MRes in Law


Program Description

Mode of Attendance: Full-time or part-time

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 MRes 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.


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.


Dissertation (20,000 words), on a topic related to the degree programme.

  • MRes in Law Dissertation

Taught Component

Compulsory Modules

  • Research Methods in Law
  • Research Design and Epistemology


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)

  • Preliminary Law, Legal Reasoning and Legal Methods
  • Colonialism, Empire and International Law
  • Comparative Constitutional Law
  • Foundations of International Law
  • Gender, Armed Conflict and International Law
  • Gender, Sexuality and Law: Selected Topics
  • Gender, Sexuality and Law: Theories and Methodologies
  • International Criminal Law
  • International Investment Law
  • Law and Policy of International Courts and Tribunals
  • Law and Postcolonial Theory
  • Law and Society in Southeast Asia
  • Law, Rights & Social Change
  • The Law of Armed Conflict
  • Water Law: Justice and Governance
  • Alternative Dispute Resolution
  • Climate Change Law and Policy
  • Human Rights and Islamic Law
  • International Commercial Arbitration
  • International Human Rights Clinic
  • International Protection of Human Rights
  • Islamic Law (MA/LLM)
  • Law and Development in Africa
  • Law and Natural Resources
  • Law and Society in South Asia
  • Law and Society in The Middle East and North Africa
  • Law of Islamic Finance
  • International Environmental and Sustainable Development Law
  • Law, Human Rights and Peace Building: The Israeli-Palestinian Case
  • Multinational Enterprises and The Law
  • Water Law and Development: Conflicts, Governance and Justice

Important notice

The information on the programme page reflects the intended programme structure against the given academic session.

Admissions and Applications

You can apply for this course via the online application form.

We aim to assess a complete application and provide a decision within a 5-week time frame. Overseas students who require a Tier 4 visa and wish to join SOAS should bear in mind visa applications can take several weeks, so you should apply as soon as possible.

Consideration of Application

The whole application, including transcript and references, is considered before a decision is reached. You are therefore advised to submit a complete application including references and transcript (where required). An incomplete application will add considerable delays to the decision-making process.

Students will receive an acknowledgement of their application. Each application is carefully considered and although we try and respond as quickly as possible, we do ask that students should expect to receive a response within five weeks of receipt.

Candidates who are available in the United Kingdom may be called for an interview. The absence of academic members of staff (or instance on study leave) may affect the timing of decisions.

Entry Requirements

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.

English Language Entry Requirements

Minimum upper second class honours degree (or equivalent).

International students

For EU and International students who need a visa, if unconditional entry scores are achieved we accept qualifications from several countries, as well as a range of international qualifications and tests.

If a Tier 4 entry visa is required then a SELT, such as UKVI IELTS may be needed. For this reason, we recommend all Tier 4 visa students to choose the UKVI IELTS Academic test as the test of first resort.

Last updated Oct 2019

About the School

SOAS University of London welcomes the brightest minds to study on its central London campus with like-minded individuals who feel passionately about contemporary world issues.

SOAS University of London welcomes the brightest minds to study on its central London campus with like-minded individuals who feel passionately about contemporary world issues. Read less
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