Research in Law
Who is the programme aimed at?
The MA by Research is for students who want to undertake in depth and individually supervised research on topics of their own choice. It is ideal for students wishing to proceed to doctoral study or for students wishing to enhance their career prospects by developing expertise in a specific area of law and improving their research and writing skills. The ability to undertake a major piece of research is a transferable skill which is relevant to many different kinds of employment.
Theoretical and inter-disciplinary, as well as more practical and traditional approaches, are all accommodated in this programme. Though the emphasis is on one-to-one supervision, the MA by Research can extend to many areas. The Law Department has well-known strengths in areas such as legal theory, legal history, international law, human rights, migration law, property law, European law, company law, comparative law, family law, medical law, criminal law and criminology, comparative law, constitutional law, and any number of areas of traditional public and private law. Students interested in commercial areas of law, including arbitration, banking and finance, communications, corporate, economic regulation, IP, IT, media and tax, can also apply, to draw on the expertise of the Centre for Commercial Law Studies.
Structure of Programme
The Programme is available on both a one-year full-time and two-year part-time basis. All students enrolled in this programme will undertake supervised research with a view to submitting a 20,000 word dissertation by the end of the year. Students whose thesis receive a mark of 70 per cent or above for their thesis are eligible to progress into the PhD programme (subject to the availability of a suitable supervisor).
Please note that students who join the PhD programme after completing the MA Research cannot continue paying fees at the MA Research level, but will have to pay fees at the current level for the PhD programme.
Students will also attend a Research Methods module which will expose them to a broad range of theoretical and practical approaches to legal research. This module will be taught through one two- hour seminar each week.
In the first-term the programme covers theoretical topics including Ethics and Law, Law and Economics, Systems theory, Liberal theory, and Critical Theory.
In the second term, the programme has a methods focus and covers areas such as research interviews, literature review and historical research methods. These second-term seminars will, so far as is possible, be tailored to the dissertations of enrolled students.
The Law Department has a limited number of bursaries available to postgraduate students.
The module entitled 'Theory and Method in Legal Scholarship' accounts for 25 per cent of the final grade for the programme, and is assessed by two 2,500 word essays. In addition, students must submit a 20,000 word essay which accounts for the remaining 75 per cent of the final grade for the programme.'
A minimum of an upper-second class honours degree or an equivalent qualification from an overseas University.
We welcome applications from anyone interested in pursuing a research project in a very specific area of the law, for example contract, criminal, banking or IP regulations for which a law degree would be necessary or a legal aspect of another academic or professional discipline for instance -judiciary, politics, history, philosophy, literature, economics, medicine, theology, journalism, or other social, natural or human sciences, for which a related but non-law degree would be acceptable.
English Language Qualifications
Non-native English speakers will be required to have achieved minimum IELTS 7.0 or above or equivalent.
How to apply
Applications should be made on the official application forms. There are two ways in which you can apply for a postgraduate programme.
1. Apply online – using our online application form.
This is the preferred method of application.
Apply online for 2010 entry:
MA by Research in Law online application form.
Full guidance notes are provided during the online application process.
2. Paper-based application
Visit our postgraduate application page to download an application form.
The MA Research Programme
Research Methods and Theory Module:
Leader & Contributor (first term)
Professor Richard Nobles
Leader and Contributor (second term)
Professor Kate Malleson
Professor Eric Heinze
Professor David Schiff