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Postgraduate Programmes

Research degrees

The following degrees are obtainable by thesis/dissertation only:

Master of Laws (LLM) by Dissertation

A person may be considered for admission as a candidate for the degree of Master of Laws if -

  1. S/he has a law degree of the University or an equivalent degree of another University recognised by the Senate for this purpose; or
  2. S/he has in any other manner attained a level of competence which in the opinion of Senate, on the recommendation of the Faculty of Law, is adequate for the purposes of admission as a candidate for the degree.

Such candidate will be required to undertake research at an advanced level for the purpose of writing a dissertation, under the guidance of a supervisor. The degree will be examined by either one dissertation on a subject of legal interest approved by Senate (not exceeding 40 000 words in length); or a series of four short dissertations on cognate areas of law, approved by Senate.

Master of Philosophy (MPhil) by Dissertation

A person may be considered as a candidate for the degree of Master of Philosophy if -

  1. S/he has at least a law degree or an Honours degree from the University, or an equivalent degree from another University recognised by Senate for this purpose; or
  2. S/he has in any other manner attained a level of competence which, in the opinion of Senate, on recommendation by the Faculty of Law, is adequate for purposes of admission as a candidate for the degree.

The requirements for completion of the MPhil degree are the same as those for the LLM degree (set out above).

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

The degree of Doctor of Philosophy is a research degree undertaken under the guidance of a supervisor for the minimum period of two years. A candidate may proceed through any of the faculties of the University in accordance with these rules and those of the faculty concerned. There are no specific rules for the Faculty of Law in respect of PhD degrees, and according to the general rules of the University, it is not essential for a candidate to proceed through the faculty in which he or she obtained his or her bachelor's or master's degree.

In terms of the University of Cape Town's General Rules and Policies when considering an application for registration for the degree for PhD, Senate will be guided by the following as being appropriate admission requirements:

  1. a recognised master's degree; or
  2. a recognised honours bachelor's degree, or a recognised four-year bachelor's degree, plus at least one year's registration for an approved master's degree; or
  3. a recognised three-year bachelor's degree plus at least two years registration for an approved master's degree; or
  4. a recognised MBChB, LLB, BProc or BArch degree or any qualification recognised by Senate as being equivalent; or
  5. in special circumstances an approved bachelor's degree or qualification recognised by the Senate as equivalent.

 

A person shall not be admitted as a candidate for the degree unless he or she:

  1. is a graduate of the University or of any other university recognised by the Senate for the purpose; or
  2. has passed at any university or at any institution recognised by the Senate for the purpose, such examinations as are, in the opinion of Senate, equivalent to the examinations prescribed for a degree at the University; or
  3. has in any other manner attained a level of competence which in the opinion of Senate, on the recommendation of the faculty concerned, is adequate for the purposes of admission as a candidate for the degree.

Senate may admit to the degree any candidate who has been admitted at least three years previously to a degree of bachelor, or any candidate who has been admitted at least two years previously to a bachelor's degree where the minimum period of study prescribed for such bachelor's degrees was not less than four years.

A master's candidate may apply to upgrade his or her candidature to PhD candidature at any time before submitting his or her dissertation for examination for the master's degree for which he or she has registered; once a submitted dissertation has been sent by the University to examiners, it may not be withdrawn, nor may the candidate apply to upgrade his or her candidature to PhD candidature. A PhD candidate may apply to downgrade his or her candidature to candidature for a master's degree at any time before submitting his or her thesis; once a submitted thesis has been sent by the University to examiners, it may not be withdrawn, nor may the candidate apply to downgrade his or her candidature to candidature for a master's degree. A PhD candidate who fails the PhD examination may not submit the work for any other degree at this University.