The MA in Law is an accelerated, fast-track, two year full-time (four years part-time) senior status postgraduate qualifying law degree. The degree is carefully structured to cover the foundation areas of legal knowledge and to develop students' core legal skills, whilst providing an opportunity for further specialist study.
Did you know that in just 21 months you could secure a qualifying law degree with our MA in Law?
This course offers the opportunity for non-law students to convert to an accelerated, fast-track, senior status postgraduate degree in Law. It builds on the fact that you will have already benefited from a university level education and enables you to acquire a qualifying law degree in only 21 months, rather than the three years it would normally take to obtain an LLB. Students graduate with a deeper understanding of law and legal reasoning than can be obtained in a one year GDL (Graduate Diploma in Law).
The programme is carefully structured to cover the foundation areas of legal knowledge and to develop your core legal skills. The elective options provide you with an opportunity for further specialist study.
Who is the MA in Law designed for?
The MA in Law is designed for UK non-law graduates, and for law and non-law graduates from other countries who wish to acquire a thorough grounding in English Law. It is particularly attractive for those who wish to enter the English legal profession. For those students, it is an alternative to a graduate-level CPE/GDL programme. By spreading study over two years of intensive postgraduate level work, students gain a greater depth of understanding than is possible in one year CPE/GDL programmes, together with experience in legal research and in a specialist area of their choice.
Both arts and science degrees are a good foundation for the MA in Law. Students who have already studied some common law may be admitted. Applications are also encouraged from students who may have graduated some time ago and who are now seeking a change in career.
What is the structure of the programme?
Over the two years, students will take seven foundation law units plus one specialist unit of their choice. Each foundation unit pays attention to the relationship between law, society and the policy process, and to the theoretical context within which the particular area of law operates. The units also develop the skills of legal analysis, synthesis research and evaluation, as well as offering students the opportunity to engage in cutting-edge analysis of substantive law.
You can learn more about the units taught in MA Law in the programme catalogue, as well as specialist unit options available in year 2 of the programme. Unit information includes intended learning outcomes, teaching details, and methods of assessment.
The MA in Law is recognised by the Solicitors Regulation Authority and the Bar Standards Board as a qualifying senior status law degree for practice in England and Wales. The Solicitors’ Regulatory Authority (SRA), the body which regulates the profession, is planning to change the path to qualification. This decision is still being negotiated but for up to date information please view our accreditation webpage.
For Canadian students, the MA provides key educational components required for the NCA Certificate of Qualification to enter legal practice in Canada. You will qualify in just 21 months compared to the three years it would normally take to obtain an LLB - and gain a greater depth of understanding than is possible in a one year programme. please visit our MA in Law Canada page for more information.
If students wish to practise in another jurisdiction, they should contact the regulatory body for that jurisdiction.
Can the MA be studied part-time?
Yes, the MA in Law can be studied full-time (over two years) or part-time (over four years). Please bear in mind that part-time study requires daytime, weekday attendance.
What our MA students say
“I would certainly recommend the MA course to any students who have completed an undergraduate degree and are interested in Law. This course will allow you to gain all the necessary knowledge to practice law, but also leaves some room for you to pursue your own specific interests with an optional unit which may even cater to your existing education.” - Mackenzie Burnet
“The MA in Law at the University of Bristol Law School is the strongest postgraduate qualifying law degree course in England. As an accelerated postgraduate professional law degree it is one of the best in the world.” - Thomas Chambers
"I converted from History to Law through Bristol’s 21 month MA course. Completing the full degree really helped me obtain pupillage." - Francis Ng, Barrister
The prospectus for MA Law has all the up-to-date, necessary information regarding fees, entry requirements, programme structure, and how you can apply.
You can explore the units taught throughout the MA Law programme in the programme catalogue.
Unsure if an MA in Law is the one for you? We have a range of postgraduate taught programmes available, including LLMs, MSc and MRes programmes.
MA Law provides key educational components required for the NCA Certificate of Qualification to enter legal practice in Canada. Find out more on Bin.