College of Law

Changes to the LLB curriculum

In view of the changing legal education needs in the country, curriculum reform of the current LLB curricula is inevitable. Consequent to the new National LLB standards and the National LLB review outcomes changes will be made to the LLB curriculum (and the BCom Law curriculum), which will take effect in the 2018 academic year. These changes are a concerted effort by the College of Law to ensure that there is a high level of congruency between the new National LLB Standards and Unisa LLB curriculum.

Phasing-out and integration of modules

The following modules will be phased-out in the second semester of 2017, and replaced by integrated modules: 

Current modules to be phased out as standalone modules

The new integrated module name and code (from January 2018)

  • The Origins of South African Law - FLS1501
  • Foundations of South African Law - FLS1502

Historical Foundations of South African Law - HFL1501

  • General Principles of Civil Procedure - CIP2601
  • Civil Procedure: Court Proceedings - CIP3701

Civil Procedure - CIV3701

  • Evidence: Admissibility of Evidence - EVI3701
  • Evidence: the Presentation and Assessment of Evidence - EVI3702

Law of Evidence 3701 - LEV3701

  • Law of Criminal Procedure: Pre-Trial - CMP2601
  • Law of Criminal Procedure: Trial and Post-Trial - CMP3701

Criminal Procedure - CRP3701

  • Research Literacy for Law - SCL1502

Introduction to research methodology for law and criminal justice - IRM1501

  • LLB Research Methodology - HMLLB80

LLB Research Report - RRLLB81

 

Modules to be discontinued

The following modules are being discontinued in entirety effective 2018. This means that there will be no registration permitted for these modules in 2018: 

  • Law of Negotiable Instruments, Intellectual Property and Competition - MRL4801
  • Legal Transactions in International Law - LCP4802
  • International Transport Law - LCP4803
  • Advanced Constitutional Law and Fundamental Rights - LCP4806
  • World Trade Law - LCP4808
  • Forensic Medicine - LCR4801
  • Comparative Law - LJU4803
  • South African Law of International Trade - LML4808

The following transition arrangements are put in place with the best interest of students as the paramount deciding factor:

  1. Second semester of 2017 will be the teach out period for the integrated modules, and modules discontinued in their entirety. Any student who fails to pass the affected modules during the main October/November 2017 examinations will be afforded the last examination opportunity in January 2018.
  2. Students who failed during the last opportunity of both or either of the integrated modules will have to register for the new equivalent module.
  3. No existing student will be negatively affected by the changes made to the LLB curriculum.

Changes to the LLB curriculum: facts, questions and answers

1. What is the effect of a finding of notice of withdrawal of accreditation?

There are five options that can result from a national review:

a. Accreditation confirmed with commendation

b. Accreditation confirmed

c. Re-accreditation subject to meeting specified conditions

d. Notice of withdrawal of accreditation

e. Accreditation withdrawn

Unisa received a notice of withdrawal and in terms of a notice of a withdrawal of accreditation, Unisa is required to implement the recommendations made by the CHE. Unisa will submit an improvement plan by 6 October 2017 to indicate how the issues raised in the HEQC report will be addressed, including time frames. Your qualification remains accredited.

2. How does the finding of notice of withdrawal affect current students?

Students currently enrolled for our LLB programme are not affected at all. They will graduate with an accredited LLB qualification.

3. What are the benefits of the integrated or unified subject teaching in some modules, such as CIP2601 and CIP3701, for example?

There are many advantages and benefits, for example, it has resulted in the streamlining of the modules. In order to ensure integrated learning of the tutorial matter, the module such as Civil Procedure is not separated into procedure in the lower courts and procedure in the higher courts as was traditionally taught, wrongly assuming that the two courts procedures are fundamentally different from one another. Rather this module adopted a unified approach to the subject.

4. Does the proposed amendment to the LLB curriculum means that number of modules will be reduced from 40?

The amendments will not affect the number of modules. The LLB programme still has 40 modules.

5. I  have passed the modules that will be integrated in 2018. Would I still have to do the new modules as well?

No. You will never be required to do the new integrated module if you have passed the two modules that were offered as stand-alone in the old curriculum.

6. I have already passed "The Origins of South African Law - FLS1501" and "Foundations of South African Law - FLS1502." Does this mean that I will not be required to do the new integrated module entitled "Historical Foundations of South African Law - HFL1501"?

Those who have passed both the integrated modules do not have to do the new module. If you have passed FSL1501 and FSL1502, for example, you do not have to do HFL1501. The same applies to CMP, CIP and EVI.

7. I have already passed, for example, "General Principles of Civil Procedure - CIP2601" but not yet "Civil Procedure: Court Proceedings - CIP3701". Does this mean that I must still do the new integrated module entitled "Civil Procedure - CIV3701" ?

You are highly advised to register for CIP3701 in the second semester of 2017. The same applies to CMP, EVI and the FLS modules. General Principles of Civil Procedure - CIP2601 and Civil Procedure: Court Proceedings - CIP3701, for example, will be running separately for the last time in semester 2 of 2017. Students who fail any of the last-mentioned modules will be given a “supplementary examination opportunity” in January 2018. You will be required to do the new integrated module in 2018 should you be unable to pass any of the stand-alone modules to ensure that you complete your LLB with the required number of credits.

8. I have already passed "Research Literacy for Law - SCL1502". Does this mean that I will not be required to do the new integrated module entitled "Introduction to research methodology for law and criminal justice - IRM1501"?

A student who has passed SCL1502 shall be exempted from IRM1501.

9. Are you going to introduce other modules in the LLB degree or is it now going to be a three-year degree?

Your LLB degree will remain a 480-credit degree with 40 modules. It remains a four-year degree despite the changes. A few new modules will be introduced to the curriculum.

10. In light of the pending changes to the LLB curriculum, will it be correct for one to be proactive and cancel the modules that are to be discontinued (ie for second semester 2017) and do the newly created replacement modules?

It would not make sense to cancel CIP3701, for example, if you have already passed CIP2601. Rather keep your CIP3701 registration for the second semester of 2017, pass it, and you will be exempted from doing CIV3701 in 2018. You will only be able to register for the new modules in 2018.

11. Which modules will be introduced to the curriculum in 2018?

The 2018 LLB curriculum template is posted on the CLAW website with more details on the new modules.

12. Are all the modules in the 2018 LLB curriculum law modules?

As part of the National LLB standards and the re-accreditation requirements, the LLB curricula of all faculties in South Africa is required to have non-law modules to imbue knowledge other than law. The following non-law modules will be introduced at NQF level 5 (first-year level) as core modules in addition to Social Dimensions of Justice - SJD1501:

  • Introduction to African Philosophy - PLS1502
  • Language through an African lens - AFL1501

You will also be required to choose one of the following electives at NQF level 5 (first-year level):

  • Multilingualism: the role of language in the South African context - LIN1502
  • Introduction to criminology: crime criminals and criminal behaviour - CMY1501
  • Introduction to criminology: victims and reduction of crime and reaction to crime - CMY1502


13. When will we be issued a new curriculum to choose from?

The new curriculum will be posted on our website soon. It will also be made available to you when you register for the 2018 academic year.

14. What other arrangements are made that I should know about?

  • Second semester of 2017 will be the teach out period for the current modules, and selected modules discontinued in their entirety. Any student who fails to pass the affected modules during the main October/November 2017 examinations will be afforded the last examination opportunity in January 2018.
  • Students who failed during the last opportunity both or either of the current modules will have to register for the new modules.
  • No existing student will be negatively affected by the changes made to the LLB curriculum.

15. Where can I send an e-mail if I have any additional questions?

For LLB enquiries, please send an e-mail to Karelmg@unisa.ac.za
For enquiries related to the BCom Law degree, please send an e-mail to Ehrenm@unisa.ac.za

Click here for the list of frequently asked questions and answers (PDF).