University Of Cape Town Faculty Of Law

University Of Cape Town Faculty Of Law

University Of Cape Town Faculty Of Law, The UCT Law Faculty has a rich history of excellence, not only in its teaching and the quality of its graduates, but also in its research output and impact. Some key categories of information about the Law Faculty include

Why study Law?

Many students come to study Law, knowing absolutely that they want to work in the Law sector – these students don’t usually require convincing or persuasion, and may have had a long-time passion for and interest in Law.  This can often arise from or be stimulated by life experience – for example, someone who has seen and experienced injustice first-hand may be committed to spending their lives working for justice.

But for those who aren’t sure, and who perhaps have a choice of offers from a university, here are a few good reasons why studying Law is an excellent choice:

Making a difference?

There are many reasons why people choose Law.  These include, amongst many others, being able to earn a good, secure living – because at some point, everybody needs a lawyer; status – as a traditional profession with good income potential; acquiring the skills to make a difference in the world; using Law to ensure access to justice amongst marginalised communities, having the knowledge and skills to make a real impact in specialised areas of commerce – eg. shipping, tax and contracts; contributing to the quality and security of people’s lives by ensuring they have their personal legal documentation in order; and contributing to academic knowledge about how the law is developed, practiced, implemented and accessed.  These are just a few reasons.

A combination of theory and practice

All Law schools seek to ensure that students not only learn, understand and can argue legal theory and the theoretical underpinnings of the Law. Some Law schools (such as UCT) also ensure that practical experience in Law is a core component of the degree programme – for example, running mock courts and moot competitions.  An important component of the UCT Law programme is ensuring that students do pro bono community service as part of their qualification.

Making the Case

Law education is about cases – actual examples of cases that have been argued and judged in a real court.  Cases are used to demonstrate various theoretical points and how theory is applied in practice. This approach also serves to maintain an understanding of how the law is applied in practice.

Following a skilled professional path

Good law schools will ensure that their graduates have a minimum set of competences and skills. Here’s a few of the skills essential to a career in Law:

  • Critical analysis – being able to read, understand, analyse and make up your own mind
  • Writing – being able to draft a clear written argument
  • Research – being able to find relevant case law in support of a legal argument
  • Argument and presentation – being able clearly to formulate and argue your position or point (often taught through moot competitions in and between law schools).
  • Sharing ideas – it is required in Law that you are able to argue complex ideas in simple terms, so that not only other law professionals but also your clients are able to understand you.

All of these skills – and the many others you will learn at Law school – are in high demand in other sectors, so moving industries or professional focus is relatively easy, adding to Law graduates’ mobility in terms of career, income potential and other decision factors in choosing your course of study.

In high demand

The rigour of a Law school education, and the range of skills in which excellence is required for graduation, ensures that law graduates are sought after across a range of endeavours. In other words, Law graduates enjoy excellent career prospects.

Clear career pathways

There are a number of options for those graduating with a Law degree – including doing a postgraduate Law Masters (LLM), taking up a position as a candidate attorney at a law firm or doing a Legal Practice course, for example.


Why study Law at UCT?

These are the top reasons for studying Law at UCT:

  1. As a Law graduate from UCT, you will be skilled in all the ways that law firms, corporates, government and nonprofits are looking for!
  2. UCT Law graduates are highly sought after, not only in South Africa but internationally – and we have the highest rate of graduate employability, with 62.1% of our graduates employed on graduation (with a large % of the remaining 37.9% pursuing further studies)
  3. The UCT Faculty of Law is rated among the Top 100 Law Schools in the world
  4. UCT attracts excellent students from diverse backgrounds, ensuring a rich learning environment
  5. At the UCT Faculty of Law we are committed to furthering the goals of the Constitution
  6. Our aim is to train the next generation of skilled legal professionals who will ensure the maintenance and strengthening of an open,free and democratic South Africa
  7. We offer different programme options to attain an LLB degree
  8. We are home to almost 100 academic staff in the Faculty
  9. The Faculty hosts at least 11 world-class research units, focused on various aspects of legal practice and implementation
  10. The Faculty is unique in its practical graduation requirement of 30 hours of community service, which ensures that UCT Law students graduate not only with experience of law practice, but also with a sense of their role in society
  11. The excellent law library which is linked to major international electronic databases and houses 284 top class journals and more than 85 000 books
  12. The Faculty has the fantastic Oliver Tambo Moot Court for student use

In addition:

For information on Curriculum, Courses, Scholarships and Prizes see the Law Faculty Handbook.


Through its School for Advanced Legal Studies (SALS), the Faculty of Law at the University of Cape Town offers postgraduates an unparalleled choice of options in full- or part-time postgraduate studies. Our faculty has a long-standing reputation for academic excellence and an innovative and critical approach to the law, abstracting students from many countries outside of South Africa. Besides working with top academics, our students also have access to world-class teaching and research facilities, including an extensive law library and comprehensive electronic databases.

APPLY FOR 2019 – Deadline 31st October 2018

Postgraduate Studies at the Faculty of Law fall into two categories:

  • Postgraduate Diplomas, Masters  (LLM or MPhil) by Coursework and Dissertation and Professional Masters degrees are offered by the School for Advanced Legal Studies (SALS)
    For more information on the qualifications, click on the hyperlinks above.
  • Research degrees which include Master of Law (LLM) and Master of Philosophy (MPhil) by dissertation; Doctor of Philosophy (DPhil) by dissertation; and Doctor of Laws (LLD) by dissertation or by published work. Please visit the Doctoral Program website for more information.

For information on funding your postgraduate studies please visit the Postgraduate Funding web pages.