MA by Research

student in liberty building study area

If you have a longstanding interest or connections in a particular legal or criminal justice field, perhaps related to your professional occupation or other significant experience, then an MA by Research may provide the ideal scope and flexibility for your research project.


When studying an MA by Research, you will carry out original research under the guidance of two supervisors and produce an original thesis of approximately 30,000 words.

The programme is entirely research focused; you will work with your supervisors to design a programme of research and then receive supervision through to the completion of your thesis.

Individual support is provided through monthly one-to-one supervision meetings with experienced researchers who have expertise in your area of research. The degree programme therefore involves close supervision and support, which is tailored specifically to helping you complete a successful project.

The degree of MA by Research is awarded on the basis of your thesis, and your viva voce, where you present and discuss the rationale, methods and findings of your original study with an examining panel.


This postgraduate research degree can be completed in one year (full-time) or two years (part-time). Entry is offered each October and February.

The part-time route allows you to continue your career throughout your studies and to schedule supervision sessions to fit around your working life.

Areas of supervision

Our research supervision offers a wide breadth of activity across several key academic teams.

Explore our research areas to discover the themes and supervisors relating to your field of study: 

Many of our academic staff are also involved in the Leeds Social Science Institute which fosters interdisciplinary research collaborations and provides training for our postgraduate researchers.

Research training

A wide range of training in legal and social science research methodology is available to registered candidates. This includes the option to attend taught modules in social science research methods and empirical legal skills delivered by academics in the School of Law, as well as shorter research training and personal development courses delivered by the University’s Organisational Development and Professional Learning Unit. 

The School is also a member both of the ESRC White Rose Doctoral Training Centre and the AHRC White Rose College of Arts and Humanities, both of which regularly host research training events.

Once enrolled on the degree, you will join our vibrant, collegial and supportive community of postgraduate researchers based within the School of Law. As a member of this community, you will also be invited to become a member of one of the School’s internationally recognised research centres or groups — benefitting from the many research events organised and hosted by your research centre.

Maariyah Islam MA by Research

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“I wanted to study a course that would allow me to progress my research further in an independent manner, as well as push myself to new limits. The MRes has allowed me to do just that. It has allowed me to expand my research and develop my ideas along with the support of my supervisors.”
View Profile for Maariyah Islam