MA (Research) Legal History


About MA (Res) Legal History 

Courses duration: 1 year full-time/2 years part-time     Course starts: October

MA (Res) Legal History at the University of Reading is an interdisciplinary course that equips graduates with a sophisticated understanding of legal and historical approaches to social, cultural and political phenomena, advanced skills in archival research, and the ability to undertake high level analysis of law and legal issues. You will develop highly transferable skills, including the ability to construct and manage a research project; to effectively analyse and evaluate legal and historical sources, information and data; to communicate, in written and oral form, the results of research and the rationale and process behind them; and, generally, and high level skills of critical and independent thought and analysis.

You will have the opportunity, with permission from the Programme Director, to undertake a three month internship with the National Archives or another library/archive with which the School of Law has agreed internship arrangements as part of this course.

MA (Res) course content

MA (Res) Legal History features a total of 180 credits, 140 credits of which are gained from compulsory modules.

Compulsory modules

  • Archival Research (20)
  • Research Dissertation (90)
  • Research Methods in Legal History (20)
  • Research Seminar Presentation (10)

Optional modules

Optional modules totalling 40 credits must be chosen from:

  • Archival Internship (40)
  • Critical Thinkers (20)
  • History and Management of an Archive (20)
  • Sourcing the Past (20)

Students who have not previously completed a degree in law may replace one of the above modules with either  History of English Law (20) or Criminal Justice (20) at the discretion of the Programme Director.

Staff teaching on this MA (Res) law course

Career prospects for MA (Res) law graduates

With its emphasis upon legal and historical research skills and independent research, this course is particularly suited to those who are thinking of entering the legal profession, or who wish to pursue a PhD in history, law or related areas. Undertaken on a part-time basis, it is also of great value to people who are already undertaking academic research or members of the legal profession, especially barristers looking to build their legal and historical analysis skills with a view to contributing to the literature upon which superior courts, parliamentary bodies and law reform agencies frequently rely.

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