About the course
The MSc in Law and Finance 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.
There are two core finance courses, Finance and First Principles of Financial Economics, a core interdisciplinary course, Law and Economics of Corporate Transactions, and one or more elective courses in law. There are also pre-sessional courses in maths and financial reporting.
In addition to these 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). 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).
MLF students can also select the Finance Stream. If you select this option, 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 short 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.
Finance, a core MLF course, is taught during the first and second terms through twelve three-hour classes spread over the two terms and is assessed by a combination of a group work exercise that takes place during the second term and a timed examination at the end of the second term.
First Principles of Financial Economics, another core course, is taught during the first term through weekly three-hour classes and is assessed by a combination of a group work exercise that takes place during the term, and an assessed essay and a timed examination at the end of the first term.
Law and Economics of Corporate Transactions, the MLF core interdisciplinary course, is taught through lectures and seminars during the second and third terms. It is assessed during the third term by means of a group work exercise involving the analysis of transactional case studies, including the preparation and presentation of proposals, and by an assessed essay submitted during the third term.
Law electives from the BCL may be taught by a combination of lectures, seminars and tutorials over the duration of the academic year, except for the dissertation option, which involves one-to-one sessions with an assigned supervisor. 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.
Each law elective, except for the dissertation, is assessed through a timed, three-hour examination at the end of the third term. Those taking the dissertation option are instead required to submit a 10,000- to 12,500-word dissertation in the third term.
Finance Stream courses are taught by interactive classes at the Saïd Business School during the second and third terms, and assessed by formal coursework and/or practical work and/or a timed examination during and/or at the end of those terms.
Typically, at least 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 a dedicated MLF Careers Adviser to support you as you consider your career strategy and move into the application and interview processes.
Additional speaker events are run to compliment 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 the course
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. For further information, please see our page on changes to courses.
Entry requirements for entry in 2018-19
Within equal opportunities principles and legislation, applications will be assessed in the light of an applicant’s ability to meet the following entry requirements:
1. Academic ability
Proven and potential academic excellence
Applicants are normally expected to be predicted or have achieved a first-class or a very strong upper second-class undergraduate degree with honours (or equivalent international qualifications) 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 you hold non-UK qualifications and wish to check how your qualifications match these requirements, you can contact the National Recognition Information Centre for the United Kingdom (UK NARIC).
The longer it is since you have been in full-time education, the more attention will be paid to any relevant professional experience.
Other appropriate indicators will include:
You will be required to supply supporting documents with your application, including references and an official transcript. See 'How to apply' for instructions on the documents you will need and how these will be assessed.
Performance at interview(s)
Interviews are not normally held as part of the admissions process.
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.
Other qualifications, evidence of excellence and relevant experience
Work experience in a relevant field may be an advantage but is not a requirement.
2. English language requirement
Applicants whose first language is not English are usually required to provide evidence of proficiency in English at the higher level required by the University.
3. Availability of supervision, teaching, facilities and places
The following factors will govern whether candidates can be offered places:
- The ability of the Law Faculty and/or the Saïd Business School to provide the appropriate supervision, research opportunities, teaching and facilities for your chosen area of work.
- Minimum and maximum limits to the numbers of students who may be admitted to Oxford's research and taught programmes.
The provision of supervision, where required, is subject to the following points:
- The allocation of graduate supervision 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.
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 sabbatical leave, maternity leave or change in employment.
4. Disability, health conditions and specific learning difficulties
Students are selected for admission without regard to gender, marital or civil partnership status, disability, race, nationality, ethnic origin, religion or belief, sexual orientation, age or social background.
Decisions on admission are based solely on the individual academic merits of each candidate and the application of the entry requirements appropriate to the course.
Further information on how these matters are supported during the admissions process is available in our guidance for applicants with disabilities.
All recommendations to admit a student involve the judgment of at least two members of academic staff with relevant experience and expertise, and additionally must be approved by the Director of Graduate Studies or Admissions Committee (or equivalent departmental persons or bodies).
Admissions panels or committees will always include at least one member of academic staff who has undertaken appropriate training.
6. Other information
Whether you have yet secured funding is not taken into consideration in the decision to make an initial offer of a place, but please note that the initial offer of a place will not be confirmed until you have completed a Financial Declaration.
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 has undergone a major refurbishment which has resulted in upgraded facilities for all students.
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. The international law collection is exceptional, as are the collections for Roman law, jurisprudence and official papers. Other significant fields include the US and comparative law. To complement the paper collection, the Law Library provides a remarkable range of online legal resources.
The library has 40 reader workstations, which provide access to the internet, legal databases, Microsoft Office applications and Endnote. 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.
There are over 1,100 full graduate scholarships available across the University, and these cover your course and college fees and provide a grant for living costs. If you apply by the relevant January deadline and fulfil the eligibility criteria you will be automatically considered. Over two thirds of Oxford scholarships require nothing more than the standard course application. Use the Fees, funding and scholarship search to find out which scholarships you are eligible for and if they require an additional application, full details of which are provided.
A number of Research Council awards are available each year from the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC), the Natural Environment Research Council (NERC), and Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC).
Annual fees for entry in 2018-19
Total annual fees
The fees shown above are the annual tuition and college fees for this course for entry in the stated academic year; for courses lasting longer than one year, please be aware that fees will usually increase annually. For details, please see our guidance on likely increases to fees and charges.
Tuition and college 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 tuition and college fees).
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
|£4,450||Within 30 days of acceptance of an offer|
The department's website provides further information about deposits for this course.
For more information about tuition fees, college fees and fee liability, please see the Fees section of this website. EU applicants should refer to our dedicated webpage for details of the implications of the UK’s plans to leave the European Union.
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.
In addition to your tuition and college fees, you will need to ensure that you have adequate funds to support your living costs for the duration of your course.
For the 2018-19 academic year, the range of likely living costs is between c. £1,015 and £1,555 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.
The following colleges accept students on the MSc in Law and Finance:
- Brasenose College
- Campion Hall
- Christ Church
- Exeter College
- Harris Manchester College
- Hertford College
- Jesus College
- Keble College
- Lady Margaret Hall
- Linacre College
- Lincoln College
- Merton College
- Oriel College
- Pembroke College
- The Queen's College
- Regent's Park College
- St Anne's College
- St Catherine's College
- St Cross College
- St Edmund Hall
- St Hugh's College
- St Peter's College
- Somerville College
- University College
- Wadham College
- Wolfson College
- Worcester College
How to apply
You do not need to make contact with academic staff before you apply.
The set of documents you should send with your application to this course comprises the following:
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.
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:
Around 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.
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.
One essay 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.
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.
References/letters of recommendation:
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.