The MA in Legal Studies allows students to create their own programme structure, choosing modules from a range covering comparative regional law, trade law, law and development, commercial law (including copyright and patent law), human rights, environmental law, Islamic law, dispute resolution, and international law. All SOAS modules are designed not only to introduce students to the general fields of law, but also to provide an understanding of how generic legal structures and processes may operate in non-Western social and cultural settings. All teachers on modules offered at SOAS are experts in their designated field. Many have years of experience advising governments, international organisations or non-governmental organisation, and many also have been or continue to be legal practitioners.
To facilitate their study of law, all MA students are required to attend a two-week Preliminary Law, Legal Reasoning and Legal Methods in the September before they begin their MA.
Students take taught modules to the value of 3.0 full units, and complete a 10,000 word dissertation worth 1.0 units. Students who wish to graduate with an MA in Legal Studies (General Programme) must select a minimum of 2.0 units from the Law Postgraduate Modules list.
Please note: Not all modules listed will be available every year. Please see the individual module page for information.
Faculty of Law and Social Sciences (L&SS)
Welcome to the Faculty of Law and Social Sciences at SOAS. The faculty is the largest in the School in terms of student and staff numbers and consists of the departments of Development Studies, Economics, Financial and Management Studies, Politics and International Studies and the School of Law, as well as the Asia-Pacific Centre for Social Sciences, the Centre for Gender Studies, the Centre for International Studies and Diplomacy, the Centre of Taiwan Studies and a number of department-specific centres. All five departments offer undergraduate programmes, and all but Finance and International Management offer joint undergraduate degrees which can be combined with other disciplines from across the School. Each department also offers a range of masters-level programmes with a regional or disciplinary specialism, as well as a postgraduate research programme. The range of course options and combinations is one of the most distinctive characteristics of studying at SOAS and all students are given the option of studying an Asian or African language, either as part of or on top of their degree.
Staff in the faculty come from all over the world and combine regional knowledge with disciplinary specialisms. Teaching draws heavily on academic staff’s individual research which allows the faculty to maintain a large portfolio of courses, often exploring cutting-edge issues. Many faculty members have played a significant part in public debates and policy-making in relation to Asia and Africa. Academics in the faculty are regularly consulted by governments, public bodies and multilateral organisations including the United Nations and the World Bank, the Asian Development Bank, European Commission, DFID and other country-specific organisations and NGOs.
- Excellent student satisfaction for Faculty of Law and Social Sciences The Faculty of Law and Social Sciences (LSS) at SOAS, University of London has performed extremely well according to the 2014 National Student Survey (NSS).
Key facts: - LLB (QLD), BA (joint honours), LLM, MA & research degrees
- unique focus on both the developed and developing world
- research and teaching strengths in comparative, regional, international & global law
School of Law in UK top 5 for proportion of publications judged to be 'world-leading': 18 December 2014: the School was also graded in the top 20 nationally for its research environment. Find out more...
Our strengths: We have unrivalled expertise in comparative law (China, Africa, South/South-East Asia, the Middle East), complemented by specialists in international and transnational law, human rights, transnational commercial law, environmental law and socio-legal method.
Facts and figures
- We are introducing student exchange programmes with leading universities in the US and China
- We achieve one of the highest percentages of training contracts with Magic Circle Law firms awarded to UK Law Schools
Teaching: - 91% satisfaction for teaching (National Student Survey 2012/13): 96% of law students agreed that our staff are good at explaining things and 91% said their course was ‘intellectually stimulating’
- Excellent staff/student ratio
- Ranked 10th in UK (Guardian University Guide 2015)
Research: - Thriving research culture with a packed schedule of seminars and conferences across our research centres and specialisms
- Close links with the internationally-renowned Institute of Advanced Legal Studies (IALS) and the Van Vollenhoven Institute, Leiden University
- Each year a number of distinguished Lawyers join SOAS as Research Fellows