Information on the Master’s Degree in Financial Planning Law

School of Financial Planning Law

University of the Free State

Why a financial planning law master’s degree?

Demand for personal financial planners is growing, and the University of the Free State’s LLM in Financial Planning Law prepares you to excel in the profession. Financial planning is a valued profession that empowers people to make informed financial decisions for themselves and their families. Financial planners recommend the courses of action and financial products that will be most beneficial to their clients, who may be individuals or organisations. Financial planners understand their clients’ life situations in depth and advise on topics such as risk management, investment planning, estate planning and retirement planning.

The Master’s in Financial Planning Law provides the high level knowledge and skills required of the modern financial planner to advance their career. This includes the practice and theory of personal financial planning law topics topics such as estate planning,  trust law or law of succession. You will learn to apply practical concepts in the field of personal financial planning. The LLM in Financial Planning Law will place you a notch above other planners and will give you a higher level of quality knowledge to better serve clients.

For whom is the LLM in Financial Planning Law?

This degree is designed for both those who are starting out in the financial planning industry and those who are well established in this broad and rapidly-growing field. As this degree is offered on a Master’s level, foundation knowledge and experience in the financial planning industry are strongly recommended as this degree offers an advanced level of knowledge and skills in personal financial planning law. A financial planning law module in the candidate’s undergraduate degree or the Postgraduate Diploma in Financial Planning is therefore recommended as a basis for financial planning law knowledge. As the Master’s includes a research element, an adequate level of writing skills and knowledge of the process of research is essential.

The structure of the degree

The programme is structured to comprise of theoretical modules and a substantial research component. The student has to pass three modules by obtaining a minimum of 50% in each. The compulsory module is Estate Planning which is a year module. Assessments in this module may consist of quizzes and assignments along with a final examination at the end of the year.

Students will have an option regarding the other two modules. Recommended electives are Trust Law and Law of Succession which complement the Estate Planning module, however students have the option of any of the modules offered by the Faculty of Law (please see the faculty’s rulebook for available modules).

The LLM in Financial Planning Law offers a flexible study mode in the Estate Planning module with contact sessions that are done online via the online learning management system (Blackboard). Study material and assessments will also be made available on Blackboard.

For the research component students need to complete a legal research methodology module (LNAV7910). This module comprises of a week of compulsory classes at the beginning of the year to assist the student in the writing of the research essay. The research essay in Financial Planning Law (LFPL7900) must be a maximum of 25 000 words and of a publishable standard. 

A student has a maximum of two years to complete the degree.

Admission requirements

Candidates must
- be in possession of an LLB degree or an equivalent four-year law degree;
- must have obtained an average of at least 60 % in the undergraduate programme;
- must have obtained atleast 60% in the mini-thesis;
- must have experience in the financial planning/estate planning field, either in:

  • Academic experience in the financial planning/estate planning field (undergrad module, advanced diploma in estate planning, postgraduate diploma in financial planning or advanced postgraduate in estate planning) and/or;
  • Practical experience in the financial planning/estate planning industry (a minimum of 2 years’ experience will be taken into consideration)
Contact Information

Information on the LLM in Financial Planning Law

Lizelle Petersen

The structure of your curriculum will be as follows:

1. Structure LLM with an extended Research Essay (study code 3708)

1. Register for and complete three Modules by obtaining a minimum of 50% for each in the examination, e.g.

  • LFEP 7900 (Estate Planning)
  • LPRT 7900 (Trust Law) (or another module of your choice in another faculty) AND;

2. Register for and complete the module, LNAV 7091: Research Methodology, in which the basic concepts of research and presentation are offered AND;
3. Register for and write an extended Research Essay, LFPL 7900: This research essay of a maximum of 25 000 words and of a publishable standard.

LLM Modules in Financial Planning Law

Please note that the School reserves the right not to present a module should there be too little interest for the specific academic year.

LFEP 7900  Estate planning

Learning outcomes:

The student must be able to apply legal and tax solutions in the areas of accumulation, conservation and distribution planning. Students will be able to explain, understand and apply the objectives of estate planning and the estate planning process. Students will understand that estate planning is a holistic study with many varying but interlinking components and that all of these components must be considered and addressed to produce an effective and practical estate plan. 

Integrated knowledge:

  1. Relevant legislation e.g. Estate Duty Act, Income Tax Act, Wills Act.
  2. Estate Planning Calculations
  3. Matrimonial property regimes.
  4. Law and Taxation of trust
  5. Administration of Estates
  6. Business Entities
  7. Taxation principles with regards to estate planning
  8. Investment principles with regards to state planning.
  9. Comparative study regarding Estate Planning.

The student must choose one additional module from the faculty of law’s yearbook (check the faculty of law’s website). E.g. LPRT 7900 (Trust law).

The student also needs to register for the extended research essay along with Legal Research Methodology (LNAV7910):

LNAV 7901 Legal Research Methodology

Compulsory on-campus block week classes for all LLM students


The student must be able to:
i) Explain and utilise the different legal research techniques and methods.
ii) Explain the theoretical framework and core principles of legal research.
iii) Understand the process of legal research and writing.
iv) Write a research proposal.

LFPL 7900 Financial Planning Law (Extended research essay)

The extended research essay and research essay in Financial Planning Law is facilitated in the Mercantile Department. The theme is in the field of the student’s choice in consultation with the prospective study leader(s) and the head of the relevant department(s).

Learning outcomes:

The student must be able to:

  1. Demonstrate an advanced competence in practical and theoretical legal problem-solving.
  2. Demonstrate an advanced understanding of the theoretical framework, key concepts, and core legal rules and principles of the particular research area.
  3. Select and apply information relevant to the argument.
  4. Formulate a complex and sustained legal argument.
  5. Evaluate the effectiveness of legal rules in dealing with a particular factual situation and suggest appropriate legal reform mechanisms where current rules are inadequate.
  6. Where relevant, refer to the social, political, economic and international contexts within which the research is situated.
  7. Demonstrate competence in comparative techniques where this is required.
  8. Produce research that is original in the sense that it does not simply duplicate or reproduce existing studies.



Description: School of Financial Planning Law Keywords: Postgraduate


T: +27 51 401 2451
F: + 27 51 401 3043


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UFS Bloemfontein Campus

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