Prospective applicants without a four-year law degree (ie LLB) are eligible to apply for the structured MPhil Environmental Governance Law degree, albeit subject to the prior completion of five core undergraduate law modules which could be completed at any university in South Africa:

"To gain admission to the MPhil in Environmental Governance Law, a student who meets all the requirements of a four year university degree may apply for admission to the MPhil in Environmental Governance Law. Such a student must first successfully complete the following undergraduate modules (or module equivalents at another South African university): Introduction to Law; Law of Property, Constitutional Law, Administrative Law and Environmental Law. Before being allowed to register, the student may be required to provide the Director of Postgraduate programmes with sufficient written evidence of knowledge and practical experience in the relevant field."

Once a prospective MPhil student with the required degree qualifications (eg BSc and BSc Hons) has completed all five of the undergraduate law modules, he or she may apply for admission to the structured MPhil programme in Environmental Governance Law. The programme content mirrors that of the Structured LLM in Environmental Governance Law with Environmental Management as an additional compulsory module, presented by the Faculty of Natural Sciences (Environmental Science and Management).

Prospective students may complete the required undergraduate law modules at a university of their choice. Should a letter of recommendation be needed to register for the required modules, please contact Ms S Turkstra @

Dissertation topics and study supervisors

Students accepted for the MPhil qualification have the opportunity early in the academic year to approach a potential study supervisor for the writing of the dissertation, which counts 50% of the final degree mark. The dissertation is not an extended module assignment, but an in-depth, focused research-based study that must contribute to the development of new knowledge in the field.

The generally accepted standard for such a dissertation is that it must be publishable in a peer-reviewed scholarly law journal. We also actively encourage and assist our students to publish their dissertations in law journals. The lecturers in this programme, as well as other faculty members, are available to supervise students. We encourage students to identify a research topic in conjunction with the identified supervisor early on in the first year of registration. The MPhil programme coordinator Prof Michelle Barnard is available to assist in this regard.


Compilation of curriculum – M Phil in Environmental Law and Governance

CODE: 6CJ P01, R801P



The programme comprises the following modules:

Module Code



Compulsory Year modules

LAWO 873

Research Methodology and mini-dissertation AND


LLMO 811

South African Environmental Law (first semester) OR


LLME 811

International and African Regional Environmental Law (first semester) AND


OMBO 878

Environmental Management


Choose one (1) of the following elective modules in any of the two semesters

Semester 1

LLMO 811

South African Environmental Law


LLME 811

International and African Regional Environmental Law


LLMO 884

Administrative Law


LLME 812

Natural Resource Management Law


Semester 2

LLMO 818

Climate Change and Energy Law


LLMO 886

Occupational Health and Safety Law


LLME 821

South African Mining Law


Credit total for modules


Credit total for curriculum


The modules LLMO 818 (Climate Change and Energy Law); LLMO 886 (Occupational Health and Safety Law) will not be presented in 2021.

Environmental Management (OMBO878) will be offered in 2019

Seminar Programme 2021  (Download)

Student Memo 2021

Queries on costs and financial support: