Course name and code

LLM General Multidisciplinary Human Rights 04251003
The LLM is open to individuals with an LLB degree or equivalent.

MPhil Multidisciplinary Human Rights 0125004
The MPhil is open to non-lawyers with at least an honours degree. In exceptional cases, a Bachelor’s degree is considered when coupled with years of experience in human rights work.

Download Postgraduate Administrative Processes

Course structure

 Module Name   Module Code  Credits  

Research Methodology

This is compulsory and will be held on Saturday 9 March 2019. Please refer to the timetable for the venue. The research methodology class is meant to equip you with knowledge on how to draft the research proposal. Once you have completed this course, you can start looking for a supervisor who will assist you in writing the research proposal itself as well as the mini-dissertation. The research proposal is usually done in the second semester because if you have completed the MHR 801 and One other elective, that means in the second semester you will have 1 elective. You are however welcome to start on it as soon as you are able to if you plan to graduate this December.

Research Proposal 

The supervisor will guide and work with you and approve your research proposal once it is ready. Aim to get your proposal approved by the end of October because supervisors get really busy towards year-end; if you leave things until the last minute, you may find yourself stressed when you send work for consideration and there is no response. Exams are between 2-22 November 2019, and the academic year ends on 2 December ( and things get very busy then).

You can only register for the mini-dissertation when your research proposal has been approved and the form submitted to the student administration. So if you plan to register for the mini-dissertation next year, your research proposal must be completed this year, and bear in mind the academic year ends on 2 December. 
RHP 801 10
Mini-dissertation (prerequisite RHP 801) MND 800 100
Multidisciplinary Human Rights   MHR 801 30
and any TWO of the following modules of which at least one should be a module marked with a *    
Global Perspectives on Law, Rights and Development LRD 802 30    
*Socio-economic Rights under Comparative and International Law SRI 801 30    
*Socio-economic Rights in the South African Constitution SRC 802 30    
*Law and Sustainable Development LRD 301 30    
*Post-apartheid Jurisprudence PAJ 801 30    

Curriculum Content

Module Code  Content Name  Content 
HPH 801

History and Philosophy of Human Rights

1st  Semester

  1.  Historical and philosophical perspectives on rights.
  2. Critical perspectives on rights.
  3. Legal philosophical and political notions of justice.
  4. Applications within the SA context.
LRD 802

Global Perspectives on Law, Rights and Development 

24 June - 12 Aug

2nd Semester

  1. Post-structural/post-modern legal theory.
  2. Post-colonial legal theory.
  3. Feminist legal theory.
  4. Application within a developmental context.
MHR 801 Multidisciplinary Human Rights

1st Semester  
A combination of at least seven of the following topics:
  1. The state, democracy and human rights.
  2. International relations and human rights.
  3. History of human rights, including “grassroots narratives”.
  4. Human rights in visual media (art and film).
  5. Human rights in literature.
  6. Human rights fact-finding and reporting; human rights journalism.
  7. Human rights and HIV/AIDS.
  8. Medicine, medical ethics and human rights.
  9. Civil society, “grassroots movements” and human rights.
  10. Poverty and Human Rights.
  11. Globalisation and Human Rights.
  12. Human Rights and social change.
  13. Social science research and human rights.
  14. Tradition, religion and human rights.
  15. Gender and human rights.
  16. Transitional justice, reconciliation and justice.
PAJ 801

Post-Apartheid Jurisprudence

1st Semester  

This module deals with the following aspects:

  1. Transformative constitutionalism.
  2. Post-apartheid jurisprudence.
  3. Law, memory, reconciliation and reparation.
RHP 801

Research Methodology and Research Proposal

1st Semester 

  1. Overview of the research and writing process.
  2. Research methods.
  3. Philosophical and ethical issues in research.
  4. Methodological approaches to legal research.
  5. Logic and argument.
  6. Writing.
  7. Development and presentation of a research proposal

(Research proposal must be submitted to the supervisor and accepted in the first year of study before the student will be allowed to register for the mini-dissertation.)

SRC 802

Socio-Economic Rights in the South African Constitution

1st Semester 

An analysis of the theory and practice of constitutional socio-economic rights in South Africa, with a specific focus on litigation and legal advocacy in this respect.

LRD 801

LRD 801 (Law and Sustainable Development) 801

1st Semester 

This module is an introduction to the Law and Sustainable Development discipline. Using a “systems” approach, the module exposes students to the complexities of development given globalisation, the separation of powers, and international public interest / human rights law. Three core subsystems (politics, economics and law) are considered, to make the case for a multidisciplinary but integrated development model.

In this model, the law, judiciary and legal practitioners play a primary role to galvanise and shape development policy and a secondary role to redress infractions and omissions. Students will consider development in a post-WWII context and the paradigms that have shaped the thinking, policies, programmes and practices adopted by nation-states to advance the aspirations and legal obligations set out in international, regional and national human rights instruments. The module content includes:

  1. Development in a Post-World War II context;
  2. Institutional economics; 
  3. Foreign investment and Law and Sustainable Development; and
  4. Practical considerations in Law and Sustainable Development.
SRI 801

Socio-Economic Rights Under Comparative and International Law

1st Semester  

  1. Protection of socio-economic rights in other domestic jurisdictions, in particular in Africa.
  2. Introduction to International human rights law.
  3. Socio-economic rights in the UN human rights system.
  4. Socio-economic rights in the African human rights system.
  5. Socio-economic rights in the European human rights system.
  6. Socio-economic rights in the Inter-American human rights system.
  7. Socio-economic rights in other emerging regional human rights systems.
MND 800

MINI-DISSERTATION (prerequisite RHP 801)

6 Months-1 Year

  1. The student must submit a research proposal during his or her first year of registration for the LLM degree to the supervisor prior to commencing with the writing of the mini-dissertation.
  2. A mini-dissertation (MND 800) of 13 000 to 15 000 words inclusive of footnotes but excluding the list of contents and the bibliography, is required. The mini-dissertation must be submitted to the study leader not later than August of the second year of registration for the LLM programme. The mini-dissertation must deal with the subject content of one of the modules or a combination of the modules registered for by the student for his or her LLM degree. Any request for an extension of the period for submission of the mini-dissertation may only be granted by the Dean on the recommendation of the LLM committee.

Stay on track

Graduation deadlines

The Student administration requires work to be submitted at set times in the year in order to qualify for graduation in April, September and December. A brief summary is offered here, but more information is available in the yearbook under administrative processes.

April Graduation

  • Inform student administration of your intention to submit the mini-dissertation by the end of June
  • Submit the examination copy to the administrative officer by the end of October.
  • Submit the final version of the mini-dissertation to the administrative officer by the 15th of February.

September Graduation

  • Inform student administration of your intention to submit the mini-dissertation by the end of January.
  • Submit the examination copy to the administrative officer by the end of May,
  • Submit the final version of the mini-dissertation to the administrative officer by the 15th of July.

December Graduation

  • Inform student administration of your intention to submit the mini-dissertation by the end of June.
  • Submit the examination copy to the administrative officer by the end of August.
  • Submit the final version of the mini-dissertation to the administrative officer by 15 November.


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