Top Law Courses in South Africa: Distance Learning and Full-time

On this page you will learn everything regarding Law Career Options in South Africa, such as: List of Careers in Law, Where to find Jobs for Law Students in South Africa, Alternative or Related Careers with a Law Degree (What can you do with a law degree besides being a lawyer), Different Types of Law Courses (Part-time, Distance Learning, Online, and Full-time.


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List of Law Courses in South Africa

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List of Top 5 Law Courses in South Africa: Distance Learning and Full-time

  1. Bachelor of Laws (LLB) Degree at Wits
  2. BCom Law Course at the University of Pretoria (UP)
  3. The Bachelor of Commerce with Law (BCom) at Wits
  4. LLB Law Degree at UJ
  5. LLB Law Degree at UCT

Best Undergraduate Law Degree Courses (LLB) Offered by Universities in South Africa

Best Undergraduate Law Degree Courses LLB Offered by Universities in South Africa
Best Undergraduate Law Degree Courses (LLB) Offered by Universities in South Africa

Embarking on a journey to pursue a Bachelor of Laws (LLB) in South Africa presents aspiring lawyers with diverse pathways and unique educational experiences offered by various prestigious institutions. Each university provides a distinct approach to legal education, catering to different student needs and career aspirations. This comparative analysis guides through the LLB offerings of notable South African universities, highlighting their unique features and similarities.

1. Bachelor of Laws (LLB) at Wits

Unique Aspects:

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  • Offers 2-4 year programs, catering to students directly from matric or those who have completed a bachelor’s degree or a Wits BA(Law)/BCom(Law).
  • Flexible entry points mean students can tailor their legal education to their previous academic experiences.
  • Specializes in instilling a robust foundation in the South African legal system and effective use of legal materials.

Similar to: UCT in providing a structured pathway for students with different academic backgrounds.

Application Link: Apply to Wits

2. Bachelor of Laws at Unisa

Different From the Rest:

  • Emphasizes a generic LLB qualification to meet a minimum standard of outcomes, focusing on producing graduates well-versed in a coherent body of knowledge and legal skills.
  • Online and distance learning mode makes it unique, offering flexibility for students nationwide.
  • 4-year duration with 40 modules, including 37 compulsory and 3 elective modules.

Similar to: UFS and UJ in ensuring a comprehensive curriculum but stands out for its distance learning approach.

Application Link: Apply to Unisa

3. LLB in Law at UJ

Unique Aspects:

  • Offers a focused degree with an emphasis on practical and theoretical legal skills.
  • Career Opportunities: Advocacy, legal advising, and more, showcasing a practical approach to legal education.
  • Admission Requirements reflect a balance between inclusivity and maintaining high academic standards.

Similar to: Wits and UCT in providing a comprehensive legal education tailored for immediate entry into the legal profession.

Application Link: Apply to UJ

4. Bachelor of Laws (LLB) at UFS

Different From the Rest:

  • Admission based on both pre-2008 and post-2008 matriculation certificates, accommodating a wider range of applicants.
  • Offers a five-year programme for candidates who do not meet the four-year LLB requirements, ensuring broader access to legal education.
  • Prepares students for a range of careers requiring legal knowledge, as well as for postgraduate studies.

Similar to: UJ and Wits in emphasizing the application of law across various careers.

Application Link: Apply to UFS

5. UCT LLB Degree

Unique Aspects:

  • Provides a historical, comparative, and jurisprudential background essential for a deep understanding of law and legal institutions.
  • Three streams offer pathways for students with or without prior law degrees, including a straight four-year LLB program.
  • Critical and evaluative approach to legal education, preparing students for dynamic legal challenges.

Similar to: Wits in offering diverse entry points for students from various academic backgrounds, yet stands out with its focus on a critical understanding of law.

Application Link: Apply to UCT

Choosing the right LLB program in South Africa depends on one’s academic background, career goals, and preferred learning style. Whether it’s Wits’ flexible entry points, Unisa’s distance learning, UJ’s focused degree, UFS’s inclusive admission criteria, or UCT’s comprehensive legal background, each institution offers a unique path to a law degree. Aspiring legal professionals are encouraged to consider these factors to find the program that best suits their aspirations and needs, marking the first step towards a successful career in law.

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Best Postgraduate Law Degree Courses Offered by Universities in South Africa

Best Postgraduate Law Degree Courses Offered by Universities in South Africa
Best Postgraduate Law Degree Courses Offered by Universities in South Africa

Exploring the Best Postgraduate Law Degree Courses Offered by Universities in South Africa provides an array of specialized and comprehensive programs tailored to the evolving needs of the legal profession. Each university offers unique opportunities for advanced study, catering to a diverse range of interests within the legal field. Here’s a comparison of notable postgraduate law programs, complete with active application links for each.

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1. Postgraduate Diploma in Law at Wits

Program Specializations: Offers a wide range of fields including Commercial and Business Law, Corporate Law, Environmental Law, and more.

Program Length: Not specified, but typically designed for completion within a year for full-time students.

Unique Feature: Broad spectrum of specialization areas catering to almost every interest within the legal field.

Application Link: Apply to the PG Diploma in Law at Wits

2. The Masters of Laws (LLM) at Wits

Program Focus: LLM by Coursework and Research Report, requiring a 10,000 words Research Report, a Research Methodology course, and 4 courses in the chosen study field.

Program Length: 1 year full-time or 2 years part-time.

Unique Feature: Balances coursework with a significant research component, allowing for in-depth study in a specific legal area.

Application Link: Apply to the LLM at Wits

3. LLM and MPhil Programmes at UCT

Program Structure: Completion of four courses and a dissertation of up to 25,000 words on a chosen topic.

Program Length: 1 year full-time or 2 years part-time, with specific deadlines for dissertation submission based on coursework completion dates.

Unique Feature: Offers flexibility in topic selection for dissertation, encouraging original and in-depth legal research.

Application Link: Apply to LLM and MPhil at UCT

4. Structured LLM in Estate Law at NWU

Program Focus: Specializes in Estate Law, covering estate planning, tax law, financial planning law, and related private law themes.

Program Length: Not specified, but typically structured for completion within a year or two depending on part-time or full-time study.

Unique Feature: One of South Africa’s oldest and most reputable Estate Law programs, bridging the gap between academia and practical estate planning.

Application Link: Apply to the LLM in Estate Law at NWU

5. LLM/MPhil Degrees at UWC

Specialization Areas: Includes Human Rights Protection, Labour Law, Environmental Law, Mercantile Law, and more.

Admission Requirements: Minimum of 60% over the last two years of LLB or equivalent degree.

Unique Feature: A wide array of specialized areas catering to contemporary legal challenges and interests.

Application Link: Apply to LLM/MPhil at UWC

Comparison summary

  • Wits offers both a Postgraduate Diploma and an LLM, notable for their wide range of specializations and balance between coursework and research.
  • UCT’s LLM and MPhil programmes stand out for their flexibility in dissertation topic selection and structured approach to coursework.
  • NWU’s Structured LLM in Estate Law is unique for its focus on estate planning, offering in-depth knowledge and practical skills in this niche field.
  • UWC provides LLM/MPhil degrees in several cutting-edge legal areas, emphasizing specialization and advanced legal research.

Choosing the right postgraduate program depends on one’s career goals, areas of interest, and academic background. Each program offers distinct advantages, whether it’s specialization, flexibility, or depth of study, catering to the diverse aspirations of legal professionals aiming to advance their expertise and impact in the legal world.

Recommended Part-time / Online Distance-learning Legal Courses

Online Distance-learning Legal Courses
Online Distance-learning Legal Courses

For professionals and students looking to expand their legal knowledge without sacrificing their current commitments, part-time and online distance-learning legal courses offer a flexible solution. Here’s an overview of recommended programs from reputable South African institutions, each providing quality legal education tailored to fit a variety of schedules and learning preferences.

Online Learning – UCT Law Faculty – University of Cape Town

Overview: UCT Law@work, in collaboration with digital learning expert GetSmarter, offers a comprehensive portfolio of online legal courses. Established in 2007, these courses aim to provide accessible, professional legal education to a wide audience.

Special Features: Courses are developed by renowned experts, offering up-to-date content across various legal fields.

Application Link: Apply to UCT Online Learning

College of Law – Unisa

Overview: Unisa’s College of Law presents a variety of legal studies, including undergraduate, honours, master’s, doctoral, and short learning programs. Known for its extensive distance learning options, Unisa facilitates flexible education for aspiring and practicing legal professionals alike.

Special Features: Comprehensive range of programs covering the full spectrum of legal education, from basic qualifications to advanced research degrees and continuing education courses.

Application Link: Apply to Unisa College of Law

UFS and Varsity College Cooperation in Distance Learning

Overview: The University of the Free State, in cooperation with Varsity College, offers a distance learning LLB degree recognized as one of the best in South Africa. This program is designed to provide a comprehensive legal education accessible from anywhere.

Special Features: Combines UFS’s academic excellence with Varsity College’s flexible learning models, making it an ideal choice for those seeking a quality LLB degree via distance learning.

Application Link: Apply to UFS & Varsity College Distance Learning

Bachelor of Laws (LLB) (Professional) – STADIO

Overview: STADIO’s Bachelor of Laws (LLB) program, as a professional legal qualification, equips students with a thorough understanding of the South African legal system. The program is designed for both full-time students and working professionals.

Special Features: Focuses on practical and theoretical legal knowledge, preparing students for a variety of legal careers.

Application Link: Apply to STADIO’s LLB Program

Bachelor of Laws: Part-time (LLB) – University of KwaZulu-Natal

Overview: The University of KwaZulu-Natal offers a part-time LLB program that provides a convenient path for obtaining an undergraduate law degree. This program is suited for aspiring legal practitioners who need to balance their studies with other commitments.

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Special Features: Offers the flexibility to pursue a law degree without interrupting professional or personal obligations.

Application Link: Apply to UKZN’s Part-time LLB

Each of these institutions provides a unique approach to legal education, leveraging online and distance learning technologies to make legal studies more accessible. Whether you’re aiming to start a career in law, advance your existing legal knowledge, or specialize in a specific field, these part-time and online programs offer the flexibility and quality education needed to achieve your goals.

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Types of Law Courses in South Africa

There are different types of Law Courses on different levels of Qualifications offered by many institutions and universities in South Africa. There are various law courses options such as: Higher Certificates, Diplomas, Advanced Diploma, Bachelor Degrees, Postgraduate Diplomas, Honours Degrees, Master’s Degrees, Doctoral Degrees. However, to be a qualified advocate or attorney, you need:

  • a three or four-year  Humanities or Commerce degree with Law as a major, followed by a two-year graduate LLB degree; a three-year graduate LLB stream, where a non-Law undergraduate degree is followed by the graduate LLB programme
  • a four-year undergraduate LLB stream – this is a straight LLB programme

Different Law Specialisations in South Africa

Exploring the legal field in South Africa reveals a rich tapestry of specializations, each catering to specific societal needs and interests. As the legal landscape evolves, so too do the areas of focus within legal education and practice. Here’s a closer look at different law specializations in South Africa, highlighting the diversity and potential career paths within the legal domain.

Conveyancing Law Specialisation

Study Options and Courses: Conveyancing courses typically focus on property law and the process of transferring legal title of real property from one person to another. Specialized training programs are designed for those aiming to become registered conveyancers, with emphasis on practical skills for drafting conveyance documents and understanding property transactions.

Entertainment Law Specialisation

Study Options and Courses: Entertainment law courses delve into the legal aspects governing the entertainment industry, including contracts, intellectual property rights, and litigation. These courses are tailored for individuals interested in the intersection between law and the creative arts, covering issues relevant to film, music, television, and digital media.

Labour Law Specialisation

Study Options and Courses: Specializing in labour law involves studying the relationship between employers, employees, trade unions, and the government. Courses in this area cover a wide range of topics such as employment contracts, collective bargaining, dispute resolution, and labour legislation. This specialization is vital for those looking to advocate for workers’ rights or navigate the complexities of employment law.

Immigration Law Specialisation

Study Options and Courses: Immigration law courses focus on the legal principles, policies, and procedures governing the movement of people across borders. This specialization is essential for legal professionals working with immigration policies, refugee law, and citizenship issues. Courses prepare students to handle visa applications, asylum claims, and other immigration-related matters.

Intellectual Property Law Specialisation

Study Options and Courses: Intellectual property law is a rapidly growing field that deals with the protection of creative works, inventions, and brands. Courses in this specialization cover copyright, patents, trademarks, and related rights, equipping students with the knowledge to advise on IP protection, licensing, and litigation.

Electronic Commerce Law Specialisation

Study Options and Courses: E-commerce law addresses the legal challenges and opportunities presented by conducting business over the internet. Courses explore topics such as digital contracts, online payment systems, privacy, and data protection, preparing students for a career in the digital marketplace.

Family Law Specialisation

Study Options and Courses: Family law courses examine legal issues related to family relationships, including marriage, divorce, child custody, and adoption. This area of specialization is crucial for those interested in providing legal support and advocacy for individuals and families navigating complex personal matters.

Environmental Law Specialisation

Study Options and Courses: Environmental law focuses on laws and policies designed to protect the natural environment. Courses in this field cover a range of topics, including pollution control, natural resource management, and climate change legislation. This specialization prepares students for careers advocating for environmental protection and sustainability.

Each of these specializations offers unique challenges and opportunities, reflecting the dynamic nature of law as it responds to societal changes and technological advancements. For aspiring legal professionals in South Africa, choosing a specialization is a significant decision that can shape one’s career path, influencing the type of legal work they will engage in and the clients they will serve.

Watch: Law Degree Explained

There are various career options for lawyers in South Africa – you can either be admitted as an attorney and/or as an advocate. Attorneys will have good working knowledge of all aspects of the law. They work in law firms and are the initial legal contact for a client with a legal dispute or problem, Robert Walters.

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Law Careers in South Africa

There are many career options within the Legal sector that you can pursue in South Africa after getting your qualification, such as being a :

  • Judge,
  • Lawyer,
  • Legal Journalist,
  • Legal Secretary,
  • Typist,
  • Labour Relations expert,
  • Paralegal and Legal Executive,
  • Advocate,
  • Law Lecture

What can you do with a law degree besides be a lawyer

A Lawyer can be very good at any job role that deals with contracts, human rights and legislation. Below are some of the common jobs that individuals with a law degree can easily flourish, besides being a lawyer:

  • Legal Instructor
  • Investigator
  • Contracts Administrator
  • Insurance Underwriter
  • Managing Agent for Professionals and Entertainers

Best Schools to study Law in South Africa

  • UJ Law Faculty
  • Wits School of Law
  • UFS Law Faculty
  • College SA
  • The South African Law School
  • Unisa College of Law

Law-Related Quick Links

Where to find Jobs that are requiring an LLB degree in South Africa?

Below are the Job opportunities websites for law graduates in South Africa with LLB Degrees:

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