Law

PhD, MPhil

Leicester Law School is a research-led department, recognising the important relationship between excellence in research and in teaching. Our research is recognised on a global stage, and our academics are frequent participants in legal debates and contribute to policy-making. In the Research Excellence Framework 2014, 80% of the School's research output was rated to be world-leading or internationally excellent. In terms of research power, the School ranked 11th in the country.

Law at Leicester offers supervision for the degrees of:

  • Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) - full-time, part-time and distance learning
  • Master of Philosophy (MPhil) - full-time and part-time

 

Supervision and research areas

We offer PhD and MPhil supervision in Law in areas compatible with the research interests of our academic staff including, but not limited to:

  • Company, Commercial, and Financial Law
  • Criminal Law, Criminal Justice, and Criminology
  • Dispute Resolution
  • European Law and Policy
  • Human Rights Law
  • International Law
  • Law and Theory
  • Medico-Legal
  • Private Law
  • Socio-legal Studies

Interested in a different research area?

It is important that the area you want to work in is broadly compatible with our research interests - otherwise we may not be able to accept your application.

However, please do not feel we will not be interested if there is not an exact match. It is sometimes possible to be flexible, so please contact us.

Entry requirements

You must hold a UK undergraduate (Bachelor's) degree with at least First-Class or Upper Second-Class honours or an equivalent qualification from a recognised overseas institution, and should normally have completed, or be about to complete a Master's course in a similar subject area to your proposed research, with an average mark above 60% in the course and at least 65% in the dissertation.

Please also refer to our English language entry requirements.

How to apply

  1. Make sure we offer PhD supervision in the area in which you want to work.
  2. Draft a research proposal that tells us what you want to research, how you intend to do it, and why it is worth doing. We also require a sample of your writing. As part of the application process we require a sample of your writing in which you make an argument for a conclusion, rather than merely describe the facts or law. This could be a section of a dissertation (not your whole dissertation), a paper from a class, or even something newly written. The essential point is just that the piece has to be analytical, so making an argument.
    Please include the writing sample with your formal application or email it as a separate document after submission of the application to Law Administrator Teresa Rowe, quoting your application ID number. You might be interested in signing up for our 5 week online course 'Discovering Your PhD Potential: Writing a Research Proposal. The course is offered through FutureLearn where you can register your interest for the next available course.
  3. Prepare your supporting documents: with your application you need to include proof that you meet the academic entry requirements and the English language entry requirements:
    • Include all relevant certificates/diplomas and transcripts
    • International applicants must provide official copies of their entire course transcripts including explanations of the mark schemes used
    • Supporting documents not in English must be provided with a certified English translation
    • CV
    • In addition to uploading the above documents please enter contact details for two academic (not personal) referees who can comment on your suitability for the research degree programme or upload letters of reference if already available
  4. Submit your online application using the Apply button at the bottom of this page.

When to apply

We have intakes in January, May, July and September each year.

You should try to submit your application as far in advance of your preferred start date as possible. If you are an international applicant and require a visa to study in the UK you should submit your application at least three-to-four months before the proposed start date.

After you have submitted your application, it will take a minimum of six weeks for you to receive a decision about your application.

Fees and funding

Tuition fees vary according to your fee status and the mode of study (full-time or part-time). For clarification please contact pgradmissions@le.ac.uk.

UK/EU Campus-based

Full-time

  • Starting in 2020/21 academic year: £4,407 per year

Part-time

  • Starting in 2020/21 academic year: £2,203.50 per year

International Campus-based

Full-time

  • Starting in 2020/21 academic year: £15,520 per year

Part-time

Please note that owing to UK visa restrictions, part-time campus based registration is not normally available to international applicants.

UK/EU and International Distance learning

  • Starting in 2020/21 academic year: £25,340 (total course fee)

Paying for distance learning

The fees quoted are the total fee for the PhD distance learning programme and can be paid by the following options:

  • Total course fee paid in full before first year registration
  • Total course fee split into four annual payments with first annual payment made in full before first year registration
  • Total course fee split into 12 equal instalments payable during years 1-4 of the study. The first instalment to be paid before first year registration

If study extends beyond the 4th year no further fees are required. A payment schedule will be sent with the offer letter.

Funding 

For a list of our available scholarships/studentships, please visit our funded opportunities pages.

PhD description

PhD students complete an independent research project under the guidance of a supervisory team. The research is normally completed over a maximum period of 3.0-3.5 years (full-time) or 6.0-6.5 years (part-time/distance learning).

A fourth year (full-time) or seventh year (part-time/distance learning) or the remaining part of this can be used to prepare the thesis for examination. The thesis should not normally exceed 80,000 words and must make an original contribution to knowledge and contain work of publishable quality. The thesis must then be defended in a viva voce (oral) examination before a degree can be awarded.

PhDs Explained