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Socio-Legal Research Mphil

University of Oxford

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Course options

  • Qualification

    MPhil - Master of Philosophy

  • Location

    University of Oxford

  • Study mode

    Full time

  • Start date


  • Duration

    1 year

Course summary

About the course

The MPhil in Socio-Legal Research is a one-year research master’s degree offered by the Centre for Socio-Legal Studies (CSLS). It can either serve as a qualification in its own right or as a route into the Doctor of Philosophy (DPhil) degree, including the DPhil in Socio-Legal Studies.

The course normally takes place over a full academic year. You will attend weekly seminars convened by members of staff at the CSLS on ‘Theory and Methods in Socio-Legal Research’, mainly during your first two terms. This is intended to develop your appreciation of law as a social phenomenon, to introduce various theoretical perspectives and to consider the variety of empirical techniques by which research questions may be addressed.

You will be able to take part in an extensive range of seminar programmes and discussion groups, affording plentiful opportunities for interaction both with your peers and with academics working in the same or similar research areas. But you can expect to spend the majority of your time working on your own research project.


During the course, you will write a 25,000- to 30,000-word thesis. You will work with your supervisor to develop a topic that contributes to an understanding of law in society, drawing on empirical and theoretical perspectives.

You should submit your final thesis by the second Friday in September. The examination method is the same as that used for the DPhil – two examiners are appointed who read the thesis and then conduct an intensive oral examination with you, known as a viva voce, before providing a written report to the Law Faculty. On that basis your thesis may be judged to have passed, so that you can be awarded the MPhil degree, or to be in need of revision, in which case it is referred back to you for re-submission at a later date; in extreme cases it may be rejected.

Graduate destinations

MPhil students pursue a range of career paths after obtaining the degree. You might choose to continue studying to obtain a doctoral degree preparatory to an academic career, or to enter employment. The analytic and communication skills developed while studying should enhance your suitability for legal practice, for a civil service career, for work in non- governmental organisations, or for a range of management positions in the private sector, including consultancies.

Tuition fees

Students living in United States
(international fees)

£ 24,450per year

Tuition fees shown are for indicative purposes and may vary. Please check with the institution for most up to date details.

University information

University of Oxford

  • University League Table


  • Campus address

    University of Oxford, University Offices, Wellington Square, Oxford, Oxfordshire, OX1 2JD, England

Subject rankings

  • Subject ranking

    2nd out of 103 2

  • Entry standards

    / Max 231
    202 92%


  • Graduate prospects

    / Max 100
    83 83%


  • Student satisfaction

    / Max 5

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