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College of Law

More than 28,000 students are enrolled for formal programs at the College of Law, making it one of the largest providers of quality law and criminal justice qualifications in South Africa.

The College consists of two Schools. In the School of Law, the flagship qualification is the LLB degree, which is the professional qualification for attorneys and advocates. In addition, this School offers programs such as Civil Law Administration, which is ideal for  paralegal careers such as sheriffs and debt collectors.

The School of Criminal Justice focuses on programs in criminology, police practice, corrections science and security risk management. These qualifications, which run from national diplomas to post-graduate degrees, open many career doors in government law enforcement and justice agencies, as well as in the security industry and community safety organizations.

Apart from our academic strengths, the College has a strong track record in community service. This is an important benefit for our students since it offers them the opportunity to gain practical experience during their studies.

Our Legal Aid Clinic is an invaluable practical training ground for candidate attorneys. The clinic, which provides free legal assistance to indigent people, has been running for more than 20 years and is accredited with the Transvaal Law Society.

Another vehicle for practical exposure is the Street Law program, which trains students to help disadvantaged communities gain a better understanding of their basic human rights. Founded in 1996, the program offers training in topics such as domestic violence, democracy, the Constitution and the Bill of Rights.

The College also houses the LSSA-Unisa School for Legal Practice, a joint initiative with the Law Society of South Africa. The School is the first and only distance education school for legal practice in South Africa and caters for LLB graduates who are unable to attend a residential school of the LSSA. Graduates who successfully complete the Unisa program qualify for one year's credit for their articles as candidate attorneys.

Our program

The College of Laws offers a comprehensive range of formal qualifications, from national and higher national certificates, diplomas and degree courses up to doctoral studies. Many of these qualifications have been developed in partnership with professional bodies and industries to meet their skills needs.

Professional law qualifications
Students wanting to practice as attorneys and advocates must register for the LLB degree, a four-year program accredited with the Law Society of South Africa (LSSA). After graduating, students are eligible to start their three years of practical training as candidate attorneys. Unisa LLB graduates who successfully complete the one-year course offered by the LSSA-Unisa School of Legal Practice can qualify for exemption from one year of articles.

Career-oriented undergraduate degrees
The College offers three-year Bachelor's degrees in two important disciplines: Police Science and Community Safety and Socio-Legal Studies. The latter includes a general degree and five specialized degrees in offender profiling, crime vulnerability, criminal investigation, asset and crime risk protection and administration of criminal justice.

In addition, the College offers five BTech degrees in Policing, Correctional Services Management, Security Risk Management, Forensic Investigations and Corporate Administration.

Postgraduate study
Once you have obtained a degree in our College, you may register for an Honors degree. This is followed by a Masters degree, for which you normally have to submit a dissertation.

Postgraduate students can choose between the technikon-type route by enrolling for a BTech and MTech degree, or the university-type path by registering for the BA Honors and Masters programs.

You can then take the highest step in your academic career by registering for a Doctoral degree, which involves writing a doctoral thesis.

Access for students without matric exemption
For many prospective law students, a major barrier is the lack of matric exemption, without which they could not normally register for LLB studies. The College of Law caters for students who have matric but not exemption by offering the Certificate Program in Law. This provides basic legal education and serves as an access course, enabling students to register for the LLB degree upon successful completion.

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