CODE: 6CS R01 R901P
CAMPUS: MAHIKENG (ENGLISH) AND POTCHEFSTROOM, (ENGLISH)
DELIVERY MODE: CONTACT

Duration (minimum and maximum duration)

a)   For full-time students, the study period is at minimum one year and the maximum duration of study is four years.
      For part-time students it is minimum one year and the maximum duration of study is five years. If a student has not
      completed the study within the maximum duration of studies allowed, the student may be terminated.
      The Director Postgraduate Programmes may, however, agree to an extension after consideration of among others:

  • whether the research topic is still relevant;
  • progress already made by the student;
  • what remains to be done to complete the study;
  • what the time frame for completion is;
  • whether other students have done, are doing or wish to research the same topic; and
  • whether the supervisor is still available.

b) Research doctoral degree students must (in consultation with his/her supervisor) submit the research proposals for
    a thesis six month after the final date of registration for doctoral degrees (31 October) in their first year of registration.

Admission requirements for the qualification

a)  To gain admission to the PhD in Law and Development, a student must have obtained an LLM degree or a Master’s degree
     with a field of specialisation in either Anthropology, Commerce, Social Sciences or Development Studies from this University
     or another South African university or must have the status of such Master’s degree granted on request by the senate. The
     Director Postgraduate Programmes may also insist that the student submit adequate proof of his/her research capabilities
     before permission to register is granted.
b)  Applicants must have achieved a minimum average of 65% for the LLM degree (or relevant Master’s degree with a field of
     specialisation in either Anthropology, Commerce, Social Sciences or Development Studies from this University or from another
     South African university or must have the status of such Master’s degree granted on request by the senate) as well as for the
     dissertation (research report) to be admitted to the PhD in Law and Development programme. The Director Postgraduate
     Programmes may on good grounds shown relax this requirement.
c)  The Director Postgraduate Programmes requires that a student furnish a concept note (a four-page mini proposal)
     submitted with the application form as proof of his/her research skills before the applicant receives permission to register.
d)  Where an applicant has not completed an LLM research report, the applicant must, to the satisfaction of the Director
     Postgraduate Programmes, provide evidence of acceptable research skills (including but not limited to a draft (10 pages)
     research proposal clearly identifying the research question and problem to be researched; a comprehensive research
     assignment completed as part of any LLM module; or other published research).
e)  An evaluation certificate as issued by the South African Qualifications Authority (SAQA) must be submitted if a previous
     qualification was obtained in a foreign country. If necessary, a student must deliver proof of proficiency in English
     (e.g. through TOEFL, a computer-based test).
f)   Admission to the PhD programme is subject to the applicant's academic record, language and writing skills, proven
     expertise in a particular field, the proposed topic of the research, the capacity of the faculty towards postgraduate
     studies, the number of applications received and other relevant factors.The Director Postgraduate Programmes
     has discretion on the basis of among others the above factors to approve, reject, postpone, set further conditions
     for admission, or limit the number of applicants admitted to postgraduate studies.

Integrated assessment mechanisms

The qualification requires that candidates undertake research at the most advanced academic levels culminating in
the submission, assessment and acceptance of a thesis or a series of at least four subject related journal articles
accepted or published in an accredited journal of international standard (In the case of South Africa in an accredited
journal).


A student has reached the exit-level outcomes when he/she can make an original, in-depth and publishable academic
contribution to the field of Law and Development and produce this in a thesis or a series of at least four subject related
journal articles accepted or published in a journal of international standard (In the case of South Africa in an accredited
journal).


A student is required to submit the research product for examination purposes as an integrated unit, supplemented
with a problem statement, an introductionand a synoptic conclusion as prescribed by faculty rules and the manuscript
submission guidelines, or the URL link to the manuscript guidelines of the journal or journals concerned

Students will be assessed according to the Academic Rules and assessment criteria prescribed by the NWU
(which constitutes the summative assessment) as well as the relevant faculty rules.

  1. Research doctoral degree students must (in consultation with his/her supervisor) submit the research proposals for
    a thesis six months after the final date of
    registration for doctoral degrees (31 October) in their first year of registration.
  2. A student is required to successfully complete a research discussion six months after the approval of the research
    proposal. The research discussion should be in a major and two ancillary subjects prescribed in consultation with the
    Director Postgraduate Programmes for the specific study, to be permitted to write a research dissertation. The
    evaluation of the student takes place before an appointed panel generally consisting of the Director Postgraduate
    Programmes, Director: Research Unit (ex officio); a research professor and two members of the Higher Degrees
    Committee as well as one external member with expertise outside the University. The appointment of the research
    discussion panel and assessment procedure is conducted in accordance with the procedure approved
    by the Faculty Board.
  3.  Students are required to attend compulsory seminars of the Research Methodology programme arranged during
    the academic year. Permission for absence is granted only by the programme leader on good grounds.
  4. A thesis is examined in accordance with the applicable provisions of the General Academic Rules by at least three
    examiners, of which at least two must be external examiners who are not attached to the University and approved
    by the Director Postgraduate Programmes and the Faculty Board.
  5. The promoter submits a comprehensive report with a recommendation based on the examiners’ reports. If there is
    any ambiguity in an examiner’s report,
  6. or if there is a significant difference in the final result recommended by the examiners, the procedure approved by
    the Faculty Board will determine the final result of the student. The general provisions and guidelines in connection
    with the assessment of the thesis and the directions to examiners and/or arbitrator are followed in accordance with
    faculty guidelines.
  7. The Turnitin or similar report which is generated must be submitted with the thesis.The thesis must be language
    edited and a certificate issued by a competent language editor must be attached to the thesis.
  8. The submission of the thesis for examination must be according to General Academic Rule 5.10.
  9. A candidate must, before completion of their doctoral studies, prepare and submit an article for publication
    relating to the subject matter of his/her thesis and must provide evidence of such submission on or before
    closing of the graduation list. In order to qualify for the degree, the aforementioned submission must be
    approved by the promoter(s) and must be submitted to an accredited law journal.
  10. A student, who is dissatisfied with any substantive aspect of the guidance provided by a promoter, can raise
    such matters in writing to the Director Postgraduate Programmes. The matter will be dealt with in accordance
    with the procedure as prescribed in the General Academic Rules. The director must respond in writing
    to the student before the thesis is submitted for examination.
  11. A research dissertation may only be referred back to a candidate once, and after revision, be submitted
    once for re-examination within a period of one year. (Refer to Academic Rules 4.11.7.3 and 4.11.7.4).

Qualification outcomes

On completion of this doctorate, the student should be able to

a)  demonstrate expertise and critical knowledge in a specific field of Law and Development and the
     ability to apply the knowledge by conceptualising a research initiative to create new knowledge;
b)  submit proof of thorough proficiency in the appropriate research skills by formulating a relevant
     and viable research topic, motivating it on the basis of a clear problem statement, developing
     points of departure, suppositions and hypotheses, setting a framework for the solution of the
     complex problem and by designing a feasible research programme;
c)  display a coherent and critical understanding of the methodology applicable to the field of Law
     and Development to rigorously critique and evaluate current research in this field, participate
     in scholarly debates and research relating to theory and practice and formulate independent
     points of view;
d)  use advanced information-retrieval and processing skills to identify, critically analyse and
     synthesise information relevant to issues in the area of specialisation, debating solutions from
     theoretical and research perspectives published in the current literature;
e)  use empirical research techniques, including quantitative and/or qualitative research methods,
     as well as fieldwork skills in Law and Development to investigate a research problem;
f)   identify, critically evaluate, address and manage emerging ethical issues and normative
     behaviour to advance the process of ethical decisionmaking as relevant to research
     practice and the area of Law and Development;
g)  demonstrate an ability to produce substantial, independent, in-depth and publishable work
     which meets international standards, is considered to be original or innovative by peers,
     and makes a significant contribution to the field or practice of Law and Development;
h)  disseminate, present, and defend research findings or strategic and policy initiatives to
     specialist and non-specialist audiences according to acceptable academic and professional
     or occupational discourse; and
i)   operate independently and take full responsibility for own work, and where appropriate to
     lead, oversee and be held ultimately accountable for the final product of the research.

Termination of studies

     a. A student’s registration may be terminated in terms of rule 1.18 of the
         General Academic Rules if the student:

• does not meet the requirements for annual registration as provided for in rule 1.10.1
• does not meet the requirements for proof of active enrolment as provided for in rule1.10.3.1
• has received two warnings with respect to unsatisfactory academic performance as provided
  for in rule 1.15.2 and 1.15.4, and fails for the third time to show satisfactory academic
  performance;
• does not meet the minimum progress requirements set out in rule 1.16 or fails to submit a
  research proposal as contemplated in rules 4.12.6 and 5.12.5;
• does not obtain an extension of time as provided for in rule 1.17: and
• fails, after having been granted an extension of time as provided for in rule 1.17 to
  complete the study.

  1. The Director Postgraduate Programmes determines the procedure to be followed whenever
    a student’s studies are to be terminated.
  2. If possible, notification of termination of study must be sent to students timeously before the
    next registration period, or, where applicable,before the next semester.
  3. A student whose studies have been terminated may, in accordance with the applicable
    faculty rules and procedures, apply for admission to another study programme but must
    mention the termination in his/her application.
  4. The executive dean concerned may set reasonable conditions for admission to another
    study programme and must report such conditions to the registrar.
  5. A postgraduate student whose studies have been terminated may not apply more than
    three times for admission to the University.
  6. Should a student receive a notification that his studies will be terminated, the student
    may, within ten (10) days of the date of the notification, submit a motivated request to
    the Director Postgraduate Programmes in the prescribed form, as an appeal to the
    dean to be allowed to continue with his studies.