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Postgraduate Taught

MRes Socio-Legal Research

Please note: The below is for 2025 entries. Click here for 2024 entries.
UCAS code 1234
Duration 1 year full time
2 years part time
Entry year September 2024
Campus Streatham Campus
Discipline Law
Typical offer

View full entry requirements

2:2 Honours degree

Contextual offers


  • We’ll equip you with the socio-legal research skills needed to carry out doctoral level research or pursue a career in specialist socio-legal research
  • Forms part of the ESRC South West Doctoral Training Partnership and funding may be available for students embarking on the programme and wishing to work towards a PhD
  • Our core modules provide a foundation in quantitative and qualitative analysis and research methods in addition to legal research skills
  • Tailor your programme to your interests with the specialist modules covering areas such as dignity and human rights, family law and social change, social theory
  • Teaching is mainly seminar and workshop based allowing you to actively discuss and debate legal research with academics and peers

Apply online

View 2024 Entry

Fast Track (current Exeter students)

Open days and visiting us

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Programme Director: Dr David Barrett

Web: Enquire online

Phone: +44 (0)1392 72 72 72

Top 200 for Law in the QS World University Rankings 2024

Top 20 in the UK for our world-leading Law research

Based on research impact rated 4* + 3* in REF 2021

Personal tutor support and close contact with academic staff who are leaders in their field

Top 20 in the UK for Law

16th in The Times and The Sunday Times Good University Guide 2024

Entry requirements

We will consider applicants with a high 2:2 Honours degree with at least 57% or above or equivalent in Law or a social science subject, eg. Psychology, Sociology or Social Policy, or to have an MA with merit in a Law, social science or related subject. Non-law students will be required to take the pathway in 'Approaches to Research in Law'.

Entry requirements for international students

English language requirements

International students need to show they have the required level of English language to study this course. The required test scores for this course fall under Profile B2. Please visit our English language requirements page to view the required test scores and equivalencies from your country.

Course content

We’ll provide you with research training in generic social science skills giving you a solid basis in social science theory and methodology. You will build on these generalist skills by completing two skills-based modules with a socio-legal context and develop your specialist knowledge by choosing one of our optional modules.

You will complete a supervised research dissertation which allows you to bring together the conceptual and practical skills acquired in the taught modules and demonstrate your own understanding by applying them to your own research ideas in the socio-legal context.

The programme is ESRC-recognised. This means it meets the research training requirements of the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) and that you are eligible to apply for ESRC funding for PhD research. Only a handful of Law Schools in the UK offer ESRC recognised programmes in this field.

The modules we outline here provide examples of what you can expect to learn on this degree course based on recent academic teaching. The precise modules available to you in future years may vary depending on staff availability and research interests, new topics of study, timetabling and student demand.

I chose the University of Exeter because of its great global university ranking. The courses here are really interesting and the tutors are excellent. 

During my time here I have attended some interesting conferences that were suggested by my tutors and they have been really useful for my studies and have broadened my vision of Law.

The University of Exeter is not like other universities, it is a beautiful location without the noise of a big city. It is a great place for study.

You won’t regret it if you choose it!

Read more from Xiaodong




2024/25 entry

UK fees per year:

£11,500 full-time; £5,750 part-time

International fees per year:

£23,800 full-time; £11,900 part-time

ESRC funded studentships

Students intending to take this M Res programme and then pursue a socio-legal PhD can apply to be funded for combined M Res and PhD by the ESRC through the South West Doctoral Training Partnership Socio-Legal Studies pathway.


We invest heavily in scholarships for talented prospective Masters students. This includes over £5 million in scholarships for international students, such as our Global Excellence Scholarships*.

For more information on scholarships, please visit our scholarships and bursaries page.

*Selected programmes only. Please see the Terms and Conditions for each scheme for further details.

Teaching and research

Learning and teaching

The methods of learning, teaching and assessment vary across modules. The generic social science modules are lecture-based whereas the socio-legal modules are taught in smaller seminar groups for which students prepare in advance. They also include some student-led seminars, presentations and practical exercises.


All taught modules are evaluated by a range of assessments. These may include an oral presentation, practical exercise, reflective log, essay plan and/or essay. If the taught modules are successfully completed, you will progress to undertake a dissertation on an approved subject linked to your research interests. The 15,000 word dissertation on a socio-legal topic of your choice must be submitted for assessment by 5th September in the year in which you are first assessed. These examinations may be supplemented by oral examination. If you fail to meet the standard for the degree but reach an appropriate lower standard, you may be eligible for the award of a Postgraduate Diploma or Certificate.


In addition to your studies, you’ll have the opportunity to benefit from a stimulating programme of research seminars designed to enable staff and postgraduate students to experience cutting edge research by members of the academic and legal community both within and outside of Exeter.


The Lasok Law Library, located in the Fourm holds in excess of 40,000 volumes and is open 24 hours a day. You can choose from diverse study spaces to suit your specific learning needs, whether dedicated quiet study, group work, or social learning over a coffee.

Our custom-built Moot Court offers students invaluable opportunities to take part in mooting activities and is equipped with the latest technology, including high-spec video conferencing.


The MRes Socio-Legal Research offers you the benefit of combining sought after legal and social science research skills, which are extremely useful to a wide range of employers.

Current and former students have, for example, undertaken research on projects of interest to academics and professionals working in the fields of family law, the legal profession and the prison service using empirical research methods.

Careers support

When it comes to securing a graduate level position, we enjoy extremely good relations with members of the legal profession regionally, nationally and internationally. You will be supported by the College's Employability Officer, the wide range of services offered by Career Zone and have the opportunity to meet potential employers face-to-face through our annual Law Fair, workshops and careers sessions. 

Graduate destinations

A degree in Law can lead to a number of exciting careers. We've included below examples of initial jobs undertaken by our Law postgraduates.

Please note that due to data protection, the job titles and organisations are listed independently and do not necessarily correspond.

Job title  Organisation
Attorney  Areza 

Corporate Lawyer

Benjamin Law Firm

Graduate Teaching Assistant 

Cleary Gottlieb Steen and Hamilton

Information Assistant

Euler Hermes 

Intern in Tax Law


Legal Advisor

Higher Land Court

Lawyer  Keoths Solicitors 

Lecturer in Law


Legal Intern

Paul Hastings 

Litigation Executive

Perfetti Van Melle

Government Lawyer

Salans and Associates LLP

Risk Analyst 

Strategy Capital


Read more