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School of Law

Preliminary law, legal reasoning and legal methods

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Term 1

SOAS Law School offers an intensive two-week preliminary Course in Law and Legal Method which runs is taught from 7 September - 18 September 2015.

The purpose of this course is to provide students wishing to study law at a post-graduate level in the University of London with an introduction to law, legal method and associated skills and techniques.  It is designed primarily for those who do not already possess a law degree, but may also be of interest to those who feel they want to get used to studying law in a UK institution, or acclimatise themselves to life in London.  

The course is compulsory for those students taking one of the MA programmes in the School of Law at SOAS unless they gain a specific exemption from the coordinator of that programme.  

It is not compulsory for those registering for the LLM programme or other Masters programmes at SOAS. However, those students proposing to enrol on the LLM who do not have a law degree from a common law country should consider registering for the preliminary course as this would ease their adaptation to the study of law in a Common law country or of many areas of commercial or international law.

The Preliminary Course runs over a two-week period immediately before the week of registration. Classes are held on a daily basis in the morning and afternoon of each week.  The course is designed to provide:

  • a general introduction to UK, legal theory and international law;
  • an introduction to a core area of English and Welsh Law
  • training in legal methods & legal skills;
  • training in research techniques and study skills;
  • an introduction of the use of on-line, and other electronic, resources;
  • an introduction on how best to use library resources at SOAS and elsewhere in London;
  • visits to places of legal interest where appropriate;

The draft timetable for the course running in September 2015 will be available shortly. Please note that this is subject to change, and the number and content of lectures may change according to staff availability.

There is no formal assessment for this course, but attendance is compulsory for those wishing to register on the MA programmes in the School of Law at SOAS.


The preliminary course fee for 2015/16 is £350.  
For MA in Law students, the fee will be included in your Masters programme tuition fee.
For LLM or other Masters programmes students interested in registering on the course please go to the fees section of the SOAS webpage in order to make your payment: http://www.soas.ac.uk/registry/fees/

  • You will need to bring a receipt with you on your first day so that you may be provided with your library cards.
For further information or queries please contact Law Department Student Support: lawstudentsupport@soas.ac.uk.

Objectives and learning outcomes of the course

On successful completion of the course, students will be able to -

  1. Outline the major points of UK, international and comparative law
  2. Show an understanding of legal methods and related skills
  3. Access and use on-line and other resources to conduct research
  4. Show an understanding of research techniques and study skills for professionals