Closing dates for research degree applications and registration 2012

Please note that applications can be made at any time, subject to the following closing dates for registration.

First semester 2012 (for registration by February 2012)
Completed applications must be received before 31 October 2011

Second semester 2010 (for registration by 31 July 2012)
Completed applications must be received by 31 May 2012

Please see below for application procedures.

Please note that financial aid and housing applications are administered by the University and not the School of Law and have different closing dates.
More information >>>

The School of Law offers two supervised research degrees: the Master of Laws (LLM) by dissertation and the Doctor of Philosophy (PhD). Both degrees require the completion of a substantial piece of supervised research. The senior doctorate is the Doctor of Laws (LLD), awarded on the basis ofpublished work of distinguished quality.

The School also welcomes applications for postdoctoral research. More information is available here >>>.

Minimum admission requirements
  • To be eligible for admission to the LLM, a candidate should have an LLB or equivalent degree.
  • To be eligible for admission to the PhD, a candidate should have a master?s degree or a postgraduate LLB or equivalent degree.

Prospective applicants should please note that the above requirements are the minima. The Law School receives a large number of applications for research degrees each year and is only able to accommodate a small number of research students. In practice, a very strong academic record and/or a record of appropriate work or research experience is necessary to gain admission to the research degree programme. In addition, an important consideration is the availability of supervision in your chosen area of research.

Duration of degree

The minimum period of registration for the PhD is two years of full-time and four years of part-time study. The minimum period of registration for the LLM is one year of full-time and two years of part-time study. The maximum period of registration for both degrees is two years after the minimum period.

Full-time candidates
A full-time candidate is required to attend and participate throughout the year in the graduate programme of the Law School. This means that your research must be your full-time occupation.

A candidate who does not fulfill the definition of a full-time candidate will be deemed to be a part-time candidate.

Please note that as of 2010 international students may not pursue part-time postgraduate studies at WitsUniversity. All international doctoral and masters candidates are accordingly required to be registered as full-timestudents.
All candidates for research degrees are required to maintain regular contact with their supervisors, particularly at the initial and final stages of their candidature.

The University s mission is to increase the number of its research graduates. To this end the fees for research degrees are kept at relatively low levels compared to the taught programmes.

Please note that there are additional fees payable by international students. Details are available from the Wits International Office >>>

Financial assistance is available for full-time students.
More information >>>

Initial application procedure
Admission to the LLM or PhD will require the formulation of a topic of research or a research proposal. However, prospective research students should, in the first instance, contact the Chair of Postgraduate Studies at the School of Law before making a formal application so that we can evaluate your research plans and ascertain the availability of supervision in your chosen topic. We will require your CV (detailing previous degrees) and a brief (1 or 2-page) outline of the proposed research. Please forward this material to the Chair of Postgraduate Studies, Prof Cathi Albertyn,; telephone 27 11 717 8467.

Alternatively, prospective research students may contact an individual member of the Law School staff to canvass the possibility of supervision.

The School of Law particularly encourages applications for postgraduate research in public law, human rights, sociolegal studies, criminal law, evidence, gender and law; and sexual orientation law.

If your research plan looks promising and if supervision is available, you will be asked to apply formally. This application will be considered by the Postgraduate Studies Committee of the Law School. If successful, admission is usually for an interim period of a maximum of six months (full-time) or one year (part-time). During this period of provisional registration you will prepare a comprehensive research proposal under supervision. This proposal will then be presented to the Faculty Higher Degrees Committee for approval.

It is this committee that has the final word on your admission as a research student.

  • Post Graduate studies at Wits University
    This link has further links to:
    Financial aid
    Bursaries and scholarships
    Additional information for international students
    Research office
    Post Graduate club

  • Application Form (*.pdf format)
    NB: Please do not fill in this form until you have read the information under the heading Initial application procedure above. Please see also the University s general information for postgraduate applicants at Post Graduate studies at Wits University
    The completed form and accompanying documentation must be sent to:

    Ms Ntshepeng Tshabalala
    Faculty of Commerce Law and Management
    University of the Witwatersrand
    Private Bag X3
    Wits 2050
    Tel: (011) 717 8005

The Law School encourages applicants for postdoctoral research and is able to accommodate a small number of postdoctoral fellows each year. There are a number of sources of funding for postdoctoral research in the School Of Law. Besides the URC and NRF programmes, the Law School will consider funding postdoctoral fellows from its own funds in appropriate circumstances. There are no restrictions on the nationality of applicants for these fellowships. Funding is usually available for a period of two years. Please pay careful attention to the closing dates for the NRF programme.

Applications are encouraged in public law, human rights, sociolegal studies, criminal law, evidence, gender and law, and sexual orientation law.

Initial application procedure
Before applying formally for a fellowship prospective postdoctoral fellows should, in the first instance, contact the School of Law?s postgraduate studies coordinator, Prof Cathi Albertyn,; telephone 27 11 717 8467. Please provide your CV (detailing previous degrees and research output) and a brief outline of the proposed programme of postdoctoral research.