The MRes in Law aims to provide students with advanced skills in legal research, the ability to undertake high level analysis of law and legal issues with a focus on areas of research specific to the School of Law at SOAS, a grasp of the research methods that underpin the discipline and its place in the humanities and the social sciences, a grounding in legal research methods, and the ethics of legal research. The MRres in Law is especially suited to candidates who wish to undertake a PhD or professional research in law. It prepares students to undertake high-quality research.
The SOAS MRes in Law is a unique qualification that brings together in-depth training in research and research methods focused on the research done in the School of Law. This is combined with other courses that are specific to SOAS and often not available anywhere else.
The degree has been developed to meet the needs of both researchers and practitioners. The programme is thus ideally suited to prepare for a PhD in Law at SOAS, or alternatively as a stand-alone qualification, for instance, for jobs requiring in-depth policy research.
Venue: Russell Square: College Buildings
Start of programme: September intake only
Mode of Attendance: Full-time or Part-time
- The qualification for entry is normally a first or upper-second class honours degree (or equivalent) in law or the social sciences, and preferably a demonstrable interest in research and research methods. Work and other experience may be taken into account. Students whose first degree is not law will be required to take the Preliminary Law, Legal Reasoning and Legal Methods module.
- One calendar year (full-time)
Students must take modules to a total value of 180, consisting of a dissertation (90 credits) and 90 credits of taught modules. Taught modules are worth either 15 or 30 credits.
Students who wish to graduate with an MRes in Law are required to follow the structure set out below.
Please note: Not all modules listed will be available every year. Please see the individual module page for information.
Dissertation (20,000 words), on a topic related to the degree programme.
Choose a module(s) from the List of Law Options below to the value of 30 credits
Choose a Language module(s) from Postgraduate Open Options to the value of 30 credits
Choose a module from the List of PGT Law options below to the value of 15 credits.
List of Modules (subject to availability)
The information on the programme page reflects the intended programme structure against the given academic session. If you are a current student you can find structure information on the previous year link at the top of the page or through your Department. Please read the important notice regarding changes to programmes and modules.
Teaching & Learning
All Masters programmes consist of 180 credits, made up of taught modules of 30 or 15 credits, taught over 10 or 20 weeks, and a dissertation of 90 credits. The programme structure shows which modules are compulsory and which optional.
As a rough guide, 1 credit equals approximately 10 hours of work. Most of this will be independent study, including reading and research, preparing coursework, revising for examinations and so on. It will also include class time, which may include lectures, seminars and other classes. Some subjects, such as learning a language, have more class time than others. At SOAS, most postgraduate modules have a one hour lecture and a one hour seminar every week, but this does vary.
More information is on the page for each module.
- familiarity with legal approaches to research will be developed through lectures, seminar discussions, compulsory reading assignments, and the dissertation
- an understanding of the philosophical, ethical and political issues at the heart of law research (as well as possible solutions to such problems) will also be developed through lectures, seminar discussions, compulsory reading assignments, and the dissertation
- critical comprehension of theoretical and empirical literature will be encouraged through substantive courses, compulsory reading assignments, lectures, and seminars
Intellectual (thinking) skills
- planning and execution of an appropriate research design will be developed through independent projects, essays, and the dissertation
- understanding and utilization of appropriate research methods will be encouraged through independent projects (e.g. essays), oral presentations, and the dissertation
Subject-based practical skills
- the interpretation and critique of published research will be encouraged via compulsory reading assignments, synthetic/critical lectures, and regular seminar discussions, as well as long essays and the dissertation
- an awareness of research resources available to social scientists will be provided via 1) the provision of detailed reading lists, which include, where appropriate, reference to on-line materials and 2) compulsory reading assignments which familiarize students with secondary sources
- an ability to write up and present the findings of analysis will be encouraged via long essays, coursework, exams, and the dissertation