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South African Bursaries & Scholarships For LLM Programs

South African Bursaries & ScholarshipsFor LLM students wishing to study in South Africa, funding your LLM program is a rather contentious issue, as there is currently no facility for government funding.

If you are one of the lucky international students, then you might find that you are not searching for funding as you will of done all of the work before you applied for your studyvisa. Otherwise, searching for South African bursaries and scholarships is a big part of being a student in South Africa, especially a postgraduate LLM student. 

Here’s our roundup on how to go about finding South African bursaries and scholarships as an LLM student in South Africa.

How to find out about bursaries & scholarships 

A good place to start with South African bursaries is social media and the South African law school that has offered you a place. All of the law schools in South Africa – for example the University of Limpopo – have social media accounts or websites dedicated to scholarships and bursaries. The dates for applying for these can go on throughout the year, so keep an eye out while you are studying. Many organisations and businesses offer scholarships, and it’s a good idea to check with any religious organisations or other charitable groups that you have been involved in or even your bank to see if they can help you. For LLM students, in particular, it’s well worth checking with the many charitable trusts, such as the Norton Rose Fulbright Scholarship, that has been set up to help students from disadvantaged backgrounds find funding. There are plenty of websites that are dedicated to keeping track of scholarships and bursaries that are available, so it does no harm to sign up for their email lists and keep an eye out. 

Banks with bursaries for postgraduate law students in South Africa

Some of the banks in South Africa offer bursaries to postgraduate law students.

Here's a table* with examples of what some of the South African banks have on offer to postgraduate students.

South African Bank Bursaries


What information do you usually need to provide?

Most South African bursaries and scholarships are awarded on the basis of the students academic excellence and their financial need. LLM students need to provide evidence of their financial situation along with their grades. These will sometimes have to be continually submitted even once a student has been awarded the scholarship or bursary. Many scholarships also want evidence of the tuition fees that the student is expected to pay and so most universities will be happy to issue a pro forma tuition fees invoice when asked. If the scholarship is from a religious organisation, then you might find that you need to provide evidence that you are involved in the particular church or religion in some way. 

Popular South African scholarships

For many research postgraduate students, one of the popular scholarships is through the National Research Foundation who support many students in their postgraduate research. The Law Society of South Africa only offers bursaries to undergraduate law students, but many law firms will sponsor their students through an LLM course. The South African bursaries and scholarships available through the law school or university are usually the most popular way for South African LLM students to find additional funding. 

University scholarships & bursaries

Scholarships and bursaries found through the law school in South Africa that you are attending are usually some of the most competitive scholarships around. There will be scholarships that all students entered onto the LLM course are eligible to apply for, such as the ones at the University of Pretoria for all their postgraduate students, but students are not automatically considered for any scholarships or bursaries when they apply to the course. This means that students need to keep a good look out for all of the scholarships and bursaries that their law school is offering. International LLM students are usually advised not to apply for any scholarships or bursaries within South Africa and instead to try and find their funding from their home nation. And don’t forget that it is a requirement of the study visa that international students have all of the funding in place before making the application for the visa. 


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