WPCS 2.1.2
Tuition Fees:$2,143 /year
Part-time Study:4 years
Applications Begin:April 2021
Final Award:PhD in Law
Start Date:February 2020
Academic Unit:Faculty of Commerce, Law and Management
Campus:West Campus
Application Deadline: September 2021
Programme Overview

The PhD is suitable for students who have an interest in conducting independent and highly specialised academic research which may not be available as postgraduate courses. Our academics have expertise to supervise in an extensive range of legal topics which would enhance the professional expertise and standing of those who complete this degree.

The PhD is therefore suitable for law graduates and legal professionals who wish to enhance their knowledge of highly specialised areas and for those who wish to become legal academics.

Structure/ Programme
A candidate for a PhD qualification must successfully defend a research proposal within six months of registration (in the case of full-time candidates) or twelve months of registration (in the case of part-time candidates).

A Doctor of Philosophy degree is awarded on the successful submission of a doctoral thesis which should make a substantial contribution to the advancement of knowledge in the field of investigation. The length of the thesis should be between 70 000 and 100 000 words.

The minimum period of registration for the PhD is two years (full-time) and four years (part-time). The maximum period of study is two years in addition to the minimum period of study.

Admission Requirements

– A masters degree or an equivalent qualification from Wits University or another university.
– A supervisor from the School must be identified and approached prior to application.
Additional Entry Requirements
Prospective Research students should, in the first instance, contact the Chair of Postgraduate Studies at the School of Law before making a formal application so that the School can evaluate the students’ research plans, academic qualifications and ascertain the availability of supervision in the chosen topic.

The Chair requires the students CV, copies of Degree certificates, academic transcripts and a brief outline in the form of a four- to five- page document containing a descriptive title and a summary of the research to be undertaken and the principal questions to be investigated. These should be sent to the Course Coordinator.

Application Process
Application Fees for South African and SADC Students: $14
Application Fees for International Students: $14

– Applications are handled centrally by the Student Enrolment Centre (SEnC). Once your application is complete in terms of requested documentation, your application will be referred to the relevant School for assessment.
Apply onlineUpload your supporting documents at the time of application, or via the Self Service Portal.
– Applicants can monitor the progress of their applications via the Self Service Portal, view academic application status, accept an offer (once certified hardcopies have been received by SEnC), apply and check residence application status, and generate a fees estimate.
– Selections for programmes that have a limited intake but attract a large number of applications may only finalise the application at the end of the application cycle.
Please note that the Entry Requirements are a guide. Meeting these requirements does not guarantee a place. Final selection is made subject to the availability of places, academic results and other entry requirements where applicable.

For more information, contact the Student Call Centre +27 (0)11 717 1888, or log a query at

Career Opportunities

Graduates of this programme can explore a variety of career paths, including:
– legal research
– academic teaching
– international business
– international diplomacy
– finance, banking,

Tuition Fees Details
    [ID] => 1631
    [key] => field_5a5d9edc676a4
    [label] => Tuition Fees Duration
    [name] => tuition_fees_duration
    [prefix] => acf
    [type] => select
    [value] => /year
    [menu_order] => 49
    [instructions] => 
    [required] => 0
    [id] => 
    [class] => 
    [conditional_logic] => 0
    [parent] => 169
    [wrapper] => Array
            [width] => 50
            [class] => 
            [id] => 

    [choices] => Array
            [/year] => /year
            [/month] => /month
            [/trimester] => /trimester
            [/semester] => /semester
            [for the full programme] => for the full programme

    [default_value] => Array

    [allow_null] => 0
    [multiple] => 0
    [ui] => 0
    [ajax] => 0
    [return_format] => value
    [placeholder] => 
    [_name] => tuition_fees_duration
    [_valid] => 1
Tuition Fees for South African and SADC Students: $2,143
Tuition Fees for International Students: $2,143

Tuition Fees per year for South African Students = R31,200
Tuition Fees per year for International Students = R31,200
(The tuition fees for International students constitutes an additional International Registration fee R6,650 to the normal fees.)

**Students from the Southern African Development Community (SADC) member countries pay also annual local tuition fees and related costs (The SADC member countries are Angola, Botswana, Comoros, Democratic Republic of Congo, Eswatini, Lesotho, Madagascar, Malawi, Mauritius, Mozambique, Namibia, Seychelles, Tanzania, Zambia and Zimbabwe)

International Students should take note:
– 75% of the annual tuition fee is payable on or before registration, as well as 75% of the on-campus accommodation fee.
– This payment includes the annual tuition fees and other related costs.
– The balance of the fees is payable by 31 March for undergraduate students, and for postgraduate students 30 days after registration. This excludes students with Refugee status.
– Fees clearance is to be obtained from the Fees Office.
– If you are sponsored, your sponsorship letter has to be vetted by the Financial Aid and Scholarships
Office (FASO).
– All international students (those who are not South African citizens or who do not have permanent residence status in South Africa) are required by the Department of Home Affairs to provide proof of available funds for the tuition fee for the academic year prior to receiving his/her study visa.

Relevant Contact

Judy Mafika
PhD coordinator