Welcome to the Law Research Degrees website

The Law Faculty offers five types of postgraduate degrees.

Candidates wishing to register for a Masters degree have the choice of:

  • LLM/MPhil by coursework. This is administered by the School for Advanced Legal Studies. Further information may be obtained from the SALS Administrative Officer (+27 21 650 2997 or

  • LLM by dissertation. When the dissertation is dedicated to a topic of exclusively legal interest, it will be administered by the Faculty's Higher Degrees Committee. Further information may be obtained from the Deputy Faculty Manager (+27 21 650 5409 or

  • MPhil. In this case, the dissertation will span two or more disciplines. If the topic is predominantly legal, the thesis will be registered in the Law Faculty and will be dealt with by the Faculty's Higher Degrees Committee. If the topic falls mainly within another discipline, however, registration should be sought in the relevant Faculty.

Candidates wishing to register for a Doctoral Degree have the choice of:

  • a PhD, which is the general doctorate, is available for both purely legal and interdisciplinary research.

  • an LLD, which is a senior doctorate offered only in the Law Faculty.  This degree is awarded as a mark of respect to distinguished scholars, who have an established reputation based on their published works.  These works must represent an original contribution to or substantial advance on knowledge in the field.

All doctoral degrees are administered partly by the Law Faculty and partly by the University’s Doctoral Degrees Board.  The latter body has final say in deciding whether to register candidates and what result is to be awarded for the examination.

Candidates wishing to apply for Research degrees in law (PhD or LLM/MPhil by dissertation) are requested to obtain information on the application process here