The Faculty of Law, celebrating its centenary in 2021, is housed in the Old Main Building at the heart of Stellenbosch University, and is home to approximately 1200 students who study across 5 undergraduate law programmes.

Brochures and Newsletters


empty tag

What are the minimum admission requirements?

You can find the minimum admission requirements for all programmes on

Will I be placed in a programme, if I meet the minimum admission requirements?

No, the university does not guarantee you a place in a programme if you meet the minimum admission requirements. Typically, all programmes have some form of selection process.

Which Faculty does the BA (Law) fall under?

Technically, you are a student in the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences. You will receive your degree from this Faculty. However, seeing that a large number of your modules are in the Law Faculty, you will join the Welcoming Programme of the Law Faculty, and the Faculty also assists you with certain administrative queries.

Which Faculty does the BCom (Law) fall under?

Technically, you are a student in the Faculty of Economic and Management Sciences (EMS). You will receive your degree from this Faculty. However, seeing that a large number of your modules are in the Law Faculty, you will join the Welcoming Programme of the Law Faculty and the Faculty also assists you with certain administrative queries.

Does the Faculty have bursaries for law students?

Whilst the Faculty does not have specific bursaries for first-year law students, you could apply for financial support from the central Bursaries and Loans office, at Stellenbosch University. Please see their website for further information, as well as the Bursaries and Loans Calendar.

The Faculty does have some bursaries available for students in need during the later years of study, which are allocated on the basis of academic merit and needs.

Can I become a Chartered Accountant & Legal Practitioner with BAcc LLB? Yes, some of our alumni have qualified both as Chartered Accountant and Legal Practitioner (attorney or advocate).
Can I go work overseas with my degree? You can, but subject to the same requirements that would face a law graduate from a different country wanting to practice law in South Africa. Since the legal professions in different countries are controlled by their versions of our Law Society/Legal Practice Council, a student wishing to practice in a different country would need to comply with the requirements of their Law Society or Council, which would usually involve some sort of a conversion course and exam, in order to be able to practice there. What the process would involve, would be completely dependent on which country/jurisdiction was involved. But we can confirm that over the years, many graduates from the Stellenbosch Law Faculty are working overseas, so this is certainly possible.
How do I become a legal practitioner (attorney/advocate)

Attorney: Once you have completed your LLB degree, you must join a law firm as a candidate attorney for 2 years and pass your attorney’s admission examinations in order to be admitted as an attorney. An alternative to this would be to complete a 6-month practical legal training course and then join a law firm for 1 year as a candidate attorney, as well as passing the attorney’s admission examinations before being admitted.

Advocate: Once you have completed your LLB degree, you must apply for, and complete 1 year of pupillage at a Bar Association, and then pass your Bar Examinations to be admitted as a junior advocate.

How do I become a judge? You must first be admitted as an attorney or advocate (or work as a Magistrate) and after gaining experience in practice, make yourself available for the possible appointment as an acting judge. Finally, you must be nominated for the appointment as a judge, and then be appointed after a successful interview process.
How do I become a magistrate? Once you have completed your LLB degree and obtained experience as a legal practitioner (attorney or advocate), you apply for the position of a Magistrate once a vacancy arises.
How do I become an in-house legal counsel? Often in-house legal counsel are persons that have practiced law as a legal professional (attorney/advocate), but at times LLB, BAcc LLB or BCom (Law) or BA (Law) graduates join corporate firms directly after graduating.
I am an international student; can I be admitted as a legal practitioner (attorney/advocate) in South Africa? Admission into the profession requires not only an LLB degree from a South African university but also requires South African citizenship or permanent residency in South Africa, amongst other things. Read more:
Shy? Where can I learn to be more comfortable with speaking in front of others? The great thing about the legal profession is how broad its scope is. Depending on what area or field you enter, you need not necessarily be the world’s greatest orator, or have to stand up in court and argue before a magistrate or judge. However, being comfortable in getting your viewpoint or argument across, or engaging with clients or fellow co-workers, is obviously a very useful skill to acquire. One doesn’t have to acquire it, but it remains something that all law students should at least aspire towards. There are plenty of ways to start becoming more comfortable with speaking up, ranging from study-groups with your friends, making points in tutorial classes, asking or answering questions in class, or serving on committees/leadership positions on campus. Further opportunities might also present themselves by signing up for any number of societies on campus, such as the Debating Society – or the Moot Society at the Faculty. Mooting, where you participate in fictional court cases, and can eventually end up arguing your case before real judges, is arguably the pinnacle in becoming proficient at speaking up as a law student. But as mentioned, there are many other ways to practice that particular skill – start with what you are comfortable with, and work from there.
What are law firm internships, and should I do them? This is completely dependent on you, but it remains advisable as a means to gain important experience about what the real world of law looks like. It will also reflect well on your future CV when the time comes to apply for articles at law firms (after graduation). Do research on the internet, or simply contact firms that you are interested in directly, to enquire about any internships or vacation programmes. Also, keep an eye out on the notice boards in the Faculty, or on announcements placed up on the Law101 SUNLearn module, where positions could be advertised.
What are my career options? You are not limited – think about it like this, whilst you are doing a professional degree, the obvious choices are clear (legal professional or in the case of the BAcc LLB also chartered accountant), however, you can pursue the same careers that a BA graduate and (depending on your study programme) BCom or BAcc graduate can pursue. You can work in the media (e.g., journalist), politics (e.g., politician), local or national government (e.g., deeds examiner, legal services for the municipality, SARS, any of the ministries); National Prosecuting Authority (e.g., public prosecutor); or pursue careers in marketing, insurance services, business or as a tax consultant (e.g., tax advisor) etc., etc.
When do I apply for articles? If you wish to work for one of the larger law firms, typically you would apply for articles in your second year of the LLB (4 years) programme, third year of the BAcc LLB programme or your final year of the BCom (Law) / BA (Law) programmes. For medium and smaller firms typically, you would apply in your pre-final and final year of studies.


What are the shared characteristics held by a typical law student?

Whilst it is usually not advisable to speak in general terms about the characteristics of a group of people – since that group is obviously made up of individuals, who are all unique – some comments can nonetheless be made about what makes a “typical” law student: Our students tend to be inquisitive, detail-orientated, and aware of developments around them that affect people, or the broader society. They are not afraid of holding viewpoints, but are mindful that views can change, as more information comes to light. They usually possess a strong, inherent sense of justice – in that they know when something is wrong, and that something should be done about it. They are appreciative of how reading and absorbing information can empower them to gather an understanding of something that others simply might not have, or do not care about. They are analytical in their thinking; and like to understand why things are the way they are, rather than just accepting them for what they are. They enjoy learning about new things. They enjoy explaining about what they have learned, to others. They are mindful of the dangers of jumping to conclusions too quickly. They are aware that most things are open to interpretation. They understand that a persuasive argument is not necessarily the same as an authoritative argument. They are not afraid of working hard, and consistently. They place great value on the importance of lifelong learning. They recognise the possible role that they can fulfil in the context of the broader society. They value the importance of being able to think and reason, creatively. They are self-aware, and they acknowledge their own involvement in, and responsibility to, their eventual success and future endeavours.

Exchange Programme
Can I participate in an exchange programme at a different university, and if so, when?

The semester exchange programme in the Faculty of Law is limited to final year LLB students (all LLB programmes), who will spend their final semester at one of our partner universities overseas/internationally.

A semester exchange is unfortunately not possible in the BA (Law) or BCom (Law) undergraduate programmes, or the BAcc LLB programme.

Can I participate in summer or winter schools? Typically, from your second year onwards, you should be able to participate in summer or winter schools abroad. Visit the International Office to find out more about these exciting opportunities.
Will my IEB results be considered differently from the NSC results?

No, the Faculty does not differentiate between applicants with IEB or NSC results. The National Benchmark Test is used as an equalizer.

In what language can I study?

Please have a look at the language plan of the University, which is available online here.

Kindly note that the University’s language policy and plan are considered and renewed every five years, to ensure that it is up to date and matches the requirements and expectations of the University’s students, staff, and the broader South African context. As a new student, you will have the choice of studying in either English or Afrikaans and will be able to answer all your tests and exams in either language. Furthermore, formal academic material will be provided in both languages as well.

I hear there will be a new programme in 2022, how will this impact me?

Students who have started their degrees in 2021 will only be impacted by the new programmes if they fail modules. The Calendar will contain bridging rules explaining what to do if a module is not passed. Students starting their programme from 2022 onwards, will be taking the renewed law programme curriculum, and complete their degrees having taken it. Importantly, the exact same degrees are still going to be offered. It is mostly the combination of modules in those programmes, the names of modules, and the credit-size of some of the modules in the programmes that are changing. Some new modules are being introduced, and the content of some former modules are being rolled into different modules. However, by and large, the content of the renewed programmes remains the same.

Am I required to have Maths for law programmes? Applicants for the BCom (Law) and BAcc LLB programme must have Maths.
Applicants for the LLB and BA (Law) programme do not have to have Maths.
I would like to keep doing Maths, but am concerned that it will be a disadvantage for my application to the LLB programme? The Faculty of Law does take into consideration that applicants that have taken Maths (and not Mathematical Literacy) will have lower marks in that module. During selection for the LLB and BA (Law) programmes, the Faculty will increase the pure Math mark to account for the difference between Maths and Mathematical Literacy.
Why must I write the National Benchmark Test?

Applicants for law programmes must write the National Benchmark Test for selection purposes. An applicant that does not write the National Benchmark Test in time, will only be ranked based on their Grade 11 result (with a 0 being calculated for the National Benchmark Test).

The Faculty of Law uses the National Benchmark Test to balance out final Grade 11 results from the wide variety of schools and different schooling systems.

Programme administration
Can I take additional modules? We will not allow a first-year law student to take additional modules at the university. If your first year goes very well, we can certainly consider allowing this in your second year and as always subject to class-, test- and examination timetables.
How do I choose first-year electives? You should choose what you are interested in, read up on the various modules (you will find module information in the relevant Faculty Calendar) and talk to the lecturers in those modules to get more information if you are not quite sure. Remember that whilst you will choose your electives when you register, you can still change these electives during the course of the first 2 weeks of class.
How do I choose my language elective? Depending on your programme, you have a variety of language choices. Ultimately the choice will be your own, however, you could, for example, choose to expand your knowledge in a language that you are already proficient in (home language) or you could choose to learn a new language. As a law student, it is important to remember that language is one of the tools of your trade, mastering a language or acquiring a new language will certainly be beneficial.
How do the different law programmes fit in with one another? Why are some longer or shorter than others? Remember that, regardless of what programmes you are enrolled in, you will be enrolled for essentially the same law modules as everyone else. It is the other modules, from other Faculties, that are different – but again, this is dependent on your programme. Then, regarding the length – the BCom (Law and BA (Law) programmes have the same law modules as the first 2 years of the 4 Year LLB but spread out over 3 years. To these are added, their extra BCom or BA modules. After three years, those students then graduate with their BA or BCom (Law) degrees but cannot practice as legal professionals. They need to then do the 2 Year LLB PG programme, which is then the same as the final 2 years of the 4 Year LLB programme, in order to be able to practice as legal professionals. LLB students, therefore, take 4 years to complete their degree, the BA or BCom (Law) students take 5 years (3-year UG + 2-year PG), and the BAcc LLB students take 5 years (since they essentially take the 4 Yr LLB and the BAcc degree at the same time).
I am struggling with spelling; will they subtract marks for spelling? As a general rule, writing is very important to a legal professional. It remains the most common form of communication that you will use, in the legal field. With that being said, with the available technology and the fact that almost all writing is done digitally, many of the problems usually associated with spelling can be minimised. However, spell-checkers are not perfect, and attention to detail remains of crucial importance, as does basic grammar. At the Faculty, you will still write the overwhelming majority of your tests and exams with pen, on paper. Therefore, being able to spell in general, will contribute to a favourable overall impression. Some students might have legitimate spelling challenges, as a result of various underlying conditions, such as dyslexia. Upon your arrival on campus, you can present this information to the Faculty, and a discussion can then be had about what accommodation (if possible) can be made.
My parents want to know how I am progressing, can they contact the Faculty or University? In terms of the Protection of Personal Information Act (POPIA), we are not allowed to share any information with your parents, unless you are present and consent to us sharing this information. Your parents therefore must receive any information from you, and you can of course give them access to your online student profile.
What are Elective modules? The term “elective” is used for a module/subject that a student “elects” to take, usually from a selection of subjects. By way of example, in the final year of your law programmes, 4 elective semester subjects/modules may be taken in the 2nd semester. A series of electives are available to be taken (their details are in the Yearbook/Calendar), and final year students then “choose” to take 4 of them, depending on their interest and availability. Depending on the programme, electives can be taken across the different years, or only in certain years.
What are module “credits”? All of the modules you will enrol for at university, have a particular “credit weight” attached to them. When checking in the various Calendars, you will see the name of the module, then a code – which describes what year that module is taken in within the programme, and whether or not it is a year or semester module – before a number in round brackets, e.g. (6), (12), (18), or (24). Different degree programmes might attach different credit weights to different types of modules, but usually, there is consistency across the modules within specific years, within each of their respective programmes. A credit weight serves as a rough guide to how much work, or workload, is to be associated with a particular module – and consequently, how much work a student is expected to put into that module to be successful at it. In its simplest form, a single credit represents 10 “notional hours” that is to be spent in a module. A 24-credit module, for example, involves 240 hours – and since that is usually attached to a year module, speaks then to 240 hours to be spent on that module across the academic year (+/- 26 weeks). Of importance, however, is the point that those hours include everything: attending class, attending tutorials, studying in preparation for tests and exams, writing the tests and exams, preparing for tutorials and class attendance, all the reading in that module of prescribed materials, writing of assignments, researching for those assignments, summarising and making of notes etc. So, whilst it might seem like a lot, and to an extent it is, it is also not impossible when one thinks about what would be expected in any event, of preparation at university.
What is meant by a “Major”? This is used to refer to the “main” module that some of the programmes have options in terms of. Typically, this would be a programme such as BA (Law), where the student can elect a series of Arts/BA modules from 1st year to 3rd year. Whichever module that student has taken at 1st year, 2nd year and then 3rd-year level will be their “major”.
How future-proof is a law degree?

We are increasingly being asked this question, considering all the talk around the world about Artificial Intelligence (AI), automation, big-data analysis, cloud computing and the like – and the impact this will have (and is having) on the traditional legal fields. There is no doubt that certain areas of the law, as they currently function, are going to be increasingly influenced by technology, to the point where the need – or degree of involvement – by actual attorneys or legal graduates, is going to be affected. This is especially so in those industries which traditionally were heavily influenced by the “transactional” type of legal interactions, which are focused on confirming that the necessary conditions are in place for the legal transaction, and if so – do this, if not – do that. But whilst aspects of the legal industry are going to be adjusted by technology, it remains important to acknowledge the human element, and the interaction between those parties, that so often forms the basis of the law. It is because of this, that there is always going to be a place for law graduates, and their unique perspective of the world and its information, as brought about by their legal training. As a Stellenbosch law graduate, you would have been exposed to these changes (present and future), through modules such as Law and Technology, and within any number of your different law subjects – where the intersection between future technologies and the existing legal system would have been explored.

How are students selected for a law programme? Applicants are ranked according to academic merit. The Faculty of Law considers both the final Grade 11 (or if available final Grade 12 results) and the National Benchmark Test results to rank applicants from strongest to weakest, for the purposes of selection.
How many places are available in the law programmes?

The enrolment plan of the Faculty of Law is as follows:

LLB (4 year) programme: 120 students
BAcc LLB programme: 40 students
BCom (Law) programme: 60 students
BA (Law) programme: 50 students

When do I specialise into a specific area of law?

Typically, you will only specialise in your postgraduate studies (Master of Laws or a Postgraduate Diploma) or in practice. In your final year of the LLB degree you are however exposed to certain electives which could be part of the foundation of a specialisation in a field of law.

Will you take my sporting, cultural and leadership achievements into consideration for selection?

No, the Faculty only considers applications on academic merit. The reason for this is that not all applicants have had the same opportunities in their respective schools. As such, the Faculty is very mindful of not wanting to limit the application opportunity of any prospective students, on the basis of what school they managed to attend, and which facilities were available at those schools.

Ubomi bomfundi

I do not enjoy reading…


Unfortunately, it will be in your best interests to develop a love (or at the very least, toleration) for reading. One of the core skills that sets a law graduate apart from other students and their programmes, is that of being able to quickly absorb large amounts of information, and to then identify the key essence of that data, in such a way that the underlying meaning of it all becomes apparent. After first year, the workload will steadily increase, and students will be expected to familiarise themselves with more and more data, in the form of their prescribed textbooks, court cases, legislations, legal journal articles (articles written by law academics about the law) and the like. A student who refuses to read much, might be able to find shortcuts in year 1, and maybe even into year 2, but eventually, it will catch up with that student, who will find it very difficult, if not impossible, to stay ahead of the workload. Fortunately, the Faculty is very much aware of this, and specific programmes are available within specific modules, that will assist students with improving their reading speed. Furthermore, various external units, such as the IZiko leeLwimi or the Centre for Student Counselling & Development, have assistance programmes that students can also utilise. Lastly, and probably most importantly, the simple truth remains: Practice makes perfect. Many law students start their 1st year not reading nearly as well as they think they can, and within no time (assuming they do what is expected of them, and read, read, read) at all, their reading speed and comprehension ability has already started to improve. It is almost guaranteed that you will already notice a difference in how long it takes you to read something casual, by the middle of your first year.
I hear that law is a challenging degree, how can I balance my studies and sport/family/social commitments. Time management is essential for any successful law student. Quite a number of our students play professional sports or hold leadership positions at the University – it is certainly possible to maintain a healthy balance between your studies and your social life, but it remains important that you take responsibility for how you spend your time.
What are the JV/S and the law mentor programme? The JV/S (Juridical Society / Juriedise Vereniging) is the Faculty’s law student representative body, that is elected annually for and by law students. One of their initiatives is the law mentor programme, where senior students are allocated 1st year law students to be their mentees. The mentors meet with their mentees during the course of the first year, and advise them on matters pertaining to academics, adjusting to studying law and the like.

What are class representatives?


Class representatives (or class reps) will escalate queries or grievances from a particular class to the lecturer and/or the JV/S, on behalf of the student(s) in that class. This is a system to ensure that the lecturer and JV/S are not bombarded (remember there can be more than 350 students in a class) with the same issues or queries.
What is Employer’s Day? The JV/S organises an annual employer’s day in the first term of each year. Law firms, public interest group NGO’s and public sector legal branches are invited to the Faculty, where they exhibit information about their role, and engage with students on career opportunities.
What societies can I join at the University? The University has societies that cater for all sorts of interests (ranging from the various sport codes to political parties and faith-based societies). From the perspective of a law student, we would encourage you to find out more about the Moot Court Society, the Students for Law and Social Justice (SLSJ) and the Debating Society. Remember that time management is key in any law student’s life, and whilst there are a lot of societies that you may wish to join, you should always think of the time that you have available.