You are viewing this course for September start 2024

Founded in 1901, the Department of Law and Criminology at Aberystwyth University bases itself on a long, reputable and increasingly varied experience of legal education and academic work. Over the years a large number of well-known legal academics have taught in the department and Aberystwyth law graduates have made their mark in a range of subsequent careers. The Department is confident in its distinctive identity and reputation for high quality teaching, linked to vigorous research activity and carried out in a stimulating and friendly environment. Students benefit from a mature and well-stocked library and generous and up-to-date information technology provision.

A research degree within the Department of Law and Criminology at Aberystwyth University gives you the opportunity to explore a specific legal or criminological topic of your choosing under the supervision of leading researchers in their field.

The MPhil is a one-year full-time course where you will be expected to conduct independent research and produce a thesis of around 50,000-60,000 words. Part-time study over two years is also available.

Typical Entry Requirements

Entry Requirements 2:1 Bachelors (Honours) degree in a relevant subject area, or equivalent.

English Language Requirements IELTS 7.0 with minimum 6.0 in each component, or equivalent

Other Requirements Applicants should submit a full research proposal at the point of application

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Course Overview


The MPhil is designed for those who wish to pursue research in a particular area of legal interest under the expert guidance of a member of the Department's staff.

Requirements for Completion for the MPhil

You will be required to complete a thesis of around 60,000 words. You will consult regularly with your supervisor, who will advise and provide guidance on the project. Those studying the degree full-time will also take a short course on research training to assist them to develop appropriate research skills.

Period of Study for the MPhil

The normal period of registration for a full-time student is 12 months during which time you should be based in Aberystwyth. The normal period of registration for a part-time student is two years. Those studying on a part-time basis need not be resident in Aberystwyth during this time.

About this course

Masters by Research

At Aberystwyth you can register for an MPhil or an LLM (Research). There is no difference between these qualifications. Most students register for the MPhil, which is recognised in the UK as a research qualification, whereas the LLM is usually reserved for taught Masters programmes. Some overseas students, however, prefer to be awarded an LLM because the title signifies clearly that it is a law degree. In either case, you can register for one year to produce a thesis of about 50,000 - 60,000 words. You will work under the direction of one or more supervisors but are not required to attend any classes. After the year at Aberystwyth you have up to two years to write up your research.

Studying for a Research Masters offers many of the attractions of studying for a PhD. It would be wrong, however, to think of a Masters dissertation as a short PhD. A Masters thesis should provide a detailed overview and critique of any area of law but it is not intended to provide an in-depth analysis in the same way as a PhD. The main advantage of the Research Masters, therefore, is that it enables you to complete a piece of research and obtain a qualification for it in a relatively short period of time. The Department of Law and Criminology is committed to a policy of innovation and development in teaching and research and regularly reviews both the range and content of its degree schemes, as well as its modes of teaching and assessment, in order to respond effectively to the needs and expectations of our student body. The Department of Law and Criminology aims to maximise choice in its provision of legal and criminological education while ensuring that teaching is informed by up-to-date scholarship at the highest level.

Modules September start - 2024

Please note: The modules listed below are those currently intended for delivery during the next academic year and may be subject to change. They are included here to give an indication of how the course is structured.

* Also available partially or entirely through the medium of Welsh