The MA programmes are designed primarily for students who wish to study law at a post-graduate level but do not already possess an undergraduate law degree. The programmes may be completed either through one year of full-time study or, through two or three years of part-time study. To facilitate their study of law, all MA students are required to attend a two-week Law and Legal Methods Pre-sessional Module in the September before they begin their MA.
SOAS offers ten different MA programmes in legal studies. Nine of the programmes are specialised, focusing on clusters of expertise within the Law School. The tenth programme, the MA in Legal Studies, is a general programme designed for students who want to study a variety of different subjects that do not fall within a particular specialisation. MA students take the same modules as LLM students, although a small number of Law modules are only open to students enrolled in the LLM.
All ten MA programmes have a common structure. In addition to the pre-sessional module, each MA student is required to successfully complete three (3.0) units of coursework, plus a 10,000 word dissertation on a topic related to his or her specialisation worth 1.0 unit. Year-long modules are worth 1.0 unit, while single-term modules are worth 0.5 units. A student will thus complete between three and six taught modules during his or her MA programme.
Each student is required to take at least two units associated with his or her specialised MA. Associated modules are listed in the “Structure” section of each specialisation. The third unit may be completed in a number of ways:
- By selecting a module or modules from the Law postgraduate module list
- By selecting a complementary postgraduate module offered by other SOAS departments, subject to approval by the MA Programme Convenor
- By selecting an appropriate language module