Bachelor of Law Programmes at UCT
The faculty of Law provides a comprehensive guide to the field of law and South Africa and the different career options available to prospective and/or current students. Please consult the webpage for more information.
The following degrees are available for the field of Public Law. Please consult the webpage and the faculty handbooks available on the website for more detailed descriptions, admission requirements and fee information.
The LLB degree is offered in three streams:
- a three-year postgraduate LLB stream;
- a five- or six-year combined Law and Humanities or Law and Commerce LLB stream; and
- a four-year undergraduate LLB stream.
Postgraduate Studies at the Faculty of Law fall into two categories:
- Postgraduate Diplomas, Masters (LLM or MPhil) by Coursework and Dissertation and Professional Masters degrees are offered by the School for Advanced Legal Studies (SALS).
UNDERGRADUATE STUDY AND RESEARCH
PROFESSIONAL BODIES AND ASSOCIATIONS
British South African Law Association (BSALA)
BSALA is a bi-lateral association recognised by the Law Society of England and Wales, which aims to foster links between the legal professions in England and South Africa. The BSALA hosts events, up-to-date news and relevant links.
Cape Law Society (CLS) KEY RESOURCE
CLS is a statutory body established in terms of the Attorneys Act 53 of 1979 to administer and regulate the attorneys’ profession in the Eastern, Western and Northern Cape Provinces. They have information regarding articles, exams and admissions, documents, library resources, pro bono work and practice support on their website
Commonwealth Lawyers Association (CLA)
The CLA is membership organisation for professional lawyers, academics and students practicing within the Commonwealth. The CLA encouraging exchanges between members of the profession, through projects, conferences and workshops, and by driving improvements in legal education. They host various events, conferences, projects, workshops and have a webcast and produce publications.
Corporate Lawyers Association of South Africa (CLASA)
CLASA is a non-profit association, which promotes the common interests of corporate lawyers (in-house counsel) in South Africa. CLASA provides a forum for the exchange of views and mutual liaison on matters of common interest to corporate lawyers in South Africa, and liaises with representative national and international organizations in the interests of its members. It has relevant legal resources, documents and information and it also advertises vacancies.
Environmental Law Association (ELA)
The ELA is a non-profit organization, which promotes and assists in the development and application of environmental law in South Africa. The ELA hosts events, workshops, conferences, seminars and panel discussions regarding environmental law. Their website have vacancies for environmental jobs listed, a blog and an environmental specialist directory.
Gauteng Law Council KEY RESOURCE
The Gauteng Law Council is the largest law council in South Africa representing attorneys practicing in Gauteng, including Johannesburg, Pretoria and the East and West Rand. Their website provides legal news and relevant documents, developments.
General Council of the Bar of South Africa (the GCB) KEY RESOURCE
The GCB comprises of competitive specialist advocates, who are experts in trial, motion court, appellate and opinion advocacy. The GCB considers, promotes and deals with all matters concerning the teaching and practice of law and the administration of justice, in the interest of the public. They deal with all matters affecting the profession and to take action thereon and uphold the interests of advocates in South Africa. The website provides information regarding South Africa’s legal system, career development resources, advocacy training courses, and professional ethics and provides publications and resources.
International Association of Democratic Lawyers (IADL)
The IADL is an NGO, with consultative status to ECOSOC and UNESCO. It facilitates contact and cooperation among lawyers and lawyers-associations of all countries and defends and develops democratic rights and liberties in legislation and in practice. The IADL works together to promote the independence of all peoples and to oppose any restriction on this independence whether in law or in practice. The IADL is affiliated with the United Nations and is involved in various human rights campaigns. It also provides up-to-date news and has a legal journal.
International Bar Association (IBA) KEY RESOURCE
The IBA is the world’s leading organization of international legal practitioners, bar associations and law societies. The IBA influences the development of international law reform and consists of two divisions: the Legal Practice Division and the Public and Professional Interest Division. They are involved in producing publications, holding conferences. They also house the Bar Issues Commission and the IBA Human Rights Institute. They have outreach initiatives, scholarships, internships and media resources.
Johannesburg Bar Association (JSA)
The JSA comprises of advocate and attorneys in Johannesburg. It has information regarding the bar council, court rolls, bar admin, the red book, practice manual, pupillage and library.
KwaZulu-Natal Law Society KEY RESOURCE
The KwaZulu-Natal Law Society regulates the attorneys; profession in the province of KwaZulu-Natal and protects the public by providing effective control of the professional conduct of attorneys. It provides services for finding a lawyer and information regarding vacancies, bursaries, education and training, skills development, pro bono services and articles, examinations, admissions. They also provide a group workspace and relevant links.
Law Society of the Free State (FS-LAW) KEY RESOURCE
The FS- Law regulates the attorneys’ profession in the province of the Free State. They provide information regarding pro bono work, vacancies, finding an attorney, complaints and documents.
The Law Society of the Northern Provinces - KEY RESOURCE
The Law Society of the Northern Provinces is the statutory body governing the attorneys’ profession in the four provinces constituting the former Transvaal province, i.e. the Gauteng, Mpumalanga, North West and Limpopo Provinces. They provide detailed information to the public on law, as well as brochures, relevant legal documents and up-to-date news.
Law Society of South Africa (LSSA) KEY RESOURCE
LSSA has represented the attorneys’ profession by bringing together its six constituent members in a national, non-statutory body. The LSSA six constituent members are the Black Lawyers Association (BLA), the Cape Law Society, the KwaZulu-Natal Law Society, the Law Society of the Free State, the Law Society of the Northern Provinces and the National Association of Democratic Lawyers (Nadel). The LSSA represents the attorneys’ profession in South Africa, which comprises of attorneys and candidate attorneys. They provide advocacy services, mentorship, leadership programmes for female attorneys, an attorney’s development fund and election observation. Their website also has career development resources for individuals who want to become lawyers, bursary information, specifically the Attorney’s Fidelity Fund, information on international placements, up-to-date news and other vital law-related information.
Lawyers for Human Rights (LHR) KEY RESOURCE
The LHR is an independent human rights organization, which is involved in human rights activism and public interest litigation in South Africa. It provides free legal services to vulnerable, marginalised and indigent individuals and communities, both non-national and South African, who are victims of unlawful infringements of their constitutional rights. The website has various information on different programmes, cases, legislation, policy and publications. It also provides a newsletter and up-to-date information on human rights issues.
Maritime Law Association of South Africa (MLASA)
MLASA is concerned with maritime lawyers and the shipping industry, specifically the regulation of the legislation maritime affairs in South Africa. MLASA consists of committees which deal with particular maritime legal issues and are responsible for the drafting and promotion of various legislation. They also offer funding for those who wish to pursue maritime law, relevant maritime law links and up-to-date news.
National Association of Democratic Lawyers (Nadel) KEY RESOURCE
Nadel is a voluntary organisation of lawyers, which aims to promote access to justice for disadvantaged people. Nadel promotes and defends the constitutional order to ensure access to justice and the realisation of civil, political and socio-economic rights. Nadel members are drawn from those in the legal profession who were historically disadvantaged and its activities include the restructuring of the legal aid board, legal aid system, transformation of the composition of the judiciary, judicial training, human rights training for NGOs, CBOs and paralegals and gender-sensitivity training for lawyers.
Organisation of South African Law Libraries (OSALL) KEY RESOURCE
The OSALL has members from university libraries, bar associations, private law firms, the government sector, courts and publishing houses. The OSALL enhance and develop the practice of law librarianship and provide opportunities for professional growth for law librarians and training for those who work with legal materials in libraries or information centres in South Africa. They host meetings and workshops and have a newsletter, relevant links and registration.
Pension Lawyers Association (PLA)
PLA is an association of 150 legal practitioners, who specialise in giving advice on retirement fund and employee benefits law and practice. They host a conference, have relevant resources, documents and up-to-date news.
Pretoria Bar Association KEY RESOURCE
Pretoria Bar Association consists of the members of the Pretoria Bar and has relevant legal resources, such as information regarding career development, a practice manual and relevant links and information.
SADC Lawyer’s Association KEY RESOURCE
SADC is the representative body of lawyers, law societies and bar associations in the 15 member SADC region registered as a non-profit company. SADC hosts conferences and events, produce publications, provide a listing of vacancies and have useful links on their website. They also run various programmes and activities in the areas of democracy of government, rule of law, human rights, international affairs and organizational development.
South African Attorneys Association (SAAA) KEY RESOURCE
SAAA is a voluntary organization of attorneys and candidate attorneys in South Africa, who promote the interests of justice in South Africa. Its statutory bodies are the Cape Law Society, Free State Law Society, Law Society of the Northern Provinces and KwaZulu-Natal Law Society. The SAAA hosts events and has legal resources on their website.
South African Institute of Intellectual Property Law (SAIIPL)
SAIIPL represents patent attorneys, patent agents and trade mark practitioners in South Africa, who specialise in the field of Intellectual Property Law. Intellectual Property Law embraces the law relating to patents, trademarks, registered designs, copyright and unlawful competition (passing-off of trade secrets). It also includes litigation, licensing and franchising. The website includes a list of members, firms that specialise in intellectual property law, relevant information regarding intellectual property law, information for students and information regarding the SAIIPL’s socially responsive programmes.
South African Medico Legal Society (SAMLS)
SAMLS aims to advance the inter-relationships between medicine and law and is an independent, educational and non-profit organization, comprising of judges, academics, legal practitioners, medical practitioners and other professional health practitioners in South Africa. SAMLS is involved in the delivery of papers, debate, research, publication, correspondence and education. They host seminars, provide relevant legal documents and information on their website.
South African Society for Labour Law (SASLAW)
SASLAW is a non-profit organization, which promotes the advancement of labour law as a legal and academic discipline, and encourages collaboration between lawyers and other experts. SASLAW hosts seminars, conferences and workshops, has a pro bono project and provides up-to-date news on labour law in South Africa. SASLAW has a ‘Young Scholars Society’ for individuals under 30 and members are able to attend events and forums in this field.
Southern African Legal Assistance Network (SALAN)
SALAN is a network of non-profit, non-governmental organisations in the SADC region that advocate for the rights of the poor, disadvantaged and marginalised through: providing legal services, engaging in public legal education, participating in law reform and policy change and undertaking public interest litigation. Their website offers information on cases, projects, research, publications, and members
Go Legal KEY RESOURCE
Go Legal is a comprehensive South African online legal resource. The website provides informative legal articles covering new developments in the law, legal news, legal guidance, a list of South African law firms and they also host events and seminars. This is a vital career development tool for aspiring or current law students.
HG Legal Resources KEY RESOURCE
HG Legal Resources is a comprehensive online law and government information sites. It includes an international directory of law firms and networks covering 195 countries with 5,000 cities in 260 practice areas, including South Africa. The website includes articles, specific law pages, information on 150 legal networks, 2,000 law schools in 130 countries, employment listings, 4,000+ videos, legal events and links to governments and agencies worldwide. The website also has a comprehensive expert witness directory and legal employment centre. The Legal Employment Centre includes law-related job listings and other relevant information and tools like resume writing, interviewing techniques, tips for changing jobs. The website also provides a wide range of publications and information regarding international law associations, firms, international events and press releases. This is an excellent career development and job seeking tools for those in the legal field.
The Lawyer is an international media publication which provides the latest news stories and analysis of the legal sector on an international level.
PREPARING FOR THE JOB MARKET
Access graduate jobs and internships by logging into MyCareer if you are a UCT student. Be sure to set up job email alerts and check our website regularly for news and events.
South African and African Jobs
Department of Justice and Constitutional Development KEY RESOURCE
The DOJ & CD department provides resources, up-to-date news and information on courts, tenders and jobs in the law and criminal justice field in South Africa.
GovPage KEY RESOURCE
A free website dedicated to advertising all available Southern African Governments Vacancies including health. Also includes information on Tenders/Quotations and Public Notices/Campaigns. Covers National Government, Provincial Government, Municipal Government, Public Entities and Tertiary Institution, Botswana, Lesotho, Namibia, Swaziland and International Agencies.
Advertised information is provided by the relevant Government structures and authorities but govpage.co.za is not the official website of any government organisation.
The Provincial Government Handbook Website KEY RESOURCE
This website provides information related to tenders and vacancies for each provincial government in South Africa. The links directly redirect you to the official provincial vacancy website.
South African and African Career Service and Recruitment Agencies
In terms of the film career in South Africa it is suggested that you join an agency and have an agent to secure roles and jobs more easily. Please note that recruitment agencies and employers’ firms should never ask you to pay for the promise of a job. Please be aware of this.
Attorneys is a guide for attorneys in South Africa, comprising of job listings, legal articles and law links.
Careers24 is a job search agency, advertising various positions.
Indeed is a job search agency, advertising various positions.
Grad Connection is a specialist recruitment agency operating in South Africa for graduates, providing information on career guidance, job vacancies, bursaries and internships.
JobVine is a job search agency, advertising various positions.
P-Net is a job search agency across different industry sectors.
General International Career Service and Recruitment Agencies
Amnesty International offers career opportunities; with staff, volunteer and internship vacancies available at their offices around the world.
International placements by the Law Society of South Africa
The LSSA places South African practitioners in the following international programmes as part of its empowerment initiatives: ILFA Flagship Programme (Placements in London, Paris and Dubai); SA Legal Fellows Program; China-Africa Young Legal Professionals Exchange Program and Commercial Law Programme.
The Lawyer Jobs
The Lawyer is an international media publication which provides the latest news stories and analysis of the legal sector on an international level. The have a comprehensive job section, which advertises international legal vacancies and provides career resources.
Totally legal is an international specialist legal job site for solicitors, lawyers, barristers, paralegals, legal Pas, attorneys and legal executives.
The United Nations offers international vacancies for law related fields, specifically international law across the globe.
Seek Teachers is a comprehensive international job website for the teaching field.
Country Specific International Career Service and Recruitment Agencies
Beyond Law is an Australian-based job website, advertising various legal positions and has comprehensive career information.
UK and Ireland
Careers Group is a UK career service and provides career guidance and international job vacancies.
GradIreland KEY RESOURCE
GradIreland is a careers publication company and works in partnership with tertiary education institutions across Ireland. They advertise jobs in Ireland and are a comprehensive career guidance website.
Prospects KEY RESOURCE
Prospects provides careers advice and job and course opportunities to students and graduates.
Target Jobs KEY RESOURCE
Target Jobs is a comprehensive career guidance and job website for the UK.
USA and Canada
Lawjobs.com is a US-based job website, advertising various legal positions and has comprehensive career information.
INTERNATIONAL & LOCAL VOLUNTEERING OPPORTUNITIES
NGOs and NPOs are both involved in community-based initiatives but are structured differently. A non-governmental organization (NGO) is any non-profit, voluntary citizens’ group which is organized on a local, national or international level. A non-profit organisation (NPO) is a trust, company or other association of persons established for a public purpose and of which its income and property are not distributable to its members or office bearers, except as reasonable compensation for services rendered. Registering as a NPO enhances credibility for government funding and every non-profit organisation (NPO) in South Africa is issued an NPO number. Please research carefully the volunteer organisation you decide to work with.
African Legend, located in Cape Town, is a non-profit organization that provides educational programmes for youths living in poverty. Volunteer opportunities are available, with positions such as voluntary teachers and soccer and cricket coaches needed.
Greenpeace is an international, independent campaigning organization that uses peaceful protests and creative communication to expose global environmental problems and to promote solutions that are essential to a green and peaceful future. They have various international projects and volunteer opportunities.
Habitat for Humanity
Habitat for Humanity is an international, non-governmental, and non-profit organization, which brings people together to build homes and communities. Projects are available worldwide.
Human Rights Institute of South Africa (HURISA)
HURISA runs an internship programme aimed at providing an adequate practical experience in human rights to undergraduate and post graduate students in South Africa.
International Volunteer HQ (IVHQ)
IVHQ is a volunteer travel company focused on providing affordable volunteer travel experiences. They provide volunteer abroad projects in over 30 destinations across Africa, Asia, Europe, Central America, South America and the Pacific in teaching, childcare, construction, conservation or healthcare.
Legal Resource Centre (LRC)
The LRC human rights organization in South Africa, which uses the law as an instrument of justice. They offer volunteer and internship positions and have four regional offices.
My Hands and Heart KEY RESOURCE
My Hands and Heart is a non-profit organisation in South Africa, which acts as a volunteer management network and advertises a range of local volunteer opportunities.
National Youth Service Programme KEY RESOURCE
The South African Agency for Science and Technology Advancement on behalf of the Department of Science and Technology (DST) is inviting unemployed science, engineering and technology graduates (18 to 35 years of age) to volunteer their services towards the implementation of the Youth into Science Strategy under the auspices of the National Youth Service Programme. Volunteers will be paid and placements commence in January annually.
NICRO KEY RESOURCE
NICRO is a prisoner’s aid association and has a rich history in human rights, prison and criminal justice reform. They offer volunteer positions.
NGO Pulse, a NGO network, provides a comprehensive list of volunteer opportunities, organisations and networks in South Africa.
Open Democracy Advice Centre (ODAC) KEY RESOURCE
ODAC is a non-profit company based in Cape Town, which promotes open and transparent democracy; fosters a culture of corporate and government accountability; and assists people in South Africa to be able to realize their human rights. They offer volunteer and internship positions at the centre.
Women’s Legal Centre (WLC) KEY RESOURCE
The WLC will, free of charge litigate cases which advance women's rights and are in the public interest and provide legal support in a variety of women’s and human rights issues. They offer volunteer and internship positions at their centre in their Cape Town office.
POSTGRADUATE STUDY AND RESEARCH
This information covers government funding initiatives, links to all higher education institutes in South Africa and some relevant education based websites in South Africa and the UK/USA.
International site, search by country, useful but not comprehensive.
International site, search by country, useful and comprehensive.
Find a Masters
International site, search by country. Useful. Contains information regarding funding and postgraduate open days.
International website, search by country, useful but not comprehensive.
Find a PhD
International website, search by country, institution and subject. Contains information regarding funding.
International website, search by country, useful and comprehensive.
An international website aimed at increasing understanding and establishing better links between African and European doctoral candidates. Provides useful information regarding funding, mentorship, research support, PhD resources and networking opportunities.
UCT Doctoral Applicants Webpage KEY RESOURCE
See for more details of PhD opportunities across the faculties and how to apply
Association of Commonwealth Universities KEY RESOURCE
A site search for ‘vacancies’ provides links to sites for seeking job opportunities in Commonwealth universities, including all SADC countries except Angola and Congo.
See additional resources on academic postgraduate opportunities. Particularly useful for Masters considering Doctorate study and PhD researcher/early career post docs.
South African Department of Higher Education and Training KEY RESOURCE
Go to institutions for a list of public universities then research courses via online prospectus.
South African Department of Higher Education and Training KEY RESOURCE
Use search function for “register of private higher education institutions” then research courses via online prospectus.
National Research Foundation
The NRF was established in 1998 from the amalgamated of the Centre for Science Development (CSD), the Human Sciences Research Council (HSRC) and the Foundation for Research Development (FRD) and is a good website for staying up-to-date with research initiatives/centres, job and funding opportunities.
Universities South Africa (previously HESA)
Universities South Africa, formerly known as Higher Education South Africa (HESA), is a membership organisation representing South Africa’s universities. The new name was launched on 22 July 2015 in order to reposition the organisation as a representative body of South Africa’s public universities, that aims to promote a more inclusive, responsive and equitable national system of higher education.
SA Bursaries KEY RESOURCE
A comprehensive website outlining various bursaries in South Africa across different disciplines.
Good website for finding UK based Masters with useful “insight” articles but limited information on opportunities worldwide.
These are websites which provide directories of graduate schools in the USA and Canada and information regarding programmes, funding, immigration and other resources.
International Law and Human Rights Placements Abroad
This blog lists 39 law school study abroad programs that students can be part of.
This site lists a comprehensive list of law internships abroad which are paid and also voluntary, you can apply in places like Europe, Africa, Asia, Australasia and Latin America.
COMPETITIONS AND ENTREPREURSHIP
Student Competitions KEY RESOURCE
This is an international and up-to-date website which allows you to search for competitions for university students.
DIVERSITY IN SCIENCE & EMPLOYMENT
UCT is committed to the principles of diversity and transformation, specifically a transformed university where there are no stereotypical views of others based on their gender, race or disability.
Diversity-Related Engineering Professional Bodies & Associations
Black Lawyers Association (BLA) KEY RESOURCE
The BLA stands for the profession's economic justice and for the transformation of the judiciary. It focuses on the empowerment of black lawyers, however the organisation is non-racial and membership is open to all. They provide advocacy services, up-to-date information and publications. The BLA also has a legal education centre which promotes the education and training of black lawyers. They also have community initiatives.
Black Management Forum (BMF)
The BMF develops and empowers managerial leadership primarily amongst black people within organisations and the creation of managerial structures and processes which reflect the demographics and values of the wider society. They provide managerial and leadership development, research services, consulting, resources, news, links and host events.
Business Women's Association (BWA) of South Africa
The BWA is a non-profit and voluntary organisation which is also largest association of business and professional women in South Africa. They provide awards, events, news and networking opportunities.
International Lesbian and Gay Law Association (ILGLaw)
The ILGLaw unites people around the world who are dedicated to the principle of equality under the law for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgendered, and intersex persons. They host an annual conference and offer an annual award.
National Council for Persons with Physical Disabilities in South Africa (NCPPDSA)
NCPPDSA is a national non-profit organisation that runs various projects, services and advocacy programmes for the advancement of persons with disabilities to attain integration into society and independence. The NCPPDSA acts as the national umbrella for nine provincial associations with their 90+ branches.
South African Women Lawyers Association (SAWLA)
SAWLA provides a dialogue and professional networking forum for South African Women in Legal Careers. It seeks to provide a forum to enable women lawyers to empower themselves and participate in national policy dialogues concerning the Transformation of the Legal Sector. SWALA promotes the economic empowerment of female lawyers, hosts events and lists relevant links on their website.
Diversity-related Services, Awards and Scholarships
UCT provides various services and resources related to diversity and transformation. See the links below.
UCT Disability Centre
The UCT Disability Service works towards the removal of any physical, policy, information and attitude barriers that might prevent students and staff from fulfilling their potential. The centre provides information regarding different forms of support, resources, bursaries, funding opportunities, advocacy, counselling, academic and examination accommodations, technical assistance and other services.
UCT Funding Boards
Please check the postgraduate funding boards (http://www.uct.ac.za/apply/funding/postgraduate/notice/) and undergraduate funding boards (http://www.uct.ac.za/apply/funding/undergraduate/financial/) currently on the UCT website for up-to-date details on other diversity-related scholarships, fellowships and bursaries.
UCT- Harvard Mandela Fellowships
This fellowship is intended to strengthen connections between the W.E.B. Du Bois Research Institute (at the Hutchins Centre for African and African American Research, Harvard University) and UCT, to provide opportunities for UCT staff to gain international experience, and to support the professional advancement of academics working particularly, but not only, in the humanities and social sciences. To be eligible, applicants must have been awarded the PhD degree at the time of application, and have permanent or T3 academic posts at UCT. In line with UCT’s equity objectives, preference will be given to applicants from the designated groups, with particular emphasis on black South African applicants.
List of Scholarships for African Women and Developing Countries
Afterschool Africa provides an up-to-date and comprehensive list of scholarships (undergraduate, Masters, MBA, PhD and Postdoctoral) that are open for women from African and developing countries.
Margaret McNamara Memorial Fund (MMF)
The MMF awards education grants to women from developing countries to help further their education and strengthen their leadership skills.
Mellon Mays Undergraduate Fellowship Programme (MMUF)
MMUF is an equity-inspired program that is awarded to highly performing Black students who are entering the final year of a three-year first degree or the third year of a four-year professional degree from the sciences and humanities at UCT and other participating undergraduate institutions. The program offers financial support, organized mentoring and is designed specifically to provide students with a greater awareness of what it means to be an academic.
Mwalimu Nyerere African Union (AU) Scholarship Scheme
The AU scholarship is only for applicants with physical disabilities for masters in social sciences, natural sciences, engineering, mathematics, education sciences and sports sciences and closes in March annually.
National Research Foundation (NRF)
The NRF provides various postgraduate funding bursaries and scholarships. Preference is given to equity candidates.
Opportunities for Africans (OFA) KEY RESOURCE
The OFA is an online information platform that seeks to connect Africans to opportunities, such as scholarships, internships, fellowships, bursaries, conferences, jobs, competitions and volunteering positions. This is a comprehensive and up-to-date website.
Scholarships for Women
This website provides comprehensive information regarding scholarships, awards and funding opportunities for women.
The description regarding UCT’s policy towards diversity in engineering and employment is sourced from the UCT Disability Service Page (http://www.uct.ac.za/services/disability/) and the Transformation at UCT Page (http://www.uct.ac.za/about/transformation/).