Purpose of the qualification

The purpose of this qualification is to let a student demonstrate through research training an ability to master at an advanced level the current state of specialized knowledge on a given topic within a particular branch of the law and to provide a sound training in research methodologies.

Rules of access


i. The minimum entry requirement is an LLB degree (or equivalent qualification) at NQF level 7 or 8 and a minimum number of credits of 624. Candidates for admission to Master’s degrees, in general, need to have obtained their previous degree with an average mark of at least 65%.

ii. The relevant Head of Department may permit an applicant to register as a student for purposes of receiving guidance with and use the facilities of the University for, the preparation of a research proposal. This does not create an expectation that the student will be admitted to Master’s studies and such registration is provisional pending the approval of the admission of the student by the Board of the Faculty of Law. The Board of the Faculty of Law approves the admission of a student on the basis of the academic merit of the student, the research proposal submitted by the student and the ability of the Faculty to provide appropriate and continuous study guidance and supervision.

Take note: A BProc degree does not satisfy the formal entrance requirements for an LLM programme, but the holder of a BProc degree may apply for admission to the LLM degree through recognition of prior learning, which application may be granted subject to such conditions as may be considered to be appropriate.



  • i. Integrated assessment, focusing on the achievement of the exit-level outcomes, will be done.
  • ii. Assessment seeks to evaluate student performance in order to determine whether a student complies with the assessment criteria; and to encourage and guide the improvement of student performance.
  • iii. Assessment is based on the principles of continuous and regular assessment and complete and prompt feedback.
  • iv. Assessment consists of two components: formative assessment and summative assessment.

Formative assessment

i. Formative assessment aims at the development of a life-long learning culture based on continuous self-study and in the preparation of the student for writing a quality dissertation.

ii. In the course of the writing of the dissertation, the student is required to take part in a number of seminar discussions on subjects relating to the research topic.

The purpose is to assess the student’s understanding of the field of study and his/her ability to communicate effectively on problem areas and issues related to the research topic. In addition, the student is stimulated and encouraged by this participation in the discourse on the field of study and, particularly, the dissertation.

iii. Throughout, regular meetings between the student and the supervisor take place during which all aspects pertaining to the preparation for the oral examination, the research topic, the conducting of the research, and the writing and finalization of the dissertation are discussed.

iv. The supervisor assesses the student continuously and, equally important, guides him/her through the process.

Summative assessment

i. Summative assessment is at first conducted by means of a formal oral examination. The oral examination of prescribed study material serves to assess the student’s ability to engage in the type of research, and the writing of the dissertation, required for this qualification. The oral examination must be passed before the student formally embarks on the writing of the dissertation.

ii. Summative assessment is finalized when the dissertation is assessed as provided for in the Academic Regulations and the Higher Degrees and Postgraduate Studies Policy.

iii. Both in the oral examination and in the dissertation, students are assessed on their ability to integrate prior knowledge gained in preceding studies with a deeper, high-level knowledge of the research topic gained from the research into the topic and from the scholarly writing on it. The purpose is to demonstrate a reflective and scholarly understanding of the research topic and of the relevant branch of the law.

iv. In conjunction with formative assessment, summative assessment determines whether the student is awarded the qualification.

v. As a further demonstration of the student’s ability in this regard, the student is required to submit a publishable article based on the dissertation that may, at the discretion of the supervisor, be submitted for publication in a law journal under the name of the student or the names of both the student and the supervisor.

Pass requirements

i. A student must pass the oral examination and the dissertation individually.

ii. In order to pass the oral examination, a student must achieve a minimum mark of 50% in the examination.

iii. In order to pass the dissertation, a student must achieve a minimum mark of 50% in the dissertation.

iv. The final mark of the qualification comprises one-third of the mark for the oral examination and two-thirds of the mark for the dissertation.

v. The qualification is awarded if a student passes both the oral examination and the dissertation.

vi. The qualification is awarded distinction if a student completes the qualification within two years and obtains a final mark of at least 75%.


i. The minimum period of study for the LLM dissertation is one year.

ii. The maximum period of study for the LLM dissertation is two years for a fulltime and three years for a part-time student. Extensions to these periods will only be entertained in exceptional circumstances and will be dealt with in accordance with the Higher Degrees and Postgraduate Studies Policy.

iii. The curriculum comprises a dissertation of approximately 100 pages typed in one and a half spacing on an A4 page.

iv. The student must also submit a publishable article based on his/her dissertation that may, at the discretion of the supervisor, be submitted for publication in a law journal under the authorship of the student or both the student and the supervisor.

v. The LLM degree by dissertation is offered in the following specialization fields:

  • a Administrative and Municipal Law m International Law
  • b Administrative Law n Interpretation of Statutes
  • c Banking Law o Jurisprudence
  • d Civil Procedural Law p Labour Law
  • e Constitutional Law q Labour Law and Employment Relations
  • f Corporate Law r Law of Evidence
  • g Criminal Law s Mercantile Law
  • h Criminal Law, Criminal Procedure and the Law of Evidence
  • t Private International Law
  • u Private Law
  • i Criminal Procedural Law v Roman Law
  • j Human Rights w Social Security Law
  • k Human Rights and Constitutional Practice x Tax Law
  • l Indigenous Law

For further information and inquiries regarding entry requirements, closing dates and the application procedure contact the faculty:

Mrs. P Magongoa: Auckland Park Kingsway Campus
Tel: 011 559 3843 , Email: phaladim@uj.ac.za , Web: www.uj.ac.za/law

Registration and Start Dates

Registration starts in January and lectures in February for both Undergraduate and Postgraduate course work programmes.

All research programmes for Masters and PhD can register throughout the year.

End Date: Academic starts in January and ends in December. Programme deadline is determined by the duration of the programme.

Program taught in:
  • English

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Last updated August 7, 2019
This course is Campus based
Start Date
Jan 2020
1 - 3 years
3,500 USD
Tuition estimate per year | Accommodation estimate: USD 2500 per year
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