Research course

Legal Practice

Nottingham Trent University · Nottingham Law School

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Entry requirements

  • You will need to be well qualified in your chosen field.
  • Applicants are normally in possession of a master's degree or equivalent qualification (which may include professional qualifications).
  • They typically have at least seven years of relevant experience.
  • Students with only a good honours degree in your field or a master's degree in an unrelated field, provided you have an equivalent amount of professional experience in the field to that expected of standard candidates, may be considered.
  • International applicants will need to supply evidence of English language proficiency.

Admission to the programme will be by application and interview. International students are welcome (subject to English language requirements). You do not have to be a qualified lawyer to achieve the D Legal Prac award, but should be involved in some form of legal practice, e.g. in the in-house, academic (including vocational), regulatory or not-for-profit sectors.

Months of entry


Course content

The programme has been designed to provide those who work in the broad area of the public and human service professions an opportunity to study part-time for a doctorate.

After the Legal Services Act 2007, how do you stand out from the crowd?

A professional doctorate is a research degree designed for those in professional practice to deepen their understanding and engagement with practice. You may be interested in conventional legal doctrinal research, perhaps in a practice-based area such as funding of litigation; or the law in action in areas such as insolvency law or legal education by rigorous socio-legal data collection and analysis.

In the NTU programme, you will have the advantage of working with and sharing discussion with colleagues from other disciplines, principally social practice and education for additional and unusual insight into their own work and working practices. Exposure, in this multi-disciplinary setting, to challenging theoretical frameworks; philosophies and forms of enquiry is intellectually stimulating and personally inspiring.

Research projects

A suitable research project for the professional doctorate will have a close relationship with your own practice and identity as a lawyer. It may involve investigating or implementing change at an organisational or wider level. It will involve you in making decisions about what and how to research, and in exploring the implications of that research, not only for your practice, but for yourself.

Consistent with the approach used successfully by Nottingham Law School for almost twenty years, you will be encouraged to engage in a process of continuous reflection on yourself, your practice and your research throughout the programme. We expect you to become expert in your chosen field of investigation, developing and demonstrating your autonomy and confidence as a researching professional through discussion, reading and research investigation.

Programme aims

Provide students with an opportunity to explore both the complex relationships between knowledge, theory and practice, and also the intricate nexus of understanding the world and changing it.

Develop students' ability to design and implement a research project at the boundaries of knowledge of their professional and educational fields.

Provide students with an opportunity to develop their judgement, foresight and problem analysis by applying theoretical and philosophically tuned forensic skills to the research material derived from their investigations.

Provide students with an opportunity to develop as both reflective and reflexive practitioners who have the intellectual and personal adaptability to be able to deal with the complexities of organisational change and ambiguity.

Provide students with an opportunity to develop communication skills which enables participants to communicate effectively with both academics and practitioners from the world of education and the communities in which people live, and to act as mediators between the constituencies involved.

In order to meet these aims the programme of study has been structured around the process of research.

Information for international students

International qualifications

We accept qualifications from schools, colleges and universities all over the world for entry onto our UG and PG degrees. If you’re not sure how your international qualification matches our course requirements please visit our international qualifications page.

Foundation courses

If you need to do a foundation course to meet our course requirements please visit Nottingham Trent International College (NTIC). If you’re already studying in the UK at a school or college and would like to know if we can accept your qualification please visit our foundation courses page.

English language entry requirements

If English is not your first language you need to show us that your language skills are strong enough for intensive academic study. For this course, we usually require one of the following:

  • IELTS 6.5 with a minimum of 5.5 in each skill.
  • An equivalent English language qualification.

For a list of our language requirements please visit our English language page.

If you need to do a pre-sessional English language course to meet the English requirements please visit our pre-sessional English course page.

Qualification, course duration and attendance options

  • ProfDoc
    part time
    4-24 months
    • Distance learningis available for this qualification

Course contact details

Doctoral School Administrator
+44 (0)115 848 8154