Entry requirements

Normally students will have a good undergraduate Honours degree (UK Upper Second Class Honours or equivalent) and a Masters degree with a dissertation component. If you are seeking funding through one of the Research Councils (UK/EU students only), you will need to hold a minimum Upper Second Class Honours degree, although often these awards are won by those with First Class Honours due to high levels of competition.

As part of your application you will need to be able to prove that you have the research skills, vision and motivation to make your research project a success.

Months of entry

January, September

Course content

Undertaking a PhD is a stimulating and rewarding experience and allows you to undertake research into a legal issue that interests you. In order to gain the award of PhD your thesis must bring a new and original standpoint to the study of law either through the development of a novel doctrinal and/or theoretical perspective on the legal issue(s) under discussion and/or through empirical research that creates new insights into a legal issue.

A successful PhD is one that develops a coherent and sustained argument from the beginning to end. Its objectivity derives not from the viewpoint it adopts but the methodology it employs. As such, an important part of the PhD process is the research training you undertake. This training not only provides you with the ability to validate your adopted methodology and results, but also the ability to design, conduct and successfully complete a wide range of future legal research projects.

Department specialisms

Family Law;, Legal History; European Law; International and Comparative Law; Human Rights; Bioethics; Environmental Law; Criminology; Intellectual Property; Commercial Law; Information Law; Technology Law.

Information for international students

If you are an international student, please visit our international equivalency pages to enable you to see if your existing academic qualifications meet our entry requirements.

English language requirements

IELTS (Academic)

Overall score 7.0 with a minimum score of 6.5 in the writing component and all other sections no less than 6.0.


Overall score 100 with minimum scores of 25 for writing, 21 for listening, 22 for reading and 23 for speaking.

Pearson Test of English (Academic)

65 with no less than 58 in all communicative skills.

Fees and funding

UK students
£4,400 (full-time) £2,200 (part-time)
International students
£16,400 (full-time)

Learn more at the fees and funding page.

Qualification and course duration


distance learning
36-84 months
full time
36-48 months
part time
72-84 months


part time
48-60 months
distance learning
24-60 months
full time
24-36 months

Course contact details

College of Social Sciences and International Studies
+44(0) 1392 724490