Start your dream course in 2022 | BROWSE PROGRAMMES Start your dream course in 2022 | BROWSE PROGRAMMES
Full time & Part time September MRes 1 year full-time; 2 years part-time

About the course


  • We’ll equip you with the socio-legal research skills needed to carry out doctoral level research or pursue a career in specialist socio-legal research
  • Forms part of the ESRC South West Doctoral Training Centre and funding may be available for UK/EU students embarking on the programme and wishing to work towards a PhD
  • Our core modules provide a foundation in quantitative and qualitative analysis and research methods in addition to legal research skills
  • Tailor your programme to your interests with the specialist modules covering areas such as human rights, international business policy, family law and social change
  • Teaching is mainly seminar and workshop based allowing you to actively discuss and debate legal research with academics and peers

Top 150 for Law in The Times Higher Education World University Rankings 2021

85% of research classified as world-leading or internationally excellent

Research Excellence Framework 2014 based on the percentage of research categorised as 4* and 3* 

Read more about this course

Entry Requirements

You will be expected to have obtained a Law degree of at least UK 2:1 Honours or equivalent, or a degree in a social science subject, eg. Psychology, Sociology or Social Policy. Non-law students will be required to take the pathway in 'Approaches to Research in Law'.

Applicants are also required to meet our English language requirements. Please see our website for details.

 Course Content

Chat to a Student Ambassador

Our student ambassadors are the best people to tell you about what studying at University of Exeter is like.

Chat to a student now
Where is University of Exeter


All Available Videos:
Study with Exeter Law School Study with Exeter Law School 12/12/2020 17:48:01
Study with Exeter Law School
"My favourite thing about Exeter is..." - International students tell us what they love about Exeter "My favourite thing about Exeter is..." - International students tell us what they love about Exeter 15/10/2020 12:20:00
"My favourite thing about Exeter is..." - Int...
Campus Tour of the University of Exeter, Streatham Campus Campus Tour of the University of Exeter, Streatham Campus 15/10/2020 12:33:29
Campus Tour of the University of Exeter, Stre...

Student Profile(s)

Polly Lord

I took the MRes as a precursor to a socio-legal PhD. The relationship between law and society has always been of interest to me and the course enabled me to expand my knowledge beyond purely doctrinal legal analysis.

There is a real sense of working “with” academics at Exeter not merely under. This means from day one you are treated as a colleague, with your own research treated as just that, yours. I thoroughly enjoyed the whole course and would highly recommend it to anyone thinking of embarking on a Law PhD and/or as an alternative to the LLM. The course introduced me to a range of ideas and approaches without which I would not have thought about.

Anna Heenan

One of the best things about the MRes has been the enthusiasm of the teaching staff. I have also enjoyed being able to think about law from a very different perspective; I studied law at undergraduate level and then pursued a career in practice, so starting to think as a researcher has been a very new experience.

The University is highly regarded for socio-legal research in family law, which was a big draw for me. I also found both teaching and administrative staff to be very welcoming and incredibly helpful when I was first applying, which was a very different experience to elsewhere.

The MRes course has been invaluable in preparing me for PhD research. Being taught theory and methods and having to put them into practice in a dissertation has given me much more confidence for my PhD. I also feel that I have a clearer direction for my research. The other big advantage of the course was that it gave me the chance to meet PhD students from across the College, who I might not otherwise have come into contact with.

Philip Bremnar

Having done an LLB and LLM at the University of Aberdeen, I came to realise that I was interested in the socio-legal implications of law rather than just the black-letter law. I wanted to do an inter-disciplinary PhD that involved applying methods and theory from the social sciences to my main research interest, Family Law. Fortunately I received ESRC funding to undertake the MRes in Socio-Legal Research at Exeter followed by the PhD and the MRes research-training masters is exposing me to new ways of looking at the law as well a solid grounding in the various methods of empirical data collection and analysis that will be invaluable during my PhD.


We’ve provided the information on our website to help you get started on finding funding opportunities that are available to you:

Value of Scholarship(s)

Over £4 million in scholarships available


We recommend you start looking as early as possible for funding, especially if you will need financial assistance to undertake a postgraduate course.

There are a number of ways to fund postgraduate study including: scholarships, studentships, wages, bursaries, savings, inheritance, and, increasingly, alternative methods such as crowdfunding and philanthropy. The options available may depend on your fee status or other criteria.

Application Procedure

See our website for details of funding available and how to apply :

Find out more

Search Suggestions

Based on your current searches we recommend the following search filters