; Investment & Business Law; Labour Law; Disability Law and Policy; Law, State and Multilevel Government (currently known as Provincial and Local Government); International Trade Law; Mercantile Law and Transnational Criminal Justice and Crime Prevention. Many of these programmes are presented from an International and African perspective.

Students may also enrol for any combination of modules (i.e. General – for Modes I and II), or for an LLM/MPhil degree by full thesis only (Mode III).

Three of the modules of the Labour Law programme are now being offered in multi-modal format. This means using internet to make the programme accessible to students outside Cape Town and off campus.

The Centre for Disability Law and Policy offers a structured programme in Disability Law and Policy (the only one in Africa). The programme offers the opportunity to specialise in Disability Law and Policy as well as the opportunity to select any modules as part of the general master’s programme in International Human Rights Law or Constitutional Litigation.

The LLM in International Trade, Investment and Business Law is a collaborative programme between UWC and the University of Pretoria (UP). Students register and spend one semester at either UWC or UP (alternating between intakes) and one semester at one of the two overseas partners (if funding is available).

 The Community Law Centre offers a master’s programme in Law, State and Multilevel Government. This is an interdisciplinary and comparative programme on multi-level governance as a vehicle for peace-making, state-building and development in Africa. The programme offers a world class introduction into the scholarship and practice of multilevel government in the context of state building. The programme comprises modules on Multilevel Governance; Local Government; Rule of Law and Good Governance; Constitutional Design in Divided Societies. In addition, students write a research paper. The Programme is offered by the Centre’s Multilevel Government Initiative (MLGI) in collaboration with the South African Research Chair (SARChI) in Multilevel Government Law and Policy. Admission is highly competitive and merit based.

The LLM programme in Transnational Criminal Justice and Crime Prevention – an International and African Perspective is housed in the South African – German Centre for Transnational Criminal Justice.  It aims at educating African and German students for leading positions at both the national and international levels.   During the mid-year vacation in June/July, the students will travel to Germany for a three week Summer School at Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin. 


Constitutional Rights and Criminal Justice; Economic, Social and Cultural Rights; Children’s Rights; International Family Law; Gender Equality and Women’s Rights; Constitutional Design in Divided Societies; Constitutional Theory; Intellectual Property Law                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       


International Environmental Law; Advanced Environmental Law 


International Humanitarian Law; International Protection of Human Rights; Comparative Regional Integration & Development;


International Business and Regional Trade Law; International Economic and Investment Law; International Trade


Introduction to Disability Law and Policy; UN Disability Convention and Optional Protocol  


Labour Law in the New Global Market; Law of Unfair Dismissal; Extension of Social Protection; Dispute Resolution


Multilevel Governance; Local Government; Rule of Law and Good Governance; Constitutional Design in Divided Societies


Corporate Finance and Corporate Governance; International Payment Systems and Tax Law  


International Anti-Corruption Law; International Criminal Law; International Anti-Money Laundering Law; Transitional Justice



Mode I

• This mode consists of 4 modules and a research paper (18 000 words).

Mode II

• This mode consists of 2 modules and a mini-thesis (30 000 words).

Mode III

• This mode consists of a thesis (50 000 words). 


DURATION:  One year full-time and two to three years part-time.


• LLM:  An LLB degree from any South African university OR another degree or qualification which in the opinion of Senate is of an equivalent standard.

• MPhil:  Candidates who do not have an LLB or equivalent qualification, but have obtained a degree or diploma from any South African institution, which latter degree or diploma, in the opinion of the Faculty of Law and Senate, is of a comparable standard, can be considered for admission to MPhil studies. Relevant work experience will also be taken into account.

LLD / PhD Degrees

The Faculty of Law has a growing number of graduates pursuing doctoral studies - in 2013 more than 50 doctoral students registered, and 9 LLD students will graduate.  Students who register at the University of the Western Cape’s Faculty of Law stand to benefit from a dedicated doctoral support programme that is unique in the country.  It is offered by the Law Faculty in collaboration with the Community Law Centre, both of which boast a rich history of excellence in legal research. The Doctoral Colloquium programme was designed in order to meaningfully support doctoral researchers.  We welcome high calibre researchers who wish to pursue LLD studies, and actively pursue bursaries and scholarships when possible.

Postgraduate  Diploma in Labour Law

This advanced programme is aimed at working professionals in the field of labour law.  This programme further aims to provide qualifying individuals with advanced applied competencies in mastering, analysing, interpreting and applying specialised rules and principles of labour law.   These competencies would be beneficial in preparation for a career as an arbitrator or mediator in the labour dispute resolution industry, including the CCMA or the human resource management profession or the trade union field as employers’ representatives and trade union representatives in labour dispute resolution processes.


DURATION : One year full-time and two years part-time

To be admitted to study towards the above Diploma, a candidate shall have obtained

• An LLB degree from a South African university; OR have obtained another  qualification which in the opinion of Senate is of an equivalent standard.

Here is an electronic version of our Postgraduate Brochure



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