Institute for International and
Comparative Law in Africa (ICLA)

LLM (Research)


LLM (Dissertation) Public Law

Programme Code: 04250071


If admitted, a student can register immediately for the LLM programme. The following two modules must be registered for and completed within one year of registration:

1. Research methodology (RHP 802) offered by the Faculty of Law.

(If the student can show sufficient evidence of competence in research skills the head of department, on recommendation of the supervisor, may exempt the student from this module.)

2. Research proposal and oral defence of the research proposal (RHP 804).

An oral defence of the research proposal including an assessment of the feasibility of the dissertation statement, research question or questions and argument to be developed in the LLM dissertation is required. A draft research proposal including a bibliography that covers the main fields to be covered by the study, the dissertation statement, research question or questions and argument must be sent to the examination panel three weeks prior to the oral defence. (Such a draft research proposal must first be approved by the supervisor.) The student must convince the adjudicating panel of the feasibility of the topic and his or her knowledge of the research subject and ability to conduct the research. Where required by the panel, the draft proposal must be further reworked in light of the comments at the oral defence and a final proposal submitted to the satisfaction of the supervisor before the student may embark on the writing of the dissertation. (No exemption can be granted from this requirement.)

A student who does not complete the abovementioned two modules within one year of registration may be excluded from the Faculty and if he/she seeks readmission to the Faculty, may submit a written request to the Dean that his/her application for readmission to the Faculty be considered in terms of the set procedure.

Academic unit

Faculty: Law

Estimated cost

Contact the Faculty of Law.

Course contact

  • Name: Klaas Ntuli
    Tel: 012 420 4927
    Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Admission requirements

Subject to the stipulations of General Regulations in the Yearbook, a candidate for the LLM programme should be in possession of at least an LLB or a BProc degree or an equivalent degree from a foreign university that allows entrance to the formal legal profession.

Foreign qualifications are subject to SAQA evaluation.

A candidate will only be admitted to the LLM programme if he/she complies with the standard of competence in applicable subjects as determined by the head of department, also taking into account the candidate’s academic record and any applicable experience.

A candidate will only be admitted to the LLM programme if the Faculty can provide a suitable supervisor in light of the applicant’s preliminary research proposal.

Duration of study

A minimum of 1 year and a maximum of 4 years.

Main curriculum information


With regard to the curriculum, the General Regulations. G.57-G.61 apply and the dissertation counts 100% for the final mark. The dissertation consists of 36 000-48 000 words inclusive of footnotes but excluding the list of contents and the bibliography. The dissertation must be accompanied by at least one draft article for publication in a recognised academic journal. The draft article should be based on the research that the student has conducted for the dissertation and be approved by the supervisor.

LLM degrees: Faculty of Law, University of Pretoria

A choice of six different programmes for a Master of Laws (LLM) through research are offered. Students on this programme are required to write a dissertation under the auspices of a supervisor, after completion of a module in Research Methodology, the submission of a research proposal and an oral examination.

A section of the Oliver R Tambo Law Library has been converted to a study area for postgraduate students only. It has nine computers, a printer and study carrels. Postgraduate students are invited to make use of this facility.

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