- One calendar year (full-time); two or three years (part-time, daytime only)
- Start of programme
- Attendance mode
- Russell Square, College Buildings
Home student fees: £15,130 per year
Overseas student fees: £25,740 per year
Please note that fees go up each year.
See postgraduate fees for further details.
- Entry requirements
A 2:1 degree in a relevant undergraduate degree.
If you have a lower degree classification, your application may be considered if you can present a strong case, either through relevant work experience, other legal qualifications, or a strong supporting statement. References are not required, but can help build a stronger application if you fall below the 2:1 requirement or have non-traditional qualifications.
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.
Why study MRes in Law at SOAS?
- We are ranked in the UK top 20 (QS World University Rankings 2023)
- Our research publications have been rated first in the UK - and our School of Law rated sixth in the UK - in the Research Excellence Framework (REF) 2021
- 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
Students must take modules to a total value of 180 credits, consisting of a dissertation (90 credits) and 90 credits of taught modules. Taught modules are worth either 15 or 30 credits.
Please note that not all modules listed will be available every year.
The information on the website reflects the intended programme structure against the given academic session. The modules are indicative options of the content students can expect and are/have been previously taught as part of these programmes.
However, this information is published a long time in advance of enrolment and module content and availability is subject to change.
Choose modules from list B up to the value of 30 credits
Choose further modules from list B or from postgraduate open options to the value of 30 credits
Open options will need approval of deputy PG programme convenor (LLM or MA)
Teaching and learning
The MRes in Law programme consists 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.
- 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
SOAS Library is one of the world's most important academic libraries for the study of Africa, Asia and the Middle East, attracting scholars from all over the world. The Library houses over 1.2 million volumes, together with significant archival holdings, special collections and a growing network of electronic resources.
SOAS Law graduates leave SOAS as civic minded and critically engaged individuals who can effectively contribute to their communities and societies. With a thorough understanding of the legal dimensions underlying many of our global challenges today, our Law students are valued by employers due to their analytical skills, specialist knowledge, and global perspective.
Recent graduates have been hired by organisations including:
- PwC LLP
- BLM Law
- British Medical Association
- Clifford Chance
- DAC Beachcroft LLP
- Department for Work and Pensions
- HM Treasury
- Latham & Watkins
- Legal Cheek
- Simpson Millar Solicitors
- The Economist
- Travers Smith
- World Cancer Research Fund
Find out about our Careers Service.
The Social Life of Law in Authoritarian Contexts
Food security and the governance of local knowledge in India and Indonesia (2018–2023)
Working with the Australian Research Council to examine the ways small farmers identify, conserve and exchange useful plant material.
Fostering ecocentric community-led river restoration and conservation in the Ganga Basin (2022–2023)
Interrogating the concept of "river rights" to examine the contribution of ecocentric rights for river restoration and conservation.
Conflicts over Access to Water and Land: Evolving dimensions (2022–2025)
Addressing water conflicts through the lens of water security.
Carceral Policy, Policing and Race
Amplifying the carceral experiences of marginalised populations across the Global South.
Sanitation in India: Understanding a complex and controversial human right (2016)
Examining the right to sanitation in India from a broad perspective that encompasses the various dimensions of the right.
Legalissues Related to water sector restructuring in India (2006–2009)r
The first major study of water law in India since the early 1990s and contributed to ensuring policy-makers would consider it a more important part of sector reforms.
UKIERI: Climate change and groundwater management in India (2013–2015)
Analysing the impact of climate change on groundwater.
Rule of Law in Thailand
Enhancing SOAS knowledge and capacity in the study and research of East and Southeast Asian laws, with a focus on Thai law.
Age of consent and child-marriage in the British Empire
Exploring the debates that led to the reform of age of consent laws in UK and their introduction in other parts of the Empire at the end of the 19th century.
HURIME Project: Human Rights in the Post-Uprisings Middle East
Enhancing the knowledge of academicians and politicians on the new tendencies of human rights discourses and practices in the MENA region.
SOAS Influencing the Corridors of Power project
Influencing the Corridors of Power (ICOP) is an innovative front-line project which addresses the democratic deficit between UK universities and UK politics.