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School of Law

MA Student Information Guide

Postgraduate Law at SOAS: MA Programmes in International and Comparative Legal Studies

SOAS Law School offers ten different MA programmes in the field of international and comparative legal studies. Nine of these programmes are specialist programmes centred upon clusters of expertise and research interest within the Law School and the tenth programme (the MA in International and Comparative Legal Studies) is for those who want to study a variety of different subjects which do not fall within the scope of any one particular programme.

The MA programmes are designed primarily for those wishing to study law at a post-graduate level but who do not already possess an undergraduate law degree. It is also open to those with law degrees who do not wish to undertake an LLM. A core component of the MA programmes is a Preparatory Course in Law and Legal Method which runs for two weeks prior to the beginning of each autumn term. All students who do not have a law degree from the UK or from an approved overseas university are required to attend the Preparatory Course and the fee for this is included in your overall programme fees.

The MA programmes are open to study on a part-time basis either over a two year period or over three years. It is a condition, however, that the Preparatory Course is taken prior to the first year and it is expected that the dissertation be undertaken in the final year of registration.

Degree Structures

Guidelines for Students

BLE (Moodle)

BLE is run on Moodle, a virtual learning environment which is used to make reading lists and other course information available online.  Log-on to ble.soas.ac.uk.  For further information about BLE, contact ble@soas.ac.uk. During the busy registration period, all students will have access to all courses within their registered departments.  From the second week of term, students will only have access to courses they are registered for.  If you don’t have access to any of your courses on BLE, there is likely to be a problem with your registration. In this case, please contact the faculty office as soon as possible.


Marking criteria are available on the faculty website.  Please note that coursework cannot be reassessed and appeals against the academic judgment of markers will not be accepted, nor will requests that work should be re-marked.

Submission of Dissertations

The dissertation deadline is before 16.00 on 15 September of the year in which the dissertation is undertaken.  If 15 September falls on a Saturday or Sunday, then the deadline is before 16.00 on the Monday immediately following 15 September. For further information please see the Guidelines for the Preparation of Masters Dissertations in the SOAS Postgraduate Taught Masters regulations for the current year.

Submission of Coursework

Please see section 6 and 7 of the SOAS Postgraduate Taught Masters regulations for the current year, for information about the regulations relating to coursework (submission, late submission, resubmission, plagiarism and word count).  Please note that you must undertake all elements of assessment and examination prescribed for each course you are taking and must submit sufficient work for each assessment to enable it to be assessed or examined.

If you are unable to meet a course deadline and wish to request that the Examination Sub-Board waive or reduce the penalty for late submission, the procedure is as follows:

  1. Go to the Faculty Office (room R201) as soon as you think you might have a problem meeting the deadline.
  2. Collect and complete a Late Submission Request form.  
  3. You may contact relevant members of staff to support your claim - e.g., a student counsellor or tutor.
  4. Attach any supporting evidence (e.g. medical notes or letters from a tutor) to the form. All information provided will be handled sensitively and confidentially.
  5. Submit the form (with supporting documentation) to the Faculty Office as soon as possible and no later than the School deadline.

All applications will be considered by the July meeting of the Examinations Board to determine appropriate deductions. The Board will determine what is acceptable evidence and ‘good cause’ in consultation with Registry and the Associate Dean where necessary.

Please note that ONLY the Sub-Board of Examiners have the authority to remit the penalty for late submission.  Individual members of staff or tutors have no powers to grant extensions or to waive the penalty.  All requests should be made through the procedure described above.

If you have any questions about these procedures, please ask at the Faculty Office.

On-line submission of course work

All coursework can only be submitted on-line via the on-line system.  Hard copies will not be accepted.  Instructions on how to submit your course work on-line.

Failure to meet the attendance and coursework requirements stated above 

Programme Convenors will inform the Head of Registry of the names of students who fail to meet the attendance and coursework requirements.  The Associate Dean (Learning and Teaching) of the relevant Faculty or Faculties will review each case, and will decide what further action should be taken.  The School may withdraw permission to take examinations or terminate the degree courses of students who persistently fail to meet the attendance and coursework requirements.   Please see section 5 of the SOAS Postgraduate Taught Masters regulations for the current year for more information.

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