Nelson Mandela University

Nelson Mandela University

Higher Certificate in Criminal Justice

The Higher Certificate in Criminal Justice in Law and Legal Studies is offered by Nelson Mandela University.

Program Length: 1 YEAR.

Higher Certificate in Criminal Justice offered by the Nelson Mandela University at the Faculty of Law

This programme aims to provide a vocational, industry-focused qualification that will equip students with the basic tools, knowledge and practical techniques required to perform their functions in terms of the Criminal Procedure Act and other specific legislation that may be enforced by officials in certain job categories. Please note that this qualification does not provide direct access into the LLB, LLB (extended) or the BA (Law). Upon completion of this qualification, candidates may apply for these degrees, but admission is subject to the discretion of the Dean of Faculty and the outcome of access testing.

Law enforcement officers in the following sectors: municipalities, Department of Forestry, Fisheries, SANParks, South African Police Services, metro police officers and correctional services.

Career fields
Law Enforcement

Purpose of the Learning Programme
This qualification has been approved in terms of the new Higher Education Qualification Sub-Framework (HEQSF).


The main purpose of the programme is to provide a vocational, industry focused programme to employees in the law enforcement environment to equip learners with the basic knowledge, tools and practical techniques to enable them to perform their functions in terms of the Criminal Procedure Act and other specific legislation that may be enforced by officials in certain job categories such as nature conservation officers, forestry officials, members of fire safety organisations, sea fisheries officials, municipal employees, SANRAL employees and employees from the Airports Company, Metrorail and SANParks.  In addition it will provide access to higher education for learners in the non-SAPS law enforcement environment and enable those who wish to do so to further their education in a chosen field of study.  


After completing the programme the students will be able to:

Implement a law enforcement strategy by applying the key principles of law enforcement in a non-SAPS environment;

Participate in the processes of the criminal justice system by applying the pre-trial procedures required by law, conducting preliminary criminal investigations and presenting evidence in a court of law;

Record the statements of persons allegedly connected to committing an offence in a manner that reflects the requirements for criminal liability;

Explain and interpret the basic principles of criminology in a law enforcement environment;

Explain the nature and elements of selected common law crimes and statutory law offences and the impact of the Bill of Rights on law enforcement; and

Adhere to professional conduct and organisational ethics.

The curriculum shall extend over one academic year of full-time block release study.

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