Law PhD and MPhil

Apply for a PhD or MPhil in Law
How to Apply

Make sure we offer PhD/MPhil supervision in the area in which you want to work - search our staff research interests


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. The writing sample can either be sent with the application or emailed in separately see link for further details.


Prepare your supporting documents - with your application you need to include proof that you meet the academic entry requirements (see below) 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 and, where possible, an indication of their class ranking/position in class
  • supporting documents not in English must be provided with a certified English translation

You must also provide contact details for two academic (not personal) referees who can comment on your suitability for the research degree programme

4. Submit your online application

Our School of Law is a research-led department committed to producing the highest quality scholarship while recognising the important relationship between excellence in research and in teaching. It is consistently ranked in the top 20 of UK law schools.

Our Research Degrees

The School of Law offers supervision for the degrees of:

  • Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) - Full-Time and Part-Time
  • Master of Philosophy (MPhil) - Full-Time and Part-Time

We also offer a distance learning PhD/MPhil - allowing you to gain a University of Leicester research degree wherever you are in the world.

Supervision and Research Areas

We offer PhD and MPhil supervision in areas compatible with the research interests of our academic staff including:

  • Civil Justice and Criminal Justice Systems
  • Commercial Law
  • Criminal Law
  • Employment Law
  • European Union Law 
  • Family Law
  • Healthcare Law
  • Human Rights
  • International Law

Find a supervisor in your research area

Entry Requirements and Fees

Applicants must hold a UK undergraduate (Bachelors) 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 Masters 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.

See academic entry requirements and the English language entry requirements

Tuition fees vary according to the applicant's fee status (UK, EU, or international) and the mode of study (full-time, part-time or distance learning).

See current course fees

Studentships and Funding

Funded PhD studentships and other funding opportunities are advertised as they become available.

See current studentships and funding

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 - Description and Requirements

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