Methodology Masterclass at Oxford 11th-12th July 2024: Booking now open for doctoral students!

methodology masterclass

This two day methodology retreat brings together doctoral students and experienced socio-legal scholars who are working on empirical studies of law and legal phenomena. This year the masterclass will cover themes such as positionality and identity in reflexive ethnography; studying things and inanimate objects; theory and praxis in ethical socio-legal research; legal judgements as data and conducting fieldwork in authoritative regimes. There will also be a session on getting Published which will be led by Professor Philip Thomas, editor of the Journal of Law and Society. Each session will be led by an experienced socio-legal researcher and will take the form of in-depth conversations.

Now in its sixth year this methodology masterclass provides opportunities for students to examine the methodological, practical and ethical issues involved in socio-legal fieldwork and data analysis. We consistently get excellent feedback from students about this event and in the words of a student who attended one of our Masterclasses:

The people made this masterclass a joy to be at! I liked hearing from leading socio-legal academics about their experiences, approaches and their honesty in reflecting on previous projects. The presenters were generous with their time. I received some really helpful pointers for my research project. The focus on reflective practice made the masterclass very open and the group came together to create a welcoming and supportive space for the sharing of methodological issues. I liked how plenty of informal discussion time was factored into the schedule allowing space to meet and connect with other PhD researchers.

This annual masterclass is generously supported by the ESRC, the Centre for Socio-legal Studies and the Journal of Law and Society.

Applicants must have completed the first year of their PhD training programme to be eligible to apply for a place. Successful candidates have to pay for their own travel to the event but the costs of their accommodation at St Catherine’s College Oxford and meals will be covered in full. Delegates are expected to read an article in advance of each of the six sessions.

Please find the application form below. Applicants should send their completed application form back to by 17th June 2024.