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SOUTH AFRICAN QUALIFICATIONS AUTHORITY 
REGISTERED QUALIFICATION: 

Postgraduate Diploma in Criminal Justice Practice 
SAQA QUAL ID QUALIFICATION TITLE
91803  Postgraduate Diploma in Criminal Justice Practice 
ORIGINATOR
Nelson Mandela University 
PRIMARY OR DELEGATED QUALITY ASSURANCE FUNCTIONARY NQF SUB-FRAMEWORK
CHE - Council on Higher Education  HEQSF - Higher Education Qualifications Sub-framework 
QUALIFICATION TYPE FIELD SUBFIELD
Postgraduate Diploma  Field 08 - Law, Military Science and Security  Justice in Society 
ABET BAND MINIMUM CREDITS PRE-2009 NQF LEVEL NQF LEVEL QUAL CLASS
Undefined  120  Not Applicable  NQF Level 08  Regular-Provider-ELOAC 
REGISTRATION STATUS SAQA DECISION NUMBER REGISTRATION START DATE REGISTRATION END DATE
Reregistered  SAQA 06120/18  2018-07-01  2021-06-30 
LAST DATE FOR ENROLMENT LAST DATE FOR ACHIEVEMENT
2022-06-30   2025-06-30  

In all of the tables in this document, both the pre-2009 NQF Level and the NQF Level is shown. In the text (purpose statements, qualification rules, etc), any references to NQF Levels are to the pre-2009 levels unless specifically stated otherwise.  

This qualification does not replace any other qualification and is not replaced by any other qualification. 

PURPOSE AND RATIONALE OF THE QUALIFICATION 
Purpose:
The qualification is to provide an opportunity for (predominantly) part-time learners (who are mainly working professionals) to obtain expert and specialist knowledge of the law, practices and procedures relating to the Criminal Justice System in South Africa. At the same time this qualification aims to provide a career path for professionals in the Criminal Justice System who will be equipped with practical, reflexive and applied competence in this discipline.

The legal education provided by this qualification should result in high level practical expertise that will significantly enhance the competences and skills levels of professionals operating in the field of Criminal Justice. The curriculum includes modules in substantive and procedural criminal law and also requires contextual analysis thereof in the light of the Constitution and the processes of democratisation post 1994. There is also a focus on the critical evaluation of sentencing policy and practice, with special reference to juvenile justice. A module on "Critical Issues in Criminal Justice" will explore the current deficiencies in the system and propose ways to address them. The qualification also accommodates an optional module which would allow learners to evaluate the sector where they are employed and critically analyse the current practices with a view to propose reforms that would enhance the effectiveness of the system.

Rationale:
This qualification is to deliver graduates with specialised, in-depth knowledge and higher order skills to substantially enhance the efficiency and effectiveness of the role players in our criminal justice system. The University's Faculty of Law offers a Master of Law (Criminal Justice) Degree and the admission requirement for this qualification is that the candidate should have obtained a Bachelor of Law (or equivalent) qualification with an average mark of at least 60% to be admitted to this qualification.

However, there are some experienced public prosecutors who only have a B.Juris Degree and therefore cannot access the Master's Degree, but who would benefit greatly from this qualification. In addition, some candidates who are admitted to the Master's Degree pass the course work modules, but fail to complete the research component.

On a yearly basis applicants who do not meet the admission requirements for the Master of Law have had to be turned away. Most of these applicants have requested to be enrolled for a Postgraduate Diploma, instead of a Master's Degree. There is a clear need for a Postgraduate qualification in Criminal Justice to enhance and deepen the professional competence of (especially) the qualified professionals operating within the Criminal Justice System, by providing them with an opportunity to undertake advanced reflection and development in specialised areas of the law pertaining to Criminal Justice, without engaging in a substantial research component. 

LEARNING ASSUMED TO BE IN PLACE AND RECOGNITION OF PRIOR LEARNING 
  • A working knowledge of how the legal system and in particular the Criminal Justice system and operates.
  • Very good communication skills, especially writing skills.
  • Basic research skills.
  • Work experience in the Criminal Justice system would be an advantage.

    Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL):
    Potential learners may apply for RPL to the department based on substantial previous experience in the field of Criminal Justice. On application the department may request a portfolio of evidence which will be assessed in terms of the institution's RPL Policy.

    Access to the Qualification:
    Admission Requirements:
  • A recognised Bachelor's Degree in law or an equivalent qualification and relevant experience.
  • Must have obtained an average mark of at least 55% in the major modules of the said qualification. 

  • RECOGNISE PREVIOUS LEARNING? 

    QUALIFICATION RULES 
    This qualification consists of 8 modules at NQF Level 8 totalling 120 Credits.

    Compulsory modules:
  • Crimes and Criminal Liability, 15 Credits.
  • Criminal Procedure: Models and Methods, 15 Credits.
  • Criminal Justice, Administrative Law and the Constitution, 15 Credits.
  • Criminal Investigation and Evidence, 15 Credits.
  • Sentencing and Post-Trial Procedures, 15 Credits.
  • Juvenile Justice, 15 Credits.
  • Critical Issues in Criminal Justice, 15 Credits.

    Optional Modules (choose one):
  • Correctional Services Practice, 15 Credits.
  • Police Practice, 15 Credits.
  • Law Enforcement Officer Practice, 15 Credits. 

  • EXIT LEVEL OUTCOMES 
    1. Critique, analyse and evaluate the current state of South African criminal law and procedure within the appropriate contextual framework.
    2. Critique, analyse and evaluate the efficiency and effectiveness of current criminal justice processes in South Africa.
    3. Demonstrate a coherent and critical understanding of the impact of the South African Constitution on our Criminal Justice System.
    4. Demonstrate a coherent and critical understanding of the principles and practices relating to the sentencing of offenders.
    5. Critique, analyse and evaluate the current South African juvenile justice system.
    6. Engage and apply the principles relating to best practice in one of the following fields:
  • Correctional Service.
  • Policing.
  • General Law Enforcement.

    Critical Cross-Field Outcomes:
    All the Critical Cross-Field Outcomes are addressed in this qualification. 

  • ASSOCIATED ASSESSMENT CRITERIA 
    Associated Assessment Criteria for Exit Level Outcome 1:
  • Legal issues pertaining to Criminal Law and procedure are identified, analysed and current solutions evaluated in the context of real or simulated scenarios.
  • Depth of knowledge of Criminal Law and procedure is demonstrated via evidence of mastery in selected areas of specialisation.
  • Theory is applied to practice by means of relevant case studies.
  • Different points of view related to Criminal Law and procedure are considered and critically evaluated.

    Associated Assessment Criteria for Exit Level Outcome 2:
  • Process issues jeopardising the effectiveness of the criminal justice system are identified, analysed and remedies proposed.
  • International best practice is used as a standard to recommend solutions.
  • Relevant authoritative legal sources are consulted to generate solutions to identified problems.

    Associated Assessment Criteria for Exit Level Outcome 3:
  • Sound knowledge of the Constitution and its interpretation is demonstrated by critical engagement with standard legal texts and leading judgements of the Constitutional Court.
  • The application and impact of particular provisions of the Constitution on current rules of criminal procedure are identified and explained.
  • The constitutional values and the concepts of fair administrative action and effective criminal justice administration are compared and the extent of the practical implementation thereof evaluated.

    Associated Assessment Criteria for Exit Level Outcome 4:
  • Sound knowledge of sentencing principles and practices is demonstrated by critical engagement with standard legal texts and judgements of the High Court and Supreme Court of Appeal.
  • Theories of punishment are discussed and evaluated in the light of constraints imposed by the Bill of Rights.
  • The purpose of punishment and the practices in Correctional Services are analysed and critically evaluated.

    Associated Assessment Criteria for Exit Level Outcome 5:
  • Deficiencies in the juvenile justice system are analysed and remedies proposed.
  • Juvenile justice and adult justice are compared and the rationale for the differentiation evaluated.
  • The effectiveness of legislative interventions to reduce juvenile delinquency is considered and critically evaluated.

    Associated Assessment Criteria for Exit Level Outcome 6:
  • The purpose and functions of correctional services, the police and other law enforcement agencies are explained.
  • The effectiveness and efficiency of correctional services, the police and other law enforcement agencies are analysed and critically evaluated.
  • The impact of the Constitution and the Bill of Rights on correctional services, the police and other law enforcement agencies are analysed and critically evaluated.
  • The involvement of the community in policing and law enforcement is considered and evaluated.
  • Community corrections, parole and the rehabilitation of offenders as correctional strategies are critically evaluated.

    Integrated Assessment:
    A range of formative and summative assessment strategies will be used to ensure that the above outcomes are integrated: the more formative assessment will include (i) individual and group assignments that build on acquired work experience, (ii) oral presentations to their peers during contact sessions, based on the aforesaid assignments, (iii) critical interactive discussion and analysis of these presentations. Some of the assignments and presentations will be formally assessed to build up a class mark. Evaluation of portfolios and written examinations will form the summative assessment component. 

  • INTERNATIONAL COMPARABILITY 
    Queens University (Belfast) in Northern Ireland offers a Postgraduate Diploma in Criminal Justice which is a one year full time/two year part-time qualification. The Postgraduate Diploma requires 120 Credits, comprising 60 Credits from the compulsory modules and 60 Credits from optional modules. There is no requirement to produce a dissertation or treatise. The modules include the following compulsory modules: Criminal Justice Processes, Research Methods and the following optional modules (choose four):
  • Punishment and Social Control.
  • Penal Policies and Practice.
  • War, Crime and Criminology.
  • Policing.
  • Race and Criminal Justice.
  • Restorative Justice.
  • Gender, Sexuality and Violence.
  • Transitional Justice and Conflict Transformation.
  • Informal Justice and Crime Prevention.
  • Psychological Aspects of Crime and Delinquency.
  • A Social History of Criminal Justice.
  • Comparative Youth Justice.

    The University of New South Wales in Australia offers a Graduate Diploma in Criminal Justice and Criminology in which the learners must complete a compulsory course in "Explaining Crime", with the remaining units of credit selected from the relevant optional modules on offer at UNSW Law and the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences. The optional modules include:
  • Anti-Money Laundering and Proceeds of Crime.
  • Censorship Contempt and Media.
  • Comparative Anti-Terrorism Law.
  • Corruption Law and Policy: Australian and International Perspectives.
  • Crime Prevention Policy.
  • Criminal Justice: Global Perspectives.
  • Criminal Process: A Human Rights Framework.
  • Critical Issues in Restorative Justice.
  • Critical Victimology.
  • Current Issues in Criminal Justice.
  • Cybercrime, Security and Digital Law Enforcement.

    Conclusion:
    The international qualifications are of the same duration (one year), are for the up skilling of professionals in the law enforcement/criminal justice environment and have similar module content to the Postgraduate Diploma: Criminal Justice Practice (PGD: CJP). The Irish qualification and the current (PGD: CJP) both have as their primary focus Criminal Justice and are therefore more compatible than the Australian qualification which has a secondary focus on Criminology. 

  • ARTICULATION OPTIONS 
    This qualification provides learners with both horizontal and vertical articulation possibilities.
    Horizontally the qualification articulates with the following qualifications at NQF Level 8:
  • Postgraduate Diploma in Law: Dispute Resolution.
  • Postgraduate Diploma in Law: Criminal Justice.
    Vertically the qualification articulates with cognate Masters' Degrees at NQF Level 9. 

  • MODERATION OPTIONS 
    The institutional rules for moderation will be applied, which in the case of this qualification prescribes that all modules have to be moderated internally and externally by competent moderators. 

    CRITERIA FOR THE REGISTRATION OF ASSESSORS 
    Assessors must at a minimum be qualified one NQF Level higher than this qualification, in other words, be in possession of a Master's Degree in the same or a related field. If they have not undergone accredited training as assessors, they must at least have had substantial experience as a lecturer/educator in higher education. 

    NOTES 
    N/A 

    LEARNING PROGRAMMES RECORDED AGAINST THIS QUALIFICATION: 
     
    NONE 


    PROVIDERS CURRENTLY ACCREDITED TO OFFER THIS QUALIFICATION: 
    This information shows the current accreditations (i.e. those not past their accreditation end dates), and is the most complete record available to SAQA as of today. Some Primary or Delegated Quality Assurance Functionaries have a lag in their recording systems for provider accreditation, in turn leading to a lag in notifying SAQA of all the providers that they have accredited to offer qualifications and unit standards, as well as any extensions to accreditation end dates. The relevant Primary or Delegated Quality Assurance Functionary should be notified if a record appears to be missing from here.
     
    1. Nelson Mandela University 



    All qualifications and part qualifications submitted for public comment, or registered on the National Qualifications Framework, are public property. Thus, the only payment that can be made for them is for service and reproduction: it is illegal to sell this material for profit. If the material is reproduced or quoted, the South African Qualifications Authority (SAQA) should be acknowledged as the source.