The Centre for Human Rights, University of Pretoria offers an LLM/MPhil Disability Rights in Africa (DRIA) degree programme as one of its Master’s programmes.
The programme was launched in 2018 and is the first master’s degree programme in Africa focusing specifically on the rights of persons with disabilities in Africa.
The programme explores disability rights from a human rights perspective relying on the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) and the newly adopted Protocol to the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities in Africa (the African Disability Protocol).
The programme is open to individuals from diverse professional backgrounds including disability rights advocates, lawyers, researchers, social activists and educators. Students will be empowered to develop new legislation, jurisprudence, policy, research, and scholarship to harness the available innovations and opportunities.
In particular, students will be empowered to:
- Challenge rights violations by drafting enforceable legislation consistent with the CRPD and the African Disability Protocol
- Utilise enforcement mechanisms set forth in the CRPD and the African Disability Protocol
- Take forward disability rights litigation requesting CRPD and the African Disability Protocol-compliant remedies
- Engage in disability rights advocacy and
- Develop law, education, or other academic curricula informed by the CRPD and the Protocol.
The two-year programme is offered through a hybrid teaching approach comprising online interaction and residential contact sessions in Pretoria. Two contact sessions will be scheduled every year (four contact sessions over the period of two years). The first contact session will be in March 2023.
Call for Applications
Who can apply?
- LLM degree requirements
The Master’s degree LLM in Disability Rights in Africa degree is open to individuals with an LLB degree or equivalent.
- MPhil degree requirements
The MPhil degree is open to non-lawyers with at least an honours degree in an academic discipline relevant to disability rights in Africa, OR any other qualification in an academic discipline relevant to disability rights in Africa that allows admission to a master’s programme at the institution where the undergraduate qualification was obtained. If that qualification has a duration of less than 4 years, substantial proven practical or professional experience in disability rights in Africa, subject to the discretion of the Dean, is further required.
- Other relevant requirements
Foreign qualifications are subject to South African Qualifications Authority (SAQA) requirements.
Applicants must have excellent academic credentials and demonstrate human rights experience or interest.
A maximum of fifteen students will be accepted for the 2023 academic year.
How to apply
Course duration (two years)
2023 intake: January 2023 - December 2024
Application deadline: 31 July 2022
This is a selection course and applications must be submitted before 31 July 2022 to be admitted for the 2023 academic year.
Cost Estimation (subject to change)
Students paid a total of R27,990 for both the 2019 academic year and the 2020 academic year.
This is a general guide and applicants should note that tuition fees for the 2023 – 2024 academic years are likely to increase.
In addition to registration and tuition fees, students have to finance their travel to and accommodation during the contact sessions, which are compulsory to attend. (A total of four contact sessions, each lasting one week, will be scheduled over two year period).
A very limited number of scholarships will be available for African citizens.
Objectives of the programme
- To promote knowledge and understanding about the relevance of international human rights to disability rights;
- To promote knowledge and understanding of the implementation strategies and enforcement mechanisms of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) and its Protocol in a global and African context;
- To promote knowledge and understanding of the implementation strategies and enforcement mechanisms of the Protocol to the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities in Africa;
- To promote knowledge and understanding about African regional disability rights protection as an institutional framework; and
- To promote knowledge and understanding about disability as a multi – and interdisciplinary field of study in an African context.