The LLM/MPhil in Human Rights and Democratisation in Africa is a unique programme to which 25 to 30 individuals from African countries with the following degrees and preferably experience in the field of human rights are admitted:

  • Law students
    A degree allowing access to the legal profession (e.g. LLB or licence en droit)
  • Other students (non-law students)
    An Honours degree in a discipline relevant to human rights and democratisation
  • A weighted average of at least 65% at final-year level

In addition to the general admission requirements, the following specific selection criteria are used in combination to select the eligible students:

  • a demonstrated professional, academic and personal interest in and commitment to human rights and democratisation in Africa.
  • an indication that the applicant would be likely to put the qualification to good use in his or her future career, preferably in his or her country of origin (the ‘multiplier effect’);
  • geographic representation(in the sense that an overrepresentation of students from a particular African country will be avoided, given the pan-African scope and ambitions of the programme);
  • gender representation (in the sense that an equitable balance between women and men is sought);
  • equitable representation of persons from vulnerable communities (such as persons with disabilities, persons belonging to indigenous communities and LGBTI persons).

All complete applications, received in a particular year, are processed and considered by the LLM Programme Coordinator/Manager and the Academic Coordinator of the programme, who identify a number of eligible candidates three times the available positions.

Each applicant is then contacted and required to write an essay within a restricted period (for example, 24 hours) of being given the topic. Applicants may also be required to make a video or audio presentations or be interviewed.

On the basis of all the assessments, the Chair of the Council of Directors of the HRDA Programme, who is a representative of one of the partner faculties, scrutinises the applications and makes a recommendation on the pre-selected students.

A final selection is made by the full Admissions Committee, consisting of the Chair of the Council of Directors of the LLM/MPhil Programme (if available), the Director of the Centre for Human Rights, the Assistant Director of the Centre for Human Rights, the LLM/MPhil Programme Coordinator/Manager and the Academic Coordinator of the HRDA Programme.

How to apply?

Applications for the programme to study at the University of Pretoria are fully online

Application Procedure

All applications are handled via the online system Submittable.

submittable submit button

Application deadline

The deadline for applications is 31 July 2024

Application Guidelines

  • Individuals from all African countries are invited to apply for admission to study for the Master’s Degree (LLM/MPhil) in Human Rights and Democratisation in Africa at the Centre for Human Rights, University of Pretoria, South Africa.
  • Applicants must be in possession of the first degree in Law (LLB, licence en droit or licenciatura em direito) or an Honours degree relevant to human rights and democratisation.
  • All documents uploaded must be typewritten.
  • The following documents will be requested during your application:
    • Previous academic records/transcripts
    • Previous degree certificate(s)
    • Copy of bio-data page of passport
    • A good quality photograph of yourself
    • For applicants who did not obtain their qualifications in English: TOEFL, SAT1 or IELTS Test certificate.

Deadline for receipt of applications for the 2025 class is 31 July 2024
All applicants will be notified whether they were successful or not by 30 September 2024.


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