The University of South Africa (UNISA) offers a Higher Certificate in Law, which is designed to provide students with foundational knowledge and skills in the field of law. This qualification is ideal for those who wish to pursue further studies in law or seek entry-level positions within the legal sector. The program consists of various modules, each focusing on different aspects of law and related disciplines. Here, we will discuss the key modules included in the Higher Certificate in Law at UNISA.

Higher Certificate in Law Modules

AFL1503 – Language and Communication Skills Acquisition in an African Language I

This module focuses on the development of language and communication skills in an African language. It aims to equip students with the ability to communicate effectively in an African language, which is essential in a multicultural legal environment. For example, mastering Zulu or Xhosa can enhance a lawyer’s ability to serve clients from diverse backgrounds.

CPD1501 – Citizenship, Public Participation and Democracy

CPD1501 introduces students to the concepts of citizenship, public participation, and democracy. This module explores the role of citizens in a democratic society and the importance of active public participation in governance. Students will gain an understanding of the principles of democracy and how they apply to the legal system.

CRW1501 – Introduction to the General Principles of Criminal Law

CRW1501 covers the fundamental principles of criminal law. Students will learn about the nature and scope of criminal law, the elements of a crime, and the various defenses available in criminal cases. This module is crucial for anyone interested in criminal justice and law enforcement careers.

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ENG1503 – Academic Language and Literacy in English

ENG1503 aims to improve students’ academic language and literacy skills in English. This module is essential for legal studies as it enhances students’ ability to read, write, and communicate effectively in a professional and academic context. For example, strong writing skills are necessary for drafting legal documents and conducting research.

ILW1501 – Introduction to Law

ILW1501 provides a comprehensive overview of the legal system, including the sources of law, the structure of the court system, and the role of legal practitioners. This module lays the foundation for further legal studies and is a prerequisite for many advanced law courses.

INS1502 – Developing Information Skills for Lifelong Learning

INS1502 focuses on developing students’ information literacy skills. This module teaches students how to locate, evaluate, and use information effectively. These skills are critical for legal research and staying informed about ongoing changes in the legal field.

IRM1501 – Introduction to Research Methodology for Law and Criminal Justice

IRM1501 introduces students to research methods used in law and criminal justice. Students will learn how to design research projects, collect and analyze data, and present their findings. This module is vital for those interested in pursuing legal research or academic careers.

PAR1501 – Introduction to Paralegal Studies

PAR1501 provides an introduction to the role of paralegals within the legal system. Students will learn about the tasks and responsibilities of paralegals, including legal research, drafting documents, and assisting lawyers. For instance, paralegals often prepare case summaries and manage client files.

Recommendation: This module should be taken together with or follow on SCL1501 and ILW1501 for a comprehensive understanding of paralegal studies.

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SCL1501 – Skills Course for Law Students

SCL1501 is designed to develop essential skills for law students, including critical thinking, legal writing, and oral communication. This module is fundamental for success in legal studies and professional practice. For example, effective argumentation and presentation skills are crucial during court proceedings.

SJD1501 – Social Dimensions of Justice

SJD1501 explores the social aspects of justice, including issues of inequality, discrimination, and human rights. Students will examine the impact of social factors on the legal system and the role of law in promoting social justice. This module encourages a broader understanding of justice beyond legal principles.

In conclusion, the Higher Certificate in Law at UNISA offers a robust curriculum that prepares students for further studies or entry-level positions in the legal field. Each module is designed to build foundational knowledge and skills, ensuring graduates are well-equipped to navigate the complexities of the legal system.