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MSc Law and Finance - Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Frequently asked questions for the MSc Law and Finance programme. If you can't find the answer to your question here, please email: MScLawFinance-enquiries@qmul.ac.uk

About your application

About study at Queen Mary

What are the entry requirements?

  • A final certificate and transcript of your law degree marks. An interim transcript can be provided if the qualification is not yet completed.  If your studies are not in Law and you have not yet completed then please provide a copy of your course syllabus.
  • Any other supporting qualifications.
  • One academic reference letter.  If studies were completed over 5 years ago then an employment reference may be provided instead.  In circumstances where employment will form a substantial consideration for your application, an employment reference will be required – this will be in addition to an academic reference if studies were completed less than 5 years ago.
  • Proof of English language proficiency.

As we do not interview prospective students, these documents form the basis of any decision made.

Does Queen Mary provide funding?

Partial scholarships are usually available each year. See our funding pages for more information.

I wish to check on the progress of my application. Who do I contact?

Email the college Admissions Office on the email address provided in your application submission email.

Please note that all applications are automatically acknowledged by email soon after receipt.

I am still waiting to get my reference letter. Can I submit my reference after my application form? Where do I send it?

Scanned copies of original paper reference letters should be uploaded and submitted with your application form. Therefore if you are within the application and scholarship deadline please wait for your reference and ensure you upload it to your application before submitting. If for any reason you later receive a further reference or had to submit without a reference due to application or scholarship deadlines or referees wishing to maintain confidentiality and insisting on submitting the reference themselves, then please arrange for your reference to be emailed. This should be sent directly to the Admissions office after your application has been submitted to the email address provided to you in your application submission email. Please refer to the online application guidance notes for instructions of how to submit an application without any references. Please do not post any references.

What do you require in the reference - what must be included?

Reference letters should be typed by the referee on computer, printed on to official letter headed paper then signed by the referee in pen (electronic signatures are not accepted). This original paper reference should then be scanned and uploaded to your application form before submission. If your referee insists on an official reference request form then this can be downloaded from our online application guidance notes and the completed form should either be submitted with the scanned copy of the original paper reference, or typed directly on to the form itself then this should be printed and stamped/sealed by the relevant institution stamps/seals. Scanned copies of the reference should be uploaded to and submitted with the application.

Academic Reference (preferred):

  • Verification of the fact that the academic referee has known you, the student, for a certain length of time. They must also give your full name and not an abbreviated or nickname. Also indicate the name of the course for which you are applying.
  • Confirmation that you have attended a specific course.
  • Class or mark of your degree or expected class of degree. (If expected please ensure it is made clear that this is an opinion and not a fact).
  • Comment on your skills and abilities.

If you have extensive legal/financial experience, a professional reference can be submitted. 

Professional Reference:

  • Verification of how long you were employed.
  • Confirmation that you were working in a legal/financial capacity and some detail of the type of work involved.
  • Comment on your skills and abilities.

What documents do I need to supply when applying for the MSc Law and Finance?

You will need to submit a completed application form, transcripts of your degree or any other relevant qualification, and two references (preferably academic). If this is difficult, due to the passage of time for instance since your first degree, you can provide professional references if they are related to the course. For more information and to apply online see our postgraduate application pages.

What do I have to do if my degree transcript is not in English?

If your degree transcript is not in English you must have it translated before submission. Translations must come from one of the following:

  • Officially certified translator
  • Solicitor
  • British Council / Embassy
  • Registry of the university where you studied the course (for example, if translating transcripts).

Translations must be officially signed and stamped accordingly. The Admissions Office requires a copy of the foreign transcript document and the English translated copy. You will still have to provide the originals of any transcripts, certificates or other documents before or on the day of enrolment.

What if I have not finished my first degree or obtained a language test result?

You should still apply and provide an interim transcript of degree marks achieved so far. If your application is successful then you will be made a conditional offer specifying our requirements from your country/university.

What are the English language requirements for the MSc Law and Finance programme?

All students from countries where English is not the first language must supply a TOEFL or IELTS language test result. If you took your degree overseas and were taught in the English medium but your country’s main language is not English, you still have to provide a language score. The standard of English language used varies from region to region and from university to university. It is therefore vital that all such students provide English language scores. If you have not yet taken an IELTS/TOEFL test at the application stage, you should still apply. If your IELTS/TOEFL results are not yet available, you could be made a conditional offer, subject to our normal academic requirements.You should bear in that should your score be lower than our full requirement we may be able to assist you with pre-sessional language training (in the summer prior to the course start date). You should therefore provide a language score in good time. Students who submit a language score for consideration which does not meet the full language entry requirements of 7 overall 7 writing IELTS (and equivalent TOEFL) ) will automatically be offered the appropriate pre-sessional language course as a condition of entry if and where possible. However, if required, a student may still retake and submit a higher language score before enrolment - any pre-sessional condition set can then be cancelled or amended depending on the new score achieved and the date the new scores are submitted. Read the full and minimum language requirements.

Do I need to include a personal statement or CV?

Please ensure that you upload an up to date copy of your CV to your application form before submission.

What if I do not meet the conditions contained in my offer?

If you do not meet the academic conditions, you should still provide a transcript showing your final marks. We will still consider this and in borderline cases, take into case other relevant qualifications and relevant work experience. If you do not meet the full language condition, you should submit your obtained score as soon as possible, to see if any pre-sessional English language courses will help you.

Where do I submit my application, language scores and other required documents? 

All documents should be uploaded to and submitted with your application where possible. Language scores however do not need to be submitted at the application stage and can be submitted at a later date. If you need to submit documents after application submission then please email scanned copies of them to the Admissions Office email address provided to you in your submission confirmation email.

The Application Process 

All applicants are automatically emailed with submission confirmation and an application reference number once an online application has been submitted. Please quote your application reference number in ALL communication with Queen Mary.

Can I practise in England and Wales with an MSc or Diploma?

No, but the School of Law offers a two-year LLB known as 'Senior Status'.

The two-year LLB allows the student to obtain a ‘qualifying law degree’ in two years. Then it is necessary to complete the vocational stage of qualification - the Bar Professional Training Course (to become a barrister) or the Legal Practice Course (to become a solicitor). A period of practical training is then required. For information, see the Bar Standards Board and the Solicitors Regulation Authority. If you hold a recognised legal professional qualification from another jurisdiction you may be eligible to take the Qualified Lawyers Transfer Test (QLLT).

Overseas students may find our 'working as a solicitor in the uk' flow chart helpful. It summarises the different options available to overseas students seeking to become a solicitor or a barrister in England and Wales.

Where will my lectures and seminars be held?

Teaching is based at the School of Law's postgraduate centre in Lincoln's Inn Fields (nearest Underground station: Holborn). Depending on the courses you take, you may also have classes at  the Mile End Campus (nearest Underground stations: Mile End and Stepney Green) or the University of London's Institute of Advanced Legal Studies (nearest Underground stations: Russell Square, Euston and Euston Square) or Charterhouse Square.

The sample MSc teaching timetable [PDF 237KB] will give you some idea of the different locations used for teaching. This is a sample only and venues and times/days can change from year to year. The MSc teaching timetable is given to students during the induction period (after enrolment). See also Where will I live and what are the accommodation options?

Isn't the Mile End campus far away?

No. London is a large city, but the main sites you will use are all within easy reach of each other. On the London Underground ('the tube'), the journey from Mile End to Holborn (practically next door to Lincoln's Inn Fields) takes just 12 minutes. To walk from Lincoln's Inn Fields to the IALS library in Russell Square will take you about 12 minutes. 

Where will I live and what are the accommodation options?

Queen Mary University of London has student residences at the Mile End Campus, in University of London Intercollegiate Halls and in the private sector.

Every year, about half of our MSc students choose to stay at the Mile End campus, whilst the other half choose private accommodation across London and outside the city. Students are advised not to try to base their accommodation decisions on the MSc teaching timetable. Teaching is spread over a number of locations and some travel will almost always be necessary between venues. This map shows MSc teaching venues and distances [PDF 62KB]. London transport links including tubes (metro), buses and trains are good in such a large city. Find the most suitable accommodation to suit you personally and financially. Also see Q: Isn't the Mile End campus far away?

What reading or preparation work is required before starting the programme?

We do not require or recommend any preparation or advance reading before starting your MSc.

Books and Class materials - How much and where to buy?

Each module will have its own recommendations or requirements for books and class materials. Many class materials are provided for reading or printing via our on-line teaching tool (QMPlus Virtual Learning Environment). This will be explained in class and full reading lists will be provided at that time.

As a very rough guide, we estimate that books could cost the student between £100-£300 in total depending on modules taken. Some modules may produce an in-house compilation of statutory materials which could cost less than a core published text book.

Printing costs depend very much on students own preferences to read books/journal articles in the library, online or buy/print them. QMUL and the School of Law provide limited printing credits to assist with this.

How am I assessed?

Details on the individual assessment per module can be found on the module description pages and will form part of the information provided in your MSc Induction pack, given to you during the induction week.

What and when is reading week?

We do not have a formal reading week on the MSc.

How many hours of teaching will I have each week?

This depends somewhat on the particular courses you take, but as a general guide you should expect about eight hours of lectures and seminars a week. The MSc programmes involve advanced study, so much of the important work you do is self-directed (working in the library and having informal discussions with other students). Overall, you should plan on lectures, seminars and independent study taking up at least 40 hours a week.

What will the teaching timetable be like?

Lectures and seminars take place Monday to Friday, during the day and early evening. Your particular timetable will depend on the courses you decide to take.

When do I choose the topic of my dissertation?

At the start of the teaching year you will have to identify the area of your dissertation as part of the overall module selection process. The deadline for submitting the actual title of the dissertation is usually in December. Students must choose to write a dissertation on a legal topic within their chosen programme, provided there is no overlap with a topic that will be examined in a student's taught modules. There will be a special session held during induction to assist students with this process. During October and November students will be given the opportunity to attend sessions where research themes in particular areas of law will be discussed; this will enable students to identify challenging topics and discuss them with academics in the specific area of law.

What is the difference between a 22.5 credit and 45 credit module?

Most of the 160 modules on the QMUL MSc programmes are 45 credits, taught throughout semesters 1 and 2 (from September to April). Some modules are 22.5 credits, meaning that they are taught only either in semester 1 (September to December) or Semester 2 (January to April). If you take one 22.5 credit module you will need to bring your total taught credits to 135 either by (a) selecting another 22.5 credit module or (b) working more independently on a supervised dissertation of 7500 words to be submitted in August in addition to your full 45 credit dissertation.

Is it possible to do paid work and study for the MSc at the same time?

For students who are legally entitled to work in the UK, doing some part-time paid employment is often a practical necessity to fund MSc study. Anything more than about 10 hours a week, fitted in around your teaching timetable, is unlikely to be compatible with registration as a full-time student. If you are in this position, you should consider taking the MSc on a part-time basis over two years instead.

Can I take the MSc on a part-time basis?

Yes, for more information see our part-time MSc programme page.

What libraries will I use?

The law section of the Queen Mary University of London Library at the Mile End campus stocks key texts for many courses. MSc students are also entitled to use the Institute of Advanced Legal Studies (IALS) Library, which is one of the world's best law collections. The IALS library is about 10 minutes walk from Lincoln's Inn Fields. From time to time, you may also wish to use the British Library, the UK's national library (nearest tube station: King's Cross St Pancras).

What digital law resources are provided?

All registered students at Queen Mary University of London have easy access to a full range of electronic resources, including LexisNexis, Westlaw and a wide range of electronic journals. These may be accessed on and off the campus. MSc courses are also supported by an online teaching tool (QMPlus Virtual Learning Environment). All the main sites you may use – the Mile End Campus, Lincoln's Inn Fields and the IALS Library – have freely available WiFi and other computing facilities.

Queen Mary provides free access for its PG law students to 84 law databases including:

  • LexisNexis
  • Westlaw
  • Justis
  • Eur-lex
  • Hein-Online
  • Business Source Complete
  • Index to Legal Periodicals
  • International Court of Justice Reports
  • Kluwer Arbitration
  • Lawtel
  • Oxford Scholarship Online (Law)
  • Reports of Patent, Design and Trademark Cases
  • UK Statute law database
  • United Nations Treaty Collection

The thought of writing a 15,000-word dissertation sounds daunting! What help is available?

For many students on the MSc, this will be the first extended piece of advanced writing and legal research they tackle. We will, of course, ensure that you are supported in the task. There will be classes and on-line assistance with advanced writing and research methods and skills. And your project will be supervised by a member of the School with expertise in the field of law you are studying. Our experience is that students find writing a dissertation hugely rewarding.

Are there advanced English classes for non-native speakers?

Yes. There are pre-sessional and in-sessional English courses that Queen Mary students can attend on campus. The pre-sessional programme runs over the summer in short blocks between June and September and aims to improve overall ability in English, and provide opportunities to learn study skills such as note-taking, academic writing and participating in seminars and develop the skills you need to work independently at university. The in-sessional course for law students is the 'Critical thinking and writing in law' programme which can be taken during term time and includes teaching on general English, lecture comprehension and seminar skills, grammar and vocabulary and academic writing. There is also a research writing workshop for PhD students. 

What happens if I fail the examinations?

It is quite normal for students to have anxieties about failing examinations. Our experience, however, is that relative few students fail a course. MSc students are highly motivated individuals and we only admit people who we believe can successfully complete the programme. If, however, you do fail to meet the required standards in the May-June examinations, you will be given a second opportunity to take the exams the following May-June session. More details for procedures on exam problems will be given to you in your student handbook.

What medical and counselling support is provided by Queen Mary University of London?

The School of Law attaches great importance to the provision of support, both academic and pastoral, to its students. It recognises that there is a need for students, especially those who have come from abroad, to be able to discuss their individual course choices and progress during the academic year. All programmes of study have dedicated tutors and MSc students are assigned personal tutors.

The Queen Mary Advice and Counselling Service can help with finance advice and support with personal problems. Our Advice Service offers information, advice and guidance on a range of practical issues including financial problems or postgraduate funds available to help with study costs and international student issues. All students can also register with the College Health Centre. 

What will it say on my degree certificate?

You will be receiving your degree from Queen Mary University of London.

When will I get my official Queen Mary University of London degree certificate?

As an example, if you start your MSc in September 2014 and take your exams in 2015, you will receive your results in October and your degree certificate around March 2016.

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