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Introduction to Law for Non-Lawyers

Application Form
Complete Online Application Form at

Start Date
29 June 2024

Apply By
31 May 2024


Duration & Format
This course is presented online where participants will participate in online lectures from 09:00 to 13:30 on Saturday mornings during the period 29 June to 7 September 2024.

The Introduction to Law for Non-Lawyers certificate course is an introduction for participants who wish to pursue postgraduate courses in law, but who do not have an undergraduate law degree or who are studying South African law for the first time. The main objective of the course is to lay a foundation from which further study of law can be pursued. The course will introduce students to the distinctive nature of thinking legally and the different sources of South African law, that is, sources that lawyers need to know about when looking for authority to argue a legal point or perspective

Course Outcomes
At the end of the course, the participant should be able to:

  • Distinguish between law and other norm setting mechanisms in society
  • Identify the sources and branches of South African Law
  • Explain the operation of judicial precedent
  • Read, find and reference cases
  • Read and offer a basic interpretation of legislation and the Constitution
  • Distinguish between common law, custom and customary law
  • Conduct basic legal research using a range of sources and techniques

Course Content
The course will focus on the following aspects:

  • Law and related concepts
  • History, sources and branches of South African law
  • Judicial precedent
  • How to read, find and reference cases
  • Procedure and jurisdiction of the courts
  • Legislation and the Constitution
  • The common law, custom and customary law
  • Legal writing skills
  • Conducting legal research using a range of sources and techniques

Target Audience
Professionals from non-legal backgrounds, business managers, entrepreneurs, and individuals seeking a basic understanding of the law.

Application Process
Applicants with a tertiary qualification (NQF 7) outside of the field of law and who have no legal background may apply. 

You will be required to submit a copy of your qualifications, academic record as well as a copy of your identity document or passport.

Kindly note that all foreign qualifications must be submitted with a SAQA Evaluation Letter.

Additional Information
The following certificates can be obtained:

  • Certificate of Competence: To obtain a certificate of competence, students are required to attend and participate in 75% of the lectures and to complete the assessments as required in the course. 
  • Please note that a Certificate of Attendance is not available for this course.

This postgraduate certificate course is accredited by the university in accordance with its statutory mandate.  It does not lead to a qualification registered on the National Qualifications Framework

Mahlatse Masemola Tel No: +27 11 717 8438; Email 
Ursula Dillner-Dangor Tel No: +27 11 717 8435; Email: