Environmental Law

To be awarded this degree candidates must complete 4 courses and a research report in the field of Environmental Law.


LLM students in this field complete the course Research Methodology and a 10,000 word Research Report in the field of Environmental Law. In addition, students complete four courses in the field of study as listed under curriculum below (subject to availability of the course – not all courses are offered every year).


The following two compulsory courses, both of which must be completed at core** level:

  • Environmental Law and Sustainability I
  • Environmental Law and Sustainability II *

Two of the following elective courses, both of which must be completed at non-core level:

  • Climate Change and Energy Law
  • Comparative Law of Mining and Environment
  • International Environmental Law
  • Legal Underpinnings of Unsustainable Development
  • Prospecting and Mining Law
  • Regulation and Law
  • Urban and Local Government Law
  • Water Law

* Course subject to prerequisite(s)        

**  Core courses

A core course covers the same content as a non-core course, but students must complete an additional research component, counting for 50% of the final mark for the core course.

* Prerequisite courses

Some courses are subject to prerequisites, as set out below.

Note: A candidate who has not completed the prerequisite(s) for a course prior to commencing the programme, will only be able to take the course(s) once they have completed the prerequisite(s). In some cases this may necessitate the candidate registering for the programme on a part-time basis and completing the prerequisite(s) in the first year of study, so that they can complete the course(s) subject to prerequisite(s) in the second year of study.

Course Description
Environmental Law and Sustainability II
  • Environmental Law and Sustainability I
  • or  an equivalent course at undergraduate or postgraduate level

Entry Requirements

  • Bachelor of Laws (LLB) with an average mark of 70 percent. If you have an LLB with an average mark of between 65% and 70%, you may be considered for admission.
  • However, you may be requested to submit a sample of academic writing which, in the sole discretion of the School of Law, demonstrates your ability to perform legal research and produce writing of a high standard, including the ability to think conceptually, footnote and reference properly, and communicate effectively in writing.
  • Such evidence could, for instance, consist of a legal publication or a law essay written by you during your LLB that received a high mark. This sample should not be submitted together with your application – if needed, the School will request the sample from you once your application has been marked as complete.
  • We admit only law graduates and legal professionals who have the interest, ability and time to conduct research at an advanced academic level. Entry to the programme is limited.

Please note that the Entry Requirements are a guide. Meeting these requirements does not guarantee a place.

University Application Process

  • Applications are handled centrally by the Student Enrolment Centre (SEnC). Once your application is complete in terms of requested documentation, your application will be referred to the relevant School for assessment. Click here to see an overview of the Wits applications process.
  • Please apply online. Upload your supporting documents at the time of application, or via the Self Service Portal.
  • Applicants can monitor the progress of their applications via the Self Service Portal.
  • Selections for programmes that have a limited intake but attract a large number of applications may only finalise the application at the end of the application cycle.

Please note that the Entry Requirements are a guide. Meeting these requirements does not guarantee a place. Final selection is made subject to the availability of places, academic results and other entry requirements where applicable.

International students, please check this section.

For more information, contact the Student Call Centre +27 (0)11 717 1888, or log a query at www.wits.ac.za/askwits.

University Fees and Funding

Click here to see the current average tuition fees. The Fees site also provides information about the payment of fees and closing dates for fees payments. Once you have applied you will be able to access the fees estimator on the student self-service portal.

For information about postgraduate funding opportunities, including the postgraduate merit award, click here. Please also check your School website for bursary opportunities. NRF bursaries: The National Research Foundation (NRF) offers a wide range of opportunities in terms of bursaries and fellowships to students pursuing postgraduate studies. External bursaries portal: The Bursaries South Africa website provides a comprehensive list of bursaries in South Africa.