Students sitting on concrete steps
The amphitheatre at the Saïd Business School

MSc in Law and Finance

About the course

The MSc in Law and Finance (MLF) is taught jointly by the Law Faculty and the Saïd Business School. It will provide you with an advanced interdisciplinary understanding of economic and financial concepts and their application to legal topics. The MSc combines a highly analytic academic core with tailor-made practical applications derived from collaboration with professional and regulatory organisations.

Course structure

Students studying the MLF take three core courses and then choose either to take the law or finance stream. There are also pre-sessional courses in maths and financial reporting.

Core courses

There are two core finance courses (Finance and First Principles of Financial Economics), and a core interdisciplinary course (Law and Economics of Corporate Transactions). Finance is taught during the first and second terms. First Principles of Financial Economics is taught during the first term and Law and Economics of Corporate Transactions is taught during the second and third terms.

Law stream

In addition to the core MLF courses, students selecting the Law Stream will take two law electives from a tailored list of about 10 law courses that are available to students on the Bachelor of Civil Law (BCL). Students may choose to select two half options in law in place of a law elective, thereby allowing students to study a wider range of subjects. The list of law electives comprises courses that are business law-oriented and thus are intended to complement both each other and the MLF course as a whole. In taking these electives, you will be joined by students taking the Law Faculty's other taught graduate courses, the BCL and the Magister Juris (MJur). Teaching may be delivered over the duration of the academic year using a range of different formats, including lectures, seminars and tutorials. Outside of the seminars and tutorials you will be expected to read extensively in order to acquire the necessary knowledge to engage with course material at an appropriate level.

Finance stream

Currently, as an alternative to taking two law electives, MLF students can select the Finance Stream, which is taught by interactive classes at the Saïd Business School during the second and third terms. By selecting the Finance Stream, you will take only one law elective. In lieu of the second law elective, you will take a mandatory finance course, Corporate Valuation, in the second term and one finance elective in the third term. The menu of finance electives has been selected from those offered by the Saïd Business School for the Master of Business Administration (MBA) and MSc in Financial Economics (MFE), comprising finance courses intended to complement the MLF programme. The electives are studied at the Saïd Business School alongside MBA and MFE students. It is anticipated that the Finance Stream will be available in future years, subject to notice.

Supervision

The allocation of graduate supervision for this course is the responsibility of the Law Faculty and/or the Saïd Business School and it is not always possible to accommodate the preferences of incoming graduate students to work with a particular member of staff. Under exceptional circumstances a supervisor may be found outside the Law Faculty and/or the Saïd Business School.

Assessment

MLF students undertake assessment and/or examinations in each of the three terms of the programme. The core courses of Finance, Law and Economics of Corporate Transactions and First Principles of Financial Economics use a range of assessment methods which may include group work exercises, timed examinations and formal coursework.

Most law elective subjects are assessed by means of timed examinations at the end of the course but some subjects use assessed essays written over a longer period. Further information about forms of assessment is provided on the Law Faculty Admissions page. Those taking the dissertation option are required to submit a dissertation in the third term.

Finance Stream elective subjects are assessed by formal coursework and/or practical work and/or a timed examination during the third term. The mandatory Finance Stream course, Corporate Valuation, is assessed during the second term.

Graduate destinations

Typically, over half of each class of MLF graduates go on to employment within the legal sector in London or internationally, usually at large, corporate law firms, at training contract or associate level, as well as in a variety of in-house roles. Others go on to work in fields such as investment banking, private equity, consulting and policymaking. Each year, a small number of students also embark on a career in academia.

As an MLF student, you will have access to the University Careers Services as well as to some relevant support from the Saïd Business School’s Careers Service, and to dedicated MLF careers support as you consider your career strategy and move into the application and interview processes. 

Additional speaker events are run to complement the MLF programme, which facilitate contact with senior practitioners of law and finance, and MLF students will be a member of both the SBS and wider University alumni networks.

Changes to this course and your supervision

The University will seek to deliver this course in accordance with the description set out in this course page. However, there may be situations in which it is desirable or necessary for the University to make changes in course provision, either before or after registration. The safety of students, staff and visitors is paramount and major changes to delivery or services may have to be made in circumstances of a pandemic (including Covid-19), epidemic or local health emergency. In addition, in certain circumstances, for example due to visa difficulties or because the health needs of students cannot be met, it may be necessary to make adjustments to course requirements for international study.

Where possible your academic supervisor will not change for the duration of your course. However, it may be necessary to assign a new academic supervisor during the course of study or before registration for reasons which might include illness, sabbatical leave, parental leave or change in employment.

For further information please see our page on changes to courses and the provisions of the student contract regarding changes to courses.

Other courses you may wish to consider

If you're thinking about applying for this course, you may also wish to consider the courses listed below. These courses may have been suggested due to their similarity with this course, or because they are offered by the same department or faculty.

Courses suggested by the lead faculty

Bachelor of Civil Law BCL
Magister Juris MJur
Master of Business Adminstration MBA
Financial Economics MSc

All graduate courses offered by the Saïd Business School

Oxford 1+1 MBA programme

This course can be studied as a part of the Oxford 1+1 MBA programme. The Oxford 1+1 MBA programme is a unique, two-year graduate experience that combines the depth of a specialised, one-year master’s degree with the breadth of a top-ranking, one-year MBA.

Entry requirements for entry in 2023-24

Proven and potential academic excellence

Degree-level qualifications

As a minimum, applicants should hold or be predicted to achieve the following UK qualifications or their equivalent:

  • a first-class or a very strong upper second-class undergraduate degree with honours in law. 

Equivalent qualifications may include a master’s in law or a postgraduate diploma in law or other law professional equivalent.

For applicants with a degree from the USA, the minimum GPA sought is 3.7 out of 4.0.

If your degree is not from the UK or another country specified above, visit our International Qualifications page for guidance on the qualifications and grades that would usually be considered to meet the University’s minimum entry requirements.

Other qualifications, evidence of excellence and relevant experience

  • Work experience in a relevant field may be an advantage but is not a requirement.
  • The longer it is since you have been in full-time education, the more attention will be paid to any relevant professional experience. 
  • Publications are not expected. They may, in certain circumstances, advantage an application but it is appreciated that the opportunity to publish may vary considerably depending on factors such as the stage the student has reached in their academic career and the structure of the course(s) they have studied. Consequently, a lack of publications will not be assessed negatively.

English language proficiency

This course requires proficiency in English at the University's higher level. If your first language is not English, you may need to provide evidence that you meet this requirement. The minimum scores required to meet the University's higher level are detailed in the table below.

Minimum scores required to meet the University's higher level requirement
TestMinimum overall scoreMinimum score per component
IELTS Academic (Institution code: 0713) 7.57.0

TOEFL iBT, including the 'Home Edition'

(Institution code: 0490)

110Listening: 22
Reading: 24
Speaking: 25
Writing: 24
C1 Advanced*191185
C2 Proficiency191185

*Previously known as the Cambridge Certificate of Advanced English or Cambridge English: Advanced (CAE)
Previously known as the Cambridge Certificate of Proficiency in English or Cambridge English: Proficiency (CPE)

Your test must have been taken no more than two years before the start date of your course. Our Application Guide provides further information about the English language test requirement.

Declaring extenuating circumstances

If your ability to meet the entry requirements has been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic (eg you were awarded an unclassified/ungraded degree) or any other exceptional personal circumstance (eg other illness or bereavement), please refer to the guidance on extenuating circumstances in the Application Guide for information about how to declare this so that your application can be considered appropriately.

References

You will need to register three referees who can give an informed view of your academic ability and suitability for the course. The How to apply section of this page provides details of the types of reference that are required in support of your application for this course and how these will be assessed.

Supporting documents

You will be required to supply supporting documents with your application, including an official transcript and a CV/résumé. The How to apply section of this page provides details of the supporting documents that are required as part of your application for this course and how these will be assessed.

Performance at interview

Interviews are not normally held as part of the admissions process.

How your application is assessed

Your application will be assessed purely on your proven and potential academic excellence and other entry requirements published under that heading. References and supporting documents submitted as part of your application, and your performance at interview (if interviews are held) will be considered as part of the assessment process.

An overview of the shortlisting and selection process is provided below. Our 'After you apply' pages provide more information about how applications are assessed

Shortlisting and selection

Students are considered for shortlisting and selected for admission without regard to age, disability, gender reassignment, marital or civil partnership status, pregnancy and maternity, race (including colour, nationality and ethnic or national origins), religion or belief (including lack of belief), sex, sexual orientation, as well as other relevant circumstances including parental or caring responsibilities or social background. However, please note the following:

  • socio-economic information may be taken into account in the selection of applicants and award of scholarships for courses that are part of the University’s pilot selection procedure and for scholarships aimed at under-represented groups;
  • country of ordinary residence may be taken into account in the awarding of certain scholarships; and
  • protected characteristics may be taken into account during shortlisting for interview or the award of scholarships where the University has approved a positive action case under the Equality Act 2010.

Whether or not you have secured funding will not be taken into consideration when your application is assessed.

Processing your data for shortlisting and selection

Information about processing special category data for the purposes of positive action and using your data to assess your eligibility for funding, can be found in our Postgraduate Applicant Privacy Policy.

Admissions panels and assessors

All recommendations to admit a student involve the judgement of at least two members of the academic staff with relevant experience and expertise, and must also be approved by the Director of Graduate Studies or Admissions Committee (or equivalent within the department).

Admissions panels or committees will always include at least one member of academic staff who has undertaken appropriate training.

Other factors governing whether places can be offered

The following factors will also govern whether candidates can be offered places:

  • the ability of the University to provide the appropriate supervision for your studies, as outlined under the 'Supervision' heading in the About section of this page;
  • the ability of the University to provide appropriate support for your studies (eg through the provision of facilities, resources, teaching and/or research opportunities); and
  • minimum and maximum limits to the numbers of students who may be admitted to the University's taught and research programmes.

Offer conditions for successful applications

If you receive an offer of a place at Oxford, your offer will outline any conditions that you need to satisfy and any actions you need to take, together with any associated deadlines. These may include academic conditions, such as achieving a specific final grade in your current degree course. These conditions will usually depend on your individual academic circumstances and may vary between applicants. Our After you apply pages provide more information about offers and conditions

In addition to any academic conditions which are set, you will also be required to meet the following requirements:

Financial Declaration

If you are offered a place, you will be required to complete a Financial Declaration in order to meet your financial condition of admission.

Disclosure of criminal convictions

In accordance with the University’s obligations towards students and staff, we will ask you to declare any relevant, unspent criminal convictions before you can take up a place at Oxford.

Resources

The Law Faculty is fortunate to have outstanding library facilities provided by the Bodleian Law Library. As part of the Bodleian, the Law Library shares in all the advantages of being part of the largest university library in the country, including the receipt, under legal deposit legislation, of legal material published in the UK and Ireland. 

The Law Library offers the vast majority of its holdings - some 550,000 items - on open shelves across four floors. Selected low-use material is housed in a book storage facility and is retrievable within half a day. The library serves a large community of graduate readers and academics in their research requirements. The strength of the collection lies in the depth of its UK holdings, combined with extensive holdings for European and Commonwealth jurisdictions. In addition the library holds materials relating to international law, Roman law, and jurisprudence. To complement the paper collection, the Law Library provides a wide range of online legal resources. The Bodleian’s collection of Official Papers is also housed in the Law Library.

The library has 40 reader workstations, which provide access to the internet, legal databases, and Microsoft Office applications. There is a Graduate Reading Room, a large seminar room, two IT rooms and three small ‘discussion rooms’ for private study or group work. The wireless network extends throughout the library. The law librarians offer a range of classes and one-to-one sessions to support the specific research needs of graduate students.

Funding

The University expects to be able to offer around 1,000 full or partial graduate scholarships across the collegiate University in 2023-24. You will be automatically considered for the majority of Oxford scholarships, if you fulfil the eligibility criteria and submit your graduate application by the relevant December or January deadline. Most scholarships are awarded on the basis of academic merit and/or potential. 

For further details about searching for funding as a graduate student visit our dedicated Funding pages, which contain information about how to apply for Oxford scholarships requiring an additional application, details of external funding, loan schemes and other funding sources.

Please ensure that you visit individual college websites for details of any college-specific funding opportunities using the links provided on our college pages or below:

Please note that not all the colleges listed above may accept students on this course. For details of those which do, please refer to the College preference section of this page.

Further information about funding opportunities for this course can be found on the following faculty websites: 

Costs

Annual fees for entry in 2023-24

Fee status

Annual Course fees

Home£45,490
Overseas£45,490

Further details about fee status eligibility can be found on the fee status webpage.

Course fees are payable each year, for the duration of your fee liability (your fee liability is the length of time for which you are required to pay course fees). For courses lasting longer than one year, please be aware that fees will usually increase annually. For details, please see our guidance on changes to fees and charges.

Course fees cover your teaching as well as other academic services and facilities provided to support your studies. Unless specified in the additional information section below, course fees do not cover your accommodation, residential costs or other living costs. They also don’t cover any additional costs and charges that are outlined in the additional information below.

Deposits

If your application is successful, you will be asked to pay a deposit against your course fees at the application stage as a condition of your offer. The deposit amount and date by which payment must be made are shown below. 

Amount of deposit

Date by which deposit must be paid

£6,800 Approximately 8 weeks after an offer is made

For more information about course fees and fee liability, please see the Fees and Funding section of this website, which includes detailed fee status information.

Additional information

There are no compulsory elements of this course that entail additional costs beyond fees and living costs. However, as part of your course requirements, you may need to choose a dissertation, a project or a thesis topic. Please note that, depending on your choice of topic and the research required to complete it, you may incur additional expenses, such as travel expenses, research expenses, and field trips. You will need to meet these additional costs, although you may be able to apply for small grants from your department and/or college to help you cover some of these expenses.

Living costs

In addition to your course fees, you will need to ensure that you have adequate funds to support your living costs for the duration of your course.

For the 2023-24 academic year, the range of likely living costs for full-time study is between c. £1,290 and £1,840 for each month spent in Oxford. Full information, including a breakdown of likely living costs in Oxford for items such as food, accommodation and study costs, is available on our living costs page. When planning your finances for any future years of study in Oxford beyond 2023-24, it is suggested that you allow for potential increases in living expenses of 5% or more each year – although this rate may vary significantly depending on how the national economic situation develops. UK inflationary increases will be kept under review and this page updated.

College preference

All graduate students at Oxford belong to a department or faculty and a college or hall (except those taking non-matriculated courses). If you apply for a place on this course you will have the option to express a preference for one of the colleges listed below, or you can ask us to find a college for you. The Colleges section of this website provides information about the college system at Oxford, as well as factors you may wish to consider when deciding whether to express a college preference. Please note that ‘college’ and ‘colleges’ refers to all 45 of the University’s colleges, including those designated as Permanent Private Halls (PPHs). 

For some courses, the department or faculty may have provided some additional advice below to help you to decide. Whatever you decide, it won’t affect how the academic department assesses your application and whether they decide to make you an offer. If your department makes you an offer of a place, you’re guaranteed a place at one of our colleges. 

The following colleges accept students on the MSc in Law and Finance:

Before you apply

Our guide to getting started provides general advice on how to prepare for and start your application. Check the deadlines on this page and the information about deadlines in our Application Guide. We recommend that you submit your application well in advance - two or three weeks earlier. 

Application fee waivers

An application fee of £75 is payable per course application. Application fee waivers are available for the following applicants who meet the eligibility criteria:

  • applicants from low-income countries;
  • refugees and displaced persons; 
  • UK applicants from low-income backgrounds; and 
  • applicants who applied for our Graduate Access Programmes in the past two years and met the eligibility criteria.

You are encouraged to check whether you're eligible for an application fee waiver before you apply.

Contacting the department

You do not need to make contact with the department before you apply but you are encouraged to visit the relevant departmental webpages to read any further information about your chosen course.

Completing your application

You should refer to the information below when completing the application form, paying attention to the specific requirements for the supporting documents. If any document does not meet the specification, including the stipulated word count, your application may be considered incomplete and not assessed by the academic department. Expand each section to show further details.

Referees:
Three overall, of which at least two must be academic

Whilst you must register three referees, the department may start the assessment of your application if two of the three references are submitted by the course deadline and your application is otherwise complete. Please note that you may still be required to ensure your third referee supplies a reference for consideration.

You should select referees who can provide an informed view of your academic ability and suitability for the course. One professional reference is acceptable if this is relevant to the course. Please note that personal references, such as those from family and friends, are not acceptable.

Your references will support intellectual ability, academic achievement and motivation.

Official transcript(s)

Your transcripts should give detailed information of the individual grades received in your university-level qualifications to date. You should only upload official documents issued by your institution and any transcript not in English should be accompanied by a certified translation.

More information about the transcript requirement is available in the Application Guide.

CV/résumé

A CV/résumé is compulsory for all applications. Most applicants choose to submit a document of one to two pages highlighting their academic achievements and any relevant professional experience.

Statement of purpose/personal statement:
A maximum of 300 words

Your statement should be written in English and explain your motivation for applying for the course at Oxford, your relevant experience and education, and the specific areas that interest you and/or you intend to specialise in.

If possible, please ensure that the word count is clearly displayed on the document.

The personal statement generally plays a less important role in the Law Faculty's assessment of applications than the references, written work, and academic qualifications.

This will be assessed for your reasons for applying, evidence of motivation for, and understanding of, the proposed area of study, your ability to present a reasoned case in English, and your commitment to the area of law and finance.

Written work:
One essay, a maximum of 2,000 words

The work must be written in English and on a legal topic. Academic work from your most recent qualification is preferred, but work written in a professional context may be submitted if academic work is not readily available.

Your written work may be an extract of the required length from a longer piece - in such cases, the work should be prefaced by a note which puts it in context.

The word count does not need to include any bibliography or brief footnotes.

If possible, please ensure that the word count is clearly displayed on the document.

This will be assessed for a comprehensive understanding of the subject area, an understanding of problems in the area, an ability to construct and defend an argument, your powers of analysis and your powers of expression.

Start or continue your application

You can start or return to an application using the relevant link below. As you complete the form, please refer to the requirements above and consult our Application Guide for advice. You'll find the answers to most common queries in our FAQs.

Application Guide  Apply

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