General outline and guidelines for intending students
The UCT LLB degree provides students with a sound knowledge of the general principles of the South African legal system, and an ability to use legal materials effectively, in an enquiring and evaluative manner. Graduates should be able to assess critically, interpret and apply the law and have the historical, comparative and jurisprudential background that is essential for a thorough and critical understanding of law and legal institutions.
The degree is offered in three streams:
- a three or four-year Humanities or Commerce degree with Law as a major, followed by a two-year graduate LLB degree; a three-year graduate LLB stream, where a non-Law undergraduate degree is followed by the graduate LLB programme
- a four-year undergraduate LLB stream - this is a straight LLB programme
Courses for the LLB programmes
|Commercial Transactions Law
|Comparative Legal History
|Foundations of South African Law
|Law of Contract
|Law of Persons and Marriage
|Law of Delict
|Law of Succession
|Law of Property
|African Customary Law
|and optional and research components
Prospective lawyers are encouraged to include courses in the national languages in their curricula.
In each stream the courses are graded into three levels.
- At the preliminary level the courses focus on the background and the foundations of the South African legal system, with the method of legal thinking and analysis, and with an understanding of the role and function of law. In addition, particular attention is paid to reading and writing skills required for the senior courses.
- The intermediate level courses provide instruction on a more advanced level in a broad range of core subjects.
- The final level completes the degree and students are able to specialise by choosing from a range of optional courses.
Each level of the LLB degree curriculum includes a skills component which forms part of the degree programme and cumulatively teaches students generic practical skills such as problem solving, analysis, research and communication skills, as well as practical legal skills such as drafting particular kinds of legal documents, and legal argumentation, both written and verbal. In particular, at the final level, there is a compulsory integrated assessment project which draws on elements of the skills component and courses studied in the earlier parts of the curriculum.
Law students are encouraged also to make active use of the knowledge and skills they acquire by contributing to the community through Legal Aid, Shawco, Rape Crisis, Parliamentary Monitoring Group, or similar outreach activities. There are a number of Law student societies who pursue active engagement with and support for local communities.
Please read the Admission and Curriculum Rules for LLB Degree Streams in the Faculty Handbook.
Five- or six-year Law and Humanities or Law and Commerce LLB stream
Students enter this stream with the intention of following an undergraduate programme in Humanities OR Commerce, leading to a BA or BCom/BBusSc with a major in Law, and thereafter a two-year graduate LLB degree. The objective of a broad-based education is achieved in this stream by including cognate courses which ensure that the student has a thorough grasp of at least one discipline outside of Law.
Three-year graduate LLB stream
Students enter this stream after completing a Bachelor's degree without law subjects. The Faculty encourages students to pursue this stream, as we consider a broad education in the Humanities, Commerce or Sciences as an indispensable part of legal training. Students who have done a full degree in another discipline will have had the greatest opportunity to develop their critical and analytical skills in a non-legal environment, and therefore will be equipped to benefit from legal studies.
Four-year undergraduate LLB stream
Students enter this stream as matriculants (provided they meet the entrance requirements) and complete the LL.B degree in four years. Humanities courses are included in the curriculum so as to fulfil the objective of providing UCT law graduates with a well rounded, broad-based legal education. Applicants from redress population groups who meet the minimum FPS and NBT admission criteria but who do not meet the FPS or WPS as required for admission to the four-year LLB programme may be offered a place in the five-year programme. Admission to the programme is made on a competitive basis.