University of Bristol

Socio-Legal Studies, MSc

  • 1 Year

Program Description

The MSc in Social Legal Studies presents an exciting opportunity to explore the role of law in society at a critical time in history - and cultivate a deep understanding of interdisciplinary approaches to the study of law and legal phenomena.

On the programme you will develop rigorous research skills and the ability to engage in broader social understanding, providing a sound basis to progress to a PhD or a career in socio-legal research through the study of different research methodologies across the social sciences and law.

The MSc has an emphasis on practical research training, on the ability to plan, research and write a sophisticated dissertation - and to think in broad theoretical terms about law in society.  In addition to presenting an ideal introduction to academic research, it also offers excellent preparation for working for NGOs and other organisations that works for legal or social change or within government.

On the MSc you will pursue independent, in-depth study of socio-legal topics, and engage in lively debates in a thriving research culture across social sciences and law. The range of units offered makes this master's programme suitable for graduates from any discipline who have an interest in the way law may work in society.

The programme is one of five South West Doctoral Training Partnership interdisciplinary pathways delivered by world-leading researchers from the University of Bristol, University of Bath, University of the West of England and University of Exeter.

Find out how you can do more with law at the University of Bristol Law School. Please also view our Socio-Legal Research Centre web page for more information.

Programme structure

You will study three core units in the School of Sociology, Politics and International Studies and two core units in the Law School.

You will take optional units up to a value of 30 credit points, chosen from across most of the Faculty of Social Sciences and Law. Units designed especially for this MSc that are offered by the School of Sociology, Politics and International Studies are usually worth 20 credit points each. Units in the Law School are taken alongside LLM students, and are each worth 30 credit points.

Methods of assessment will depend on the optional subjects chosen, but could include essays, presentations or written examinations.

The dissertation accounts for 60 credit points. It should build on the optional units you have chosen and develop the approaches taken in the core units. You will be expected to demonstrate an ability to:

  • frame a research question and use an appropriate methodology in response to that question;
  • organise discussion and select material pertinent to the topic;
  • show appropriate higher-level knowledge and understanding of the background context.

Visit our programme catalogue for full details of the structure and unit content for our MSc in Socio-Legal Studies.

Admission Description


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University of Bristol

Program level:
1 Year
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Starting Date: Submission deadline Status
January 1970 January 1970

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