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Postgraduate Courses

Overview

The Institute currently offers a broad array of postgraduate qualifications specialising in Environmental Law or Marine & Environmental Law. These postgraduate qualifications, which are briefly detailed below, include: LLM Degree; MPhil Degree; LLM Professional Degree; and Postgraduate Diploma. They differ in their form, scope, duration and content - enabling potential students to choose a programme most suited to their current and future personal circumstances and professional needs. They are also offered on either a full-time basis (in which case students take two courses per semester) or part-time basis (in which case students take one course per semester). Students in full-time employment are only allowed to study part-time.

Master of Laws Degree in approved courses and a minor dissertation (LLM Degree):

  • Structure: Course Component (4 courses) and Dissertation Component (a supervised minor academic dissertation of 25 000 words).
  • Credit weighting: Course Component (4 courses of 30 credits each = 120 credits) & Dissertation Component (120 credits) = 240 Total Credits.
  • Anticipated students: Applicants with a LLB degree (law degree) who wish to undertake both postgraduate coursework and a major academic research project, and/or progress to a PhD and ultimately enter the academic profession.

Master of Philosophy in approved courses and a minor dissertation (MPhil Degree):

  • Structure: Course Component (4 courses) and Dissertation Component (a supervised minor academic dissertation of 25 000 words).
  • Credit weighting: Course Component (4 courses of 30 credits each = 120 credits) & Dissertation Component (120 credits) = 240 Total Credits.
  • Anticipated students: Applicants with no LLB degree who wish to undertake both postgraduate coursework and a major academic research project, and/or progress to a PhD and ultimately enter the academic profession.

Master of Law Degree in approved courses and a research project (LLM Professional Degree):

  • Structure: Course Component (4 courses) and Research Project Component (comprising of 4 practical research tasks of 5 000 words each associated with each of your chosen courses - noting that these practical research tasks are additional to any coursework requirements associated with each course).
  • Credit weighting: Course Component (4 courses of 30 credits each = 120 credits) & Research Project Component (4 practical unsupervised research tasks cumulatively counting 60 credits) = 180 Total Credits. 
  • Anticipated students: Applicants (with or without a LLB degree) who generally do not want to pursue a PhD or enter the academic profession in the long term - but rather seek the knowledge conveyed in the courses and the specialised legal skills developed through the practical research tasks to further their professional career prospects as a lawyer, legal consultant, advocate, government official, member of an NGO etc. 

Postgraduate Diploma in Law (PGDiploma):

  • Structure: Course Component (4 courses) alone.
  • Credit weighting: Course Component (4 courses of 30 credits each) = 120 Total Credits. 
  • Anticipated students: Applicants (with or without a LLB degree) who want to build their substantive knowledge in a particular area of law by coursework alone. 

Students undertaking the above postgraduate qualifications generally have the option of specialising in either Environmental Law or Marine and Environmental Law. Each specialisation has predetermined compulsory core and elective courses. These courses (including the semester in which they are offered) are listed below. Please note that the course offerings in 2017 are somewhat limited due to certain members of staff being on sabbatical. They will all be back on offer in 2018. Please also note that the Marine and Environmental Law specialisation across all forms of postgraduate qualifications is not on offer to students commencing their studies in 2017, but will be back on offer to students commencing their studies in 2018:

  • Principles of Environmental Law (first semester) - block lectures.
  • International Environmental Law (first semester in 2017 - shifting to second semester in 2018) - block lectures.
  • Land Use Planning Law (first semester) - not on offer in 2017 (back on offer in 2018)  - block lectures.
  • Pollution Law (second semester) - block lectures.
  • Natural Resources Law (second semester) - not on offer in 2017 (back on offer in 2018) - block lectures.
  • International Law of the Sea (shifting to first semester in 2018) - not on offer in 2017 (back on offer in 2018) - mixture of weekly lectures and 2/3 small teaching blocks.
  • Administrative Justice & Open Government (second semester) - weekly lectures - on offer as a course option to students in 2017 only.

With the exception of Administrative Justice & Open Government and International Law of the Sea, all the above courses comprise of a block-teaching component (two weeks) held at the University of Cape Town and a correspondence learning component (12 weeks) undertaken at the student’s place of residence.

Full details regarding the structure, rules and admission requirements applicable to each of these postgraduate programmes and courses are available in the Law Faculty Handbook. Further information (including the application process and deadlines) is also available on the School for Advanced Legal Studies’ website.