About the Masters of Arts in Socio-Legal Studies
The Master of Arts in Socio-Legal Studies is one of the first of its kind to be offered within Canada. This unique program was developed in response to the growing recognition of the urgent need for graduate level education in this new and important field. The program is carefully constructed to cover foundation areas of legal knowledge, regulation, human rights and social justice.
The program is designed to give students the knowledge and skills to enter the areas of human rights, immigration, social policy, and transnational governance. Graduates of the program will acquire an appreciation of law, justice, and rights that not only transcends conventional disciplinary boundaries, but also engages with the complexity of emerging legal regimes in Canada and internationally. The specially designed curriculum is created to enable you to complete the program in only one (1) year.
Courses: Eighteen credits are required. This includes: (1) Law and Social Theory (three credits); (2) Socio-Legal Methods (three credits); (3) nine elective credits (the equivalent of three half courses); and (4) Major Research Paper Seminar (three credits). In addition, students must attend 12 lectures as part of the program Speakers Series.
GS SLST 6000 (3.0 credits) - Law and Social Theory
GS SLST 6005 (3.0 credits) - Advanced Research Strategies in Socio-Legal Methods
GS SLST 6100 (3.0 credits) - Major Research Paper Seminar
3 elective courses (9.0 credits)*
18 Credits total.
*With the permission of the Graduate Program Director, a maximum of six elective credits may be taken in another graduate program.
Major Research Paper: The MRP should represent a sustained exploration of a theoretical or empirical question. As a research project, the MRP is generally narrower in scope, less complex in methodology and/or less ambitious in data gathering and analysis, than a thesis. Students will be required to submit a proposal for their MRP by the end of their second term—a version of which will be presented to their fellow students in the context of the Major Research Paper Seminar (see below). Major Research Papers should be approximately 50 double-spaced pages (i.e. 10,000 words) in length and The paper will be supervised by a core faculty member from the program. Upon completion, the paper will be read and evaluated by the Supervisor and another reader
selected from among the graduate faculty.*
*Subject to Senate approval.
Research and teaching in the program are organized around three (3) core fields. They reflect the diverse teaching and research of Socio-Legal Studies, and the strong analytical and theoretical orientation of the program, while allowing for students research in a variety of substantive topic areas:
Central to this field is the recognition that law and society are mutually constitutive, that is, law is not an external force to which society is subject, but rather represents a dynamic set of codes, practices, categories and deliberations that both shape and are shaped by broader social, political, and economic logics, contexts and relations. Theoretical perspectives on the relationship between law and society informed by sociology, history, philosophy, economics, anthropology, political science, and psychology.
Crime, Law and Governance
Analysis of contemporary modes of security, regulation, and governance, their intersections with various forms of law, and their role in shaping individual and collective practices, identities, and fortunes through designations of illegality, criminality, and disorder. Included within this field is a wide range of substantive areas including, but by not limited to: transnational policing; financial crime; immigration and borders; and police, courts and corrections.
Comparative and Historical Perspectives in Law
Studies of the variations of law across time, place and culture. Included here are various approaches to the social history of law and legal regulation, as well as the analysis of indigenous forms of law, human rights regimes, and both national and transnational forms of regulation and policing.