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 Course 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 International and Comparative 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 courses as LLM students, although a small number of Law courses are only open to students enrolled in the LLM.
All ten MA programmes have a common structure. In addition to the pre-sessional course, each MA student is required to successfully complete three (3.0) units. Year-long courses are worth 1.0 units, while single-term courses are worth 0.5 units. A student will thus complete between three and six taught courses during his or her MA programme.
Each student is required to take at least two units associated with his or her specialised MA. Associated courses are listed in the “Structure” section of each specialisation. The third unit may be completed in a number of ways:
- By selecting a course or courses from the Law postgraduate course list
- By selecting a complementary postgraduate course offered by other SOAS departments, subject to approval by the MA Programme Convenor
- By selecting an appropriate language course
All MA students are also required to complete a 10,000 word dissertation on a topic related to their specialisation.