The MA in Law (by Research) programme allows you to undertake in-depth and individually supervised research on a topic of the your choosing. It allows you to develop your own programme of study that will best enable you to fulfil your individual aims. The programme also offers opportunities for you to progress onto a PhD programme at York Law School. It is ideal both for recent graduates and experienced practitioners alike. The programme is available in all of the fields of expertise of York Law School’s Faculty.
YLS has a vibrant research community led by enthusiastic and experienced staff. We are involved in many significant projects, the quality of which reflects the University's established research status as a member of the Russell Group. A key characteristic of the research at YLS is its strong multi-disciplinary focus. The School is very well networked with other disciplines and we have highly co-operative relationships with departments across the University. As a closely linked, energetic community we actively support one another's work and aim to offer an environment of real collaboration. In the Research Excellence Framework 2014 York Law School was joint first for the excellence of its research, 4th for its impact and was ranked overall 5th in the UK with 46% of its publications classed as ‘world leading’ (4*) and 34% ‘internationally excellent’ (3*).
The MA in Law (by Research) programme is a one year full time, or two year part time, postgraduate research programme. At its core is a 20-30,000 word dissertation on a topic of your choosing. This will enable you to develop cutting edge expertise in your chosen topic. You will be guided through your research by an experienced faculty member and researcher at York Law School. You will also undertake research skills training.
The part time version of the degree is highly flexible and ideal for legal professionals. The programme also offers opportunities for students to progress onto a PhD programme at York Law School.
York Law School has developed a reputation for offering academically rigorous, innovative, practical and stimulating programmes of study. We offer a rounded student experience – reflecting the best of academic and professional practice – and have a friendly and dynamic team of experienced academics, committed to the best methods of legal education.
On the MA programme you will undertake a range of legal research and skills training workshops, however, your primary method of instruction will be regular one to one meetings with an experienced faculty member who will guide you through the research and writing process.
It is widely known in the legal sector that those graduating from York Law School with a postgraduate degree possess legal minds of the highest calibre and, as such, our graduates are always in demand.
On average, an outstanding 94.2% of those graduating with a postgraduate degree in Law between 2009 and the present day had secured employment or further study after leaving York.
While most of our postgraduate students choose to enter legal fields, others go on to gain employment in the following sectors: finance, health and social work, public administration and retail.
Notable employers include: DWF LLP, the Home Office, Foreign and Commonwealth Office, Parabis Group, Amnesty International.
The most common job titles are: Lawyer, Litigation Paralegal, Solicitor, Commercial in-house lawyer and Attorney-at-Law.
All students on the MA programme will get active support in careers and development planning, both through structured sessions and workshops as well as individual advice from the Law School’s Employability Tutor, Chris Wilkinson.
The Law School Careers & Development Programme is open to undergraduate and postgraduate students and we would encourage you to get involved with this. Several employers take part in the bespoke programme, providing an insight into the legal profession and the relevant recruitment processes. There is also help available for those of you who are thinking about non legal employers or academic routes following your MA.
There are also taught postgraduate and research postgraduate versions of the Employability Tutorial available to you. The Employability Tutorial is an online resource which is aimed at helping you to think about or review your personality and values, to assist you when you are thinking about your options after the MA and how to move forward with your career plans.
The research skills developed during the MA are excellent in preparation for further research, including doctoral studies.
Applicants will normally be expected to have obtained an undergraduate degree in Law, management, or one of the social sciences, with honours (2.1 or higher, or its equivalent).
Applicants with equivalent legal professional, management or commercial experience will also be considered on a case by case basis.
If English is not your first language and you have not completed an undergraduate degree in English we will need evidence of your English language ability to the required level, in addition to any academic entry requirements.
For up to date information about accepted tests and our English language requirements, please see
You can apply for this course using our online application system. If you've not already done so, please read the application guidance first so that you understand the various steps in the application process.