Taught course

Law by Research

Queen Mary, University of London · Humanities, Social Sciences and Law

Entry requirements

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.

Months of entry


Course content

Who is the Masters by Research in Law 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 who want 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 Department of Law 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 MA Research programme

The MA by Research course 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 receives a mark of 70 per cent or above are eligible to apply for the PhD programme.

Note - 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 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.'

Information for international students

Home/EU students can apply for a range of other funding, such as Professional and Career Development Loans, and Employer Sponsorship, depending on their circumstances and the specific programme of study.

Overseas students may be eligible to apply for a range of external scholarships and we also provide information about relevant funding providers in your home country.

Fees and funding

UK students
International students


Tuition fees for Home and EU students

2017 entry

Full time £8,200

There are a number of sources of funding available for Masters students.

These include a significant package of competitive Queen Mary bursaries and scholarships in a range of subject areas, as well as external sources of funding.

School of Law scholarships

The School of Law offers a range of scholarships for Law Masters programmes each year. Full details are made available on the law funding page from October – November each year.

Queen Mary bursaries and scholarships

We offer a range of bursaries and scholarships for Masters students including competitive scholarships, bursaries and awards, some of which are for applicants studying specific subjects.

Qualification and course duration


full time
12 months
part time
24 months

Course contact details

School of Law
+44 (0)20 7882 8095