Where Can I Study Law In South Africa

What is a Law?

Law is a set of rules that are created and are enforceable by social or governmental institutions to regulate behavior, with its precise definition a matter of longstanding debate. It has been variously described as a science and as the art of justice.

Where Can I Study Law In South Africa

University of Cape Town (UCT)

Nestled on the slopes of Table Mountain, UCT’s Faculty of Law is internationally renowned for its academic excellence and progressive approach.

Boasting strong alumni networks and a focus on social justice, UCT’s curriculum emphasizes critical thinking and practical legal skills. International students are drawn to its diverse research areas, including human rights, environmental law, and African legal systems.

University of Witwatersrand (Wits)

Wits Law is another top contender among the top law universities in South Africa, known for its innovative teaching methods and focus on critical thinking.

The faculty includes leading legal scholars and practitioners, ensuring students receive a well-rounded education. Wits Law offers various specialized programs, including commercial lawintellectual property law, and mining law.

University of Pretoria

The University of Pretoria’s Faculty of Law is recognized for its strong academic tradition and commitment to legal excellence. The faculty offers a wide range of undergraduate and postgraduate programs, catering to diverse interests. Pretoria Law is particularly renowned for its expertise in public law, commercial law, and international law.

Cost of Studying Law in South Africa

When looking into law schools in South Africa, you’ll notice that tuition, housing, and living expenses vary greatly. Some colleges in South Africa impose tuition fees of roughly R25,921.10 at the lower end of the pricing spectrum. You’d be better off studying law in China or India at these rates.

Even some of South Africa’s lowest-ranked law schools offer tuition significantly below R37,616.70. A legal degree in South Africa is still a sensible investment at these rates, especially given the expanding demand.

However, it is vital to realize that the cost of living in many countries is expensive, which makes studying there financially difficult. Fortunately, the expense of attending law school in South Africa is not as high as it appears.

Admission Requirements

To apply to Law universities in South Africa, international students must satisfy the following admission requirements. For more course-specific criteria, you can check out your chosen university’s official website:

  1. Matriculation certificate (or equivalent qualifications like IB Diploma) with good grades in relevant subjects like English, Mathematics, and possibly History or Social Sciences.
  2. For postgraduate Law programs, a relevant Bachelor’s degree with a good academic standing (often a minimum GPA of 70% or equivalent).
  3. English Language Requirements:
TestMinimum Score
IELTS (Academic)6.5 -7.0 with no band below 6.0
TOEFL iBT90-100
PTE Academic63-67
  1. Interview, writing samples, or work experience.

Documents Required

Similar to the admission requirements, the documents needed to apply to law universities in SA are different for each institute. Here are some general ones: 

  • Completed online application form
  • Certified copies of academic transcripts and certificates (original degree certificates may be requested later)
  • Proof of English language proficiency (test scores like IELTS, TOEFL, etc.)
  • Curriculum Vitae (CV/Resume)
  • Reference letters (usually 2-3)
  • Personal statement or motivation letter 
  • Essays, work samples, or portfolio

How to Apply?

Here are some general steps to apply to Law universities in South Africa in 2024 as an international student:

  1. Research South African universities and their Law programs to find the best fit for your interests and qualifications.
  2. Each university has specific deadlines for applications, so ensure you submit yours on time.
  3. Fill out the application form carefully, providing all required information and uploading necessary documents.
  4. Some universities charge an application fee, so be prepared to pay it when submitting your application.
  5. Keep track of your application status through the university portal or by contacting the admissions office directly.
  6. Some universities may invite shortlisted candidates for an interview. Research common Law school interview questions and prepare beforehand.

Q1. What are the admission requirements for international students in Law universities in South Africa?

Ans. While requirements vary with each university, they generally include academic transcripts, standardized test scores like TOEFL, IELTS, PTE, and personal statements.

Q2. What are the career prospects for law graduates in South Africa?

Ans. Opportunities abound in legal practice, government, NGOs, and corporations. The legal sector is growing, particularly in areas like corporate law, environmental law, and human rights.

Q3. Can I practice law internationally with a South African law degree?

Ans. Yes, many countries recognize South African degrees, but additional exams or qualifications may be needed.