Master of Arts (Socio-Legal Studies)

Course 102-SL (2008)

Note: This is an archived Handbook entry from 2008.Search for this in the current handbookSearch for this in the current handbook

Year and Campus: 2008
Fees Information: Subject EFTSL, Level, Discipline & Census Date
Level: Graduate/Postgraduate


Graduate Enquiries, Arts & Music Student Centre
Rm 104 (Ground Floor) Old Arts Building
Tel: +61 3 8344 5321/+61 3 8344 6395
Fax: +61 3 9347 0424

Course Overview:

The Masters degree is designed for students to develop advanced skills in carrying out independent and sustained research. The thesis should demonstrate a critical application of specialist knowledge and make an independent contribution to existing scholarship in socio-legal studies. Candidates may advance to the Doctor of Philosophy degree after successful completion of the Masters or may apply to convert to the PhD at an earlier stage. An Honours grade of at least H2B (70%) must be attained to qualify for the award of the Masters degree.

Course coordinator:
Jennifer Ballint
School of Political Science, Criminology and Sociology

Objectives: On completion of the Masters, students should be able to:
  • demonstrate advanced learning in research skills and appropriate techniques, such as the use of archival or primary evidence, analysis of data, judgement of conflicting evidence etc;
  • demonstrate specialist knowledge in the area of their research;
  • present the results of their research in publishable form or work towards incorporating their findings in further research;
  • proceed to the PhD if the Masters thesis has demonstrated appropriate research potential;
  • gain admission to certain types of employment through this specialist qualification;
  • apply the research skills acquired to other projects;
  • demonstrate an understanding of, and commitment to, research ethics or codes of practice.
Course Structure & Available Subjects: Thesis of 30,000 words (100 points per year).
Subject Options: Thesis subject 191-539 - A major thesis based on original research, on a topic to be approved by the course coordinator.
Study Period Commencement:
Credit Points:
RHD First Half Year, RHD Second Half Year
Entry Requirements: A four-year BA (Honours) degree with a research component or equivalent in the appropriate area of study or closely related area. The grade for the honours thesis component must be at least equivalent to an H2A (75%) at The University of Melbourne and the overall honours result must be at least equivalent to an H2B (70%).

Applicants must include a thesis proposal of 600 words with their application. The primary basis for selection is academic merit, however, consideration will also be given to the quality of the thesis proposal, research potential and the availability of an appropriate supervisor. Academic references may be required to assess the applicant's eligibility.

Applicants should arrange an interview with the department's Postgraduate Coordinator prior to submitting their application in order to discuss their suitability for candidature and their proposed course of study.

Core Participation Requirements:

For the purposes of considering request for Reasonable Adjustments under the Disability Standards for Education (Cwth 2005), and Student Support and Engagement Policy, academic requirements for this subject are articulated in the Subject Overview, Learning Outcomes, Assessment and Generic Skills sections of this entry.

It is University policy to take all reasonable steps to minimise the impact of disability upon academic study, and reasonable adjustments will be made to enhance a student's participation in the University's programs. Students who feel their disability may impact on meeting the requirements of this subject are encouraged to discuss this matter with a Faculty Student Adviser and Student Equity and Disability Support:

Graduate Attributes: None
Links to further information:
Notes: Candidates must submit an outline of their project of 2000-3000 words after six months of full-time candidature and an annual report of 1000 words on their research.
Candidates must also give a formal presentation in one of the following ways:
  • a twenty-minute paper on their topic at a Departmental seminar;
  • thesis-related material as part of a formal lecture for criminology or a related subject;
  • a paper at an academic conference.

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