The Faculty of Law has been offering approved courses for Master of Laws (LLM), Master of Philosophy (MPhil) and Postgraduate Diploma (PGDip) purposes since the early 1980s. These courses have been introduced and expanded to meet the particular demands of society and to complement the research work undertaken by the Faculty’s specialised research institutes and units. At last count, the Faculty offers 63 specific postgraduate courses covering distinct aspects of law. These courses are grouped under a series of programmes specialising in the fields of biotechnology law, commercial law, company law, conciliation and arbitration, constitutional law, administrative law, criminal justice, dispute resolution, employment law, environmental law, human rights law, ICT law, intellectual property law, international trade law, labour law, marine law, public law, shipping law, social justice and tax law. These internationally recognised programmes are taught by distinguished South African and international academics and practitioners, and attract many local and international students. Approximately 400 postgraduate students are currently reading in these specialised areas, with about 25 per cent of them coming from other parts of Africa and abroad. The rich diversity prevalent in the student body is in line with the Faculty’s broader imperative and is invaluable to our comparative and international approach to the teaching of law.
The School for Advanced Legal Studies (SALS), created in 1992, is housed in the Faculty of Law. It the administrative home for postgraduate student enrolments in the Law Faculty and the coordination of the above postgraduate courses and programme. Its functioning is overseen by the Faculty’s Deputy Dean (Postgraduate Studies). SALS offer the LLM and MPhil degrees by coursework and a minor dissertation. The content and requirements for these two degrees is identical with the key difference being one of nomenclature – the LLM is awarded to students with a prior law degree and the MPhil to students with prior degrees in other disciplines. SALS also offers a PGDip in Law which is available to lawyers and non-lawyers - with its requirements constituting half of that required for an LLM/MPhil Degree.
Furthermore, given that SALS’s objectives extend to the promotion of research and academic exchanges with students and staff at other universities, it has aided in the Faculty forging a number of exchange agreements with several leading law schools in Europe, North America, Africa and Asia. These initiatives include provision for staff and student exchanges that diversify and enrich the experience and understanding of all involved.