Best Schools for Master’s in Studies in Law in Canada

A Master’s in Studies in Law in Canada is a rigorous interdisciplinary approach to an integrated understanding of law. Students will examine and critique the ways in which the law operates, develops and changes. They will also focus on various aspects of the interactions between the law, the state, and the individual. Many programs offer areas of specialisation for interested students.

What Is a Master’s in Studies in Law?

The Master’s in Studies in Law is typically a heavily theoretical and research-intensive course of study that can take around two years to complete. While a Bachelor’s is required for admission, it does not have to be in law. Most programs do prefer candidates whose undergraduate studies were relevant to this program; for example, political science, history or sociology.

Most programs offer fundamental courses in the theory of law, social change and governance. Students may then specialise in one of the following areas:

  • Conflict Resolution
  • Globalisation and International Law
  • Law and Culture
  • Political Economy of Policing
  • International Criminal Tribunals
  • Judicial Politics
  • Security
  • Gender and Identity
  • Human Rights
  • Citizenship and Political Economy

Areas of specialisation may also be centered on a particular region or period in history, such as armed conflict in Africa or international relations during the Cold War.

The Master’s in Studies in Law takes a very interdisciplinary approach. Students are encouraged to consider legal theory, enforcement and practice in the context of issues such as social change, human rights, identity and nationality, and more. Most programs require an intensive research project. In addition to library research, students may gain access to the archives and libraries of courts, interest groups and governmental departments. This is a rigorous academic program that develops students’ analytical and critical skills. In addition to learning about legal theories and approaches, students examine the practical impact of laws and law enforcement on societies.

What Are the Benefits of Getting a Master’s in Studies in Law in Canada?

Canadian schools that offer the Master’s in Studies in Law typically have excellent research facilities. Students learn from some of the top thinkers in various fields related to legal studies, from scholars of political trials under authoritarian regimes, to leaders of today’s social change movements. This program teaches students to view the law not just as a set of rules, but as a changeable part of societal dynamics which influences and is influenced by issues such as economics, politics, concepts of identity and culture.

While completing the Master’s in Studies in Law, students often have the opportunity to observe and participate in the workings of bodies such as Canadian and international courts, the Canadian Parliament, various interest groups and social activist groups. The Master’s in Studies in Law program enables students to acquire excellent analytical, research, communication and presentation skills, which are important assets in any arena.

What Kind of Career Can I Expect With a Master’s in Studies in Law?

The Master’s in Studies in Law is an excellent preparation for a variety of career paths. It imparts many essential skills that are highly transferable and prized in most fields. These include research, oral and written communication, and critical analysis.

Many graduates use the intensive academic training as a springboard for the continuation of their academic studies. They typically continue to earn their PhD's in Studies in Law, or a related field, then go on to engage in academic research and university-level instruction.

Other students go on to enter careers in various types of government service. They may begin as researchers and advisers in one of the following:

  • Defense and Security
  • Correctional Services
  • Public Safety
  • Foreign Relations
  • Justice
  • Health
  • Diplomatic Corps

Eventually, they may progress to actively participating in formulating high-level policies. The Master’s in Studies in Law prepares students for success in governmental positions worldwide.

Other popular options include running for elected office or pursuing a legal or judicial career. Many graduates of the Master’s in Law use their knowledge in the service of a particular social cause by joining an activist group or an aid organisation.

Whichever career they choose, graduates of a Canadian Master’s in Law acquire the skills they need for success.