LLM programmes

Pursue a graduate law degree in a dynamic and transforming society.

South Africa offers new ways of looking at law, and the Law Faculty of the University of Cape Town is ideally situated to offer these different perspectives. The country is highly respected for its protection of human rights and fundamental freedoms, and our constitutional framework is regarded as a model for the rest of the world. While the country is fully engaged in the business of the first world, it has transformed itself into an active representative of the South. Hence, not only does South Africa enjoy sophisticated economic and political systems, but it also has an emerging democracy subject to the challenges typical of developing countries.

South Africa is now fully integrated into the international community, with diplomatic representation in over 120 countries. It therefore plays an active role in all areas of international relations, whether economic (by membership of the WTO), criminal (a party to the International Criminal Court) or security and political (a leading member of the SADC, the AU and the UN). Cape Town, in particular, as South Africa's legislative capital and an international convention centre, has been well placed to benefit from these developments, as was evident from the AU decision to establish the African human rights court in the city.

LLM programmes in UCT's Department of Public Law provide an opportunity to do graduate work in this unusual and challenging environment.

We offer a range of general and more specific LLM programmes, including



The goal of our LLM programmes is to give students a thorough grounding in a specialised field as well as an understanding of the most significant current issues.

To complete an LLM candidates must complete four courses and a short dissertation. For each programme, they can choose from a range of courses offered in this and other Departments in the Law Faculty.

This specialisation gives you the opportunity to choose your courses from all the masters courses offered in Public Law, such as:


PBL5602S International Law of the Sea
PBL5615F International Law in Theory and Practice
PBL5618S International Law on Disputes and the Use of Force
PBL5619S International Environmental Law
PBL5623F Governing under the Constitution: Law and Practice
PBL5628S International Rights of the Child
PBL5631F International Protection of Human Rights
PBL5640F Principles of Environmental Law
PBL5641F Land Use Planning Law
PBL5642S Natural Resources Law
PBL5643S Pollution Law
PBL5651F International Protection of Women's Human Rights
PBL5653F Refugee and Human Rights
PBL5658S Administrative Justice and Open Government
PBL5659S Human Rights, Legal Pluralism, Religion and Culture
PBL5661S Litigating the South African Bill of Rights
PBL5807S International Criminal Law
PBL5815S Punishment & Human Rights
PBL5820F Theories of Crime and Social Order
PBL5822S Victims and Victimology: Theory, Policy and Practice
PBL5844S Police and Policing: Explorations in Security Governance
PBL5847S Forensics and the Law (not offered in 2019)
PBL5848F Law and Society in Africa
PBL5849F Law in Action - Research methods