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Orientation for Law Students

Do i need to be on campus and physically attending classes at Kramer Law School and on Upper Campus this year?

Have a look at the page on Online learning!

Where do i find the information I need?

All formal communication with students will be done via your UCT student email. Please monitor your UCT email and keep a careful eye out for all key information on registration, orientation, course details, university matters pertinent to students, and other logistics with reference to your responsibilities as a UCT student.

Orientation and Registration Information

Please ensure you have the correct registration deadlines diarised as late registration will attract a penalty fee of R2000.

The University of Cape Town  has adopted a policy of ‘low density’ for campus for the first semester of 2021.  This means that although students are expected to be in Cape Town for some contact teaching, but we will need to adjust many of our usual activities and practices. For 2021, both Orientation and Registration will be different - and will take place completely online. 

ALL REGISTRATION QUERIES must be emailed to lawreg-ug@uct.ac.za - those sending queries to any other email address will experience a delay in getting a response.

Orientation 2021

The University of Cape Town runs an intensive orientation programme for its students, particularly (but not only) for first years. 

Look here for more information on O-Week at UCT:  http://www.dsa.uct.ac.za/student-orientation/orientation-faqs and http://www.dsa.uct.ac.za/orientation-programmes

Orientation for Law students will be done online this year, in line with the university's low-density approach to first semester teaching. Information and relevant links will be made available timeously to all students.  Orientation for undergraduate LLB students is compulsory for all students coming into the Faculty.

The online orientation programme is designed to ensure that students receive all the information that they need to navigate student life. The online programme will provide information about your campus; the available facilities for students including library, IT support and student wellness services; your Faculty and who is who; and the multitude of opportunities available to students through sports clubs and other societies.

The usual orientation activities hosted on campus will not take place in 2021, but orientation sites are designed to ensure that students will be adequately prepared to commence their studies and will have had a chance to interact with, and get to know, their peers. The orientation programme will emphasise the skills that you need to engage with online learning successfully and includes a three-day academic orientation programme that will equip students with skills that are key to excelling in higher education. This programme will also be offered through VULA and will not require any on-campus participation or presence.

Graduate LLB students (3-year programme) will be offered a condensed version of the academic preparedness programme, in conjunction with a 2-day course that serves as an Introduction to South African Law. It has proven very beneficial for graduate students to complete this programme as it prepares them for their core courses as determined by the curriculum of the 3-year LLB programme.

Orientation Leaders are appointed to assist first year students as they make their way through the online materials. Students will be divided into smaller groups and orientation leaders will engage with their assigned small group to make sure that all first-years are welcomed and have a friendly forum to ask questions and raise any concerns. All first-year law students will be assigned a mentor who is a senior law student for the entire first year of studies.

The Orientation programme will offer you, amongst other things:

  1. an introduction to your Law Students Council (the LSC) - and you can get to know who your representatives are and how they can assist and support you (and vice versa!)
  2. an introduction to key staff in the Faculty of Law, including the Dean and first-year teaching staff
  3. guidance with your course choices and the registration process
  4. insight into the LLB programme stream for which you are registered (4-year, Combined Stream 2-year LLB or Graduate 3-year LLB)
  5. spotlights on different careers in Law, and the broad range of options open to LLB graduates
  6. how to use the Law Library 
  7. how to access the UCT computer networks and the computer labs - and support with IT skills
  8. the importance for first year students of the Law Mentoring programme run by the Law Students Council
  9. guidelines for online studying.

Orientation for undergraduate LLB students is compulsory for all students coming into the Faculty. Don't miss this opportunity - it's the lifeline that will introduce the first-year class and students new to UCT to the campus, the life of the University and how things work in the Law Faculty.  In the past, attendees have considered the Law Faculty Orientation programme to be amazing! As we chart new territory in the online space, join us to make 2021 an even more amazing Orientation session!

Registration 2021

Registration is the process by which you sign up for courses which you must complete to be awarded the degree. Registration for the 2021 academic year will take place online. New students will need to register for your Bachelor of Laws (LLB) degree on designated dates during Orientation Week.

Registration for the 2021 academic year will take place online via Peoplesoft and is referred to as Programme Enrolment. Programme Enrolment allows students to select their courses and be automatically enrolled once they complete all the steps as per the manual (which you will receive with a link to register, at the end of February 2021).

A dedicated site on the VULA platform will guide students through the process and advisors will be available on the following dates to assist you with your registration queries:

Dates

Cohort

Time

Curriculum Advice Portal

4 March

Prelim A – 4 Year LLB

9:00 -12:00

VULA

5 March

Graduate Prelim – 3 Year LLB

9:00 -11:00

VULA

The deadline to complete your registration on Peoplesoft is Friday 12 March as the first day of the academic year is Monday 15 March 2021. Please ensure that you receive the email notification that your registration has been completed.  Should you have a query relating to registration, after attending Orientation, you may email Law Registration Undergraduates.

Further information will be communicated by the Faculty Office directly to students who have received offers.

Registration of returning students

For returning students, registration opens immediately after 19 January (or 12 February 2021 after your academic standing has been updated). Registration, therefore - for those in their second year of study and above - takes place online and runs until the end of February. Please help us to run this registration as efficiently as possible so we can all focus on getting the academic programme started.

Electives

The Humanities Course list for Law students is available here. This list should be consulted carefully so that you have full information on the non-law course options that are available to you during your degree. Check in here to ensure you have an up-to-date list from which to identify your preferred course choice.

As you are aware you are required to take language courses as part of the undergraduate LLB degree curriculum. For students majoring in a language, it will be mandatory to attend any face-to-face teaching sessions scheduled on campus.

For students taking language courses as electives, you are strongly recommended to attend such sessions but will not be required to do so, unless you are studying Greek. The face-to-face classes (now no longer compulsory except for Greek) will be conversational classes which cannot be delivered online.

PLEASE NOTE: Word Power (SLL1002F) and all ELL coded courses will be delivered entirely online and will have no face-to-face classes.

Concession Applications

If you would like to apply for a concession please complete the appropriate form LAW 02 (available for download here) and submit it to the Deputy Dean with a copy of your academic record by 19 Feb 2021. (A concession includes any departure from the standard curriculum prescribed for any particular level of the LLB).

Quantitative literacy for Law Students

All students entering into the first year of the undergraduate LLB degree programme will be required to register for a course called Law that Counts (MAM1013F), which is a quantitative literacy course specially designed for law students.

You may choose to de-register from MAM1013F and register for another 1st year Humanities course in its place ONLY if you:

  1. by no later than 10 March 2021, provide evidence (to kellyvandervent@uct.ac.za) that you have taken the National Benchmark Test within in the past two years and obtained a Quantitative Literacy score of at least 66% on that test

OR

  1. you take a quantitative literacy test (QL Test) on campus and obtain a mark of at least 66% on that test.

The on-campus QL Test will take place on Weds 3 March 2021, on UCT's Upper Campus, from 09h00-11h30 in the Sarah Baartman Hall and Beattie Lecture Theatre, both of which are on University Avenue. 

Students who are eligible to replace MAM1013F with another course will then have to complete and submit a change of curriculum form to the Law Faculty Office by 19 March 2021. The form is available on the University website and from the Law Faculty Office.

Students will not be charged a fee to take the on-campus QL Test or to replace MAM1013F with another course.

*Please note: High grades in Mathematics at school or successful completion of Maths-related courses at university do not exempt you from MAM1013F. 

Graduate LLB students (those who already have undergraduate degrees) are exempt from MAM1013F and therefore do not need to take the QL Test.

For those of you planning to write the Quantitative Literacy (QL) test on campus Weds 3 March (09h00 – 11h30), please note the following important instructions:

1. Access to UCT Campus

UCT Daily Health Screening: To gain access to UCT Campus you will need to complete a daily health screening before getting onto campus. The screening is completed via the UCT COVID App which runs in a browser on a mobile phone, laptop or desktop computer. You can access this app via the UCT COVID app – Daily Health Screening banner in UCT Mobile, or you can link directly here.

2. Details for taking the QL test on UCT Campus

Where: Sarah Baartman Hall, up the stairs from the Plaza on University Avenue; or the Beattie Lecture Theatre in the Beattie Building, which is on the south side of University Avenue

When: Weds 3 March 2021 from 09h00 – 11h30.  Test participants must be seated and ready to write by 08h50, to start the test at 09h00.

Who is eligible to take the QL test: First year LLB students (NOT graduate LLB) who would like to be exempted from doing the compulsory MAM1013F course – Law that Counts. A QL test result of 66% and above is required for exemption from this course.

How: The test will be pen-and-paper. BRING A PEN TO WRITE THE TEST.

What to bring with you: Your SA ID and proof that you have completed the daily health check. AND YOUR PEN.

PLEASE NOTE: If you have already checked into residence, and have started your mandatory 7-day quarantine, you will not be able to write the test. The Faculty Office will contact you with further details regarding your registration.

Laptop Requirements

All students entering first year law studies at UCT are required to have a laptop for use during class as well as for personal study and access to online materials throughout the degree. The specifications for these laptops have been set so that they enable you to manage the demands of digital literacy expected in the senior years of the LLB degree.  The basic requirements to operate on the UCT network are:

  • Intel Core i3 (or i5 if budget allows)
  • 4 GB RAM (8 GB if budget allows – the advice is that more RAM & i3 is better than less RAM & i5)
  • Go for the longest battery life that you can afford.   For maximum advantage, machines with solid state drives (SSD) have much longer battery life than machines with mechanical parts (e.g. disk drives and DVD drives) and also weigh less, which is quite an advantage when carrying bags around campus).
  • IEEE 802.11 wireless
  • Windows OS (UCT has moved to the Windows 10 environment)

Apple Mac users running MacOS will have to get virtual desktop software, and UCT’s ICTS department can advise on this.

Further details of the laptop specifications and Information Technology facilities offered by UCT are available at:  http://www.icts.uct.ac.za/student-computing - please ensure you are familiar with these requirements.

The use of laptops is intended to promote ‘paperless’ teaching in the interests of a greener, more sustainable environment - and to equip you with the skills to access cases and readings online; to enable you to access UCT learning systems to download information and course materials; as well as using software to check for possible plagiarism.  

These career-related skills are a critical skills component for every UCT graduate.

First-year students receiving financial aid from NSFAS or UCT will be assisted with laptops. In addition, all students will have been informed about the "opt-in" laptop scheme whereby you can purchase a laptop from the university and the cost will be added to your fee account. This is not a loan laptop, but is based on purchase.

NSFAS and Financial Aid student will be provided with further information directly but must note that they will have to attend a Reception Meeting on campus to collect their laptops.

 
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