LL.M/M.Phil Masters Course 2023 in Multilevel Government and Local Government – South Africans

LL.M/M.Phil Masters Course 2023 in Multilevel Government and Local Government – South Africans

Applications for the LL.M/M.Phil Masters Course 2023 in Multilevel Government and Local Government is now open. This one-year master’s program prepares students to understand how South African provinces and local governments operate, how the multilevel governance system compares to that of other African countries, and what worldwide theories and practices it is built on.

Students will have a full grasp of how multilevel states are structured, how authorities are split, how funds are allotted, how the national government oversees subnational governments (provinces and municipalities), and how the many levels of government interact. Legal and constitutional studies are combined with other disciplines such as political science and public administration in this course. It also includes an internship in government dealing with multilevel governance and municipal government, which mixes theory and practice. Distinguished experts in local government, multilevel government (decentralisation, devolution, federalism, intergovernmental relations), rule of law, and good governance teach and oversee students.

Prof Jaap de Visser, Director of the UWC’s Dullah Omar Institute (DOI), Prof Yonatan Fessha, Professor at UWC’s Law Faculty, and Prof Tinashe Carlton Chigwata, Head of DOI’s Multilevel Government Project, who also manages the program. In addition, famous local and foreign intellectuals teach as guest speakers in our program on a regular basis. Prof Henk Kummeling, Rector of Utrecht University; Prof Xavier Philippe, University Paris II (Sorbonne); and Prof Zemelak Ayele, University Paris II (Sorbonne) (Addis Ababa University).

A summary of the course – LL.M/M.Phil Masters Course 2023 in Multilevel Government and Local Government – South Africans

There are four modules in the course, as well as a research paper. Students can also request permission to complete two courses plus a mini-thesis or a full thesis instead.

  1. Local Government (Government at the local level)
  2. Multilevel Government (Government at many levels)
  3. Constitutional Practice (Internship)
  4. Rule of Law and Good Governance
  5. Constitution Design in Divided Societies (offered by the Law Faculty)
  • Workshops for each module are held on Thursdays from 9:00 a.m. to 13:00 p.m. for seven weeks.

The following is the order in which the Workshops will be held:

  • Local Government from February to March
  • Multilevel Government from April to May
  • Internship from June to July
  • Rule of Law and Good Governance from August to September


  • UWC Campus (Law Faculty)


  • Performance is assessed on the basis of (1) regular writing assignments and (2) a formal examination at the end of each module.

Internship (Constitutional Practice)

Our students may participate in a two-month internship as part of their Masters degree to gain experience with real-world government and governance processes. Students are chosen for the internship based on their performance in the first two modules. Interns work for the City of Cape Town, the Western Cape Department of Local Government, the Finance and Fiscal Commission, and the South African Local Government Association (SALGA). Students have routinely given positive feedback on their experiences at these institutions. The student’s performance throughout the internship is evaluated based on a portfolio he or she has created.


After completing four modules, students must prepare a research report (the research paper constitutes 50 percent of overall course mark). Students who only take the first two courses are required to write a mini-thesis (the mini-thesis constitutes 75 percent of overall course mark).

Options for a Career

The Master’s degree is a springboard to high-level positions. Former students hold important roles in government, business, and civil society. Some of the students have gone on to become judges, Constitutional Court clerks, advocates, attorneys, legal consultants, senior administrators in municipalities, provincial governments, and the national government, and internationally known academics.

The prerequisites for admission

Applicants must meet the following basic requirements to be considered for admission:

  • an honours degree in political science, economics, public administration, or other related social sciences;
  • demonstrated ability to conduct advanced research; and
  • If applicable, relevant experience

How to Get Started

Applications should be sent via email to Ms Valma Hendricks at [email protected].

A current CV, a motivation letter, certified copies of academic records (degree and transcript), and a writing sample, which may include a published article, a research paper, or a thesis, are required with applications.

THE DEADLINE FOR APPLICATIONS FOR ADMISSION TO THE PROGRAMME IS SEPTEMBER 30, 2022. This deadline only applies to students who do not wish to apply for an NRF master’s bursary.



How can you apply for a bursary?

  • In the academic year 2023, the National Research Foundation (NRF) will grant a few master’s bursaries through the South African Research Chair in Multilevel Government.
  • The National Research Foundation’s (NRF) minimum academic criteria for postgraduate financing is 65 percent. Applicants seeking a master’s degree must be under the age of 30 in the year they apply. Full Cost of Study (FCS) or Partial Cost of Study (PCS) funding will be awarded to successful applicants (PCS). Only South African citizens and permanent residents who are financially needy (i.e., whose combined household family income is less than or equivalent to R350 000 per annum), living with a disability, or excellent academic achievers would be eligible for FCS financing. However, 5% of international students, including South African nationals and permanent residents, will get PCS money if they do not match the FCS eligibility standards but meet the NRF scholarship eligibility requirements.
  • As previously stated, an application for a bursary must be accompanied by an application for admission to the program.
  • The application for a masters bursary and admission to the Masters program should be made to Ms Valma Hendricks ([email protected] / +27 21 959 3707) at the Dullah Omar Institute: The deadline is June 29, 2022.

Only full-time students are eligible for bursaries. An applicant for a masters bursary must have a strong academic record as well as shown research potential. The Dullah Omar Institute will notify nominated candidates as soon as possible to apply for an NRF bursary online: The deadline is July 1, 2022.

For more information, go here.