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MA Law (by Research)

York Law School was ranked joint first for the excellence of its research outputs in Times Higher Education's ranking of the 2014 Research Excellence Framework. 46 per cent of our publications were classed as ‘world leading’ (4*) and 34 per cent ‘internationally excellent’ (3*). We encourage research applicants from all over the world to join us in one of the best Schools in the UK for legal and socio-legal research.


Why study MA Law by Research at York?

The MA Law (by Research) programme allows you to undertake in-depth and individually supervised research on a topic of your choosing. It allows you to develop your own programme of study that will best enable you to fulfil your individual aims. The programme is available in all fields of expertise at YLS and with supervised research on a topic of your choosing, subject to supervisory availability. For further details of staff research areas  Please contact staff to discuss an application.

The programme also offers opportunities for you to progress onto a PhD programme at York Law School. It is ideal for both recent graduates and experienced practitioners.

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.

Details of the MA programme

The MA 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.

About us

About us

A stimulating environment for postgraduate study.

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.


Careers options and employability

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.

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.

Careers and development support

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 and 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.

Students also have access to online Careers resources, including our employability skills page, 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.

Undertaking further research study

The research skills developed during the MA are excellent in preparation for further research, including doctoral studies.



Entry requirements

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 equivalent).

Applicants with equivalent legal professional, management or commercial experience will also be considered on a case by case basis.

English language requirements

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.

How to apply

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.

Apply now

Who to contact