Law PhD / MPhil
At The City Law School, we are committed to the provision of high-quality graduate education and a stimulating research environment to study in. You will join the City Law School's thriving postgraduate research community, receiving the necessary support and training to develop successfully your research project. You will also have the opportunity to attend the School's research training seminars focused on research skills and methodologies and to present your work in progress at both weekly seminars and the annual School Postgraduate Forum. You will also become part of a stimulating research environment by participating in the activities of the School's research centres, institutes and groups.
Admissions take place in late September and February each year.
Applicants should have a track record of high academic achievement, demonstrated by an LLB degree with at least a second class (upper division) or equivalent, and a Master's degree (in law or a related discipline) with at least a merit or equivalent. Applicants should also have achieved a strong merit in the Master's dissertation and demonstrate a suitable aptitude to undertake a course of independent research.
For applicants whose first language is not English, the following qualifications will meet the English language requirement for entry:
- A first degree from a UK university or from the CNAA.
- A first degree from an overseas institution recognised by City as providing adequate evidence of proficiency in the English language, for example, from institutions in Australia or the USA
- GCE O-level/GCSE English language or English literature, grade C minimum.
- An overall score of 7.0 in the English Language Testing System (IELTS) with a minimum of 6.5 in the reading and writing subtests.
- Other evidence of proficiency in the English language which satisfies the Board of Studies concerned (for those students who don't require a Tier 4 visa).
Please note that due to changes in the UKVI's list of SELTs we are no longer able to accept TOEFL as evidence of English language for students who require a CAS as of April 2014.
If you are not from the European Economic Area / Switzerland and you are coming to study in the UK, you may need to apply for a visa or entry clearance to come to the UK to study.
The way that you apply may vary depending on the length of your course. There are different rules for:
- Students on courses of more than six months
- Students on courses of less than six months
- Students on a pre-sessional English language course.
If you require a Tier 4 student visa to study in the UK, you cannot undertake any City courses on a part-time basis.
For more information see our main Visa page.
Admissions take place in late September and February each year.
Duration of Studies
3 Years (full-time)
5 Years (part-time)
The award of an MPhil or a PhD requires the submission of a thesis for examination at a viva voce (oral examination) by two examiners, at least one of whom is external to City. A PhD thesis (up to 100,000 words) must be an original and substantial piece of work which makes a contribution to the relevant literature. An MPhil thesis (up to 50,000 words) must be an original work or a critical exposition of existing knowledge. All students are initially registered for the MPhil degree. Those students who wish to proceed to a PhD must upgrade within 18 months (30 months for part-time students).
The City Law School's internationally recognised experts conduct research into all major areas of laws. Our research centres, institutes and groups promote cutting-edge research with a view to advancing knowledge and bringing value to society.
- Centre for Child and Family Law Reform
- Centre for Crime and Justice Research
- Centre for Law Justice and Journalism
- Centre for the Study of Legal Professional Practice
- Institute for the Study of European Laws (ISEL)
- International Law and Affairs Group (ILAG)
- London Universities Maritime Law and Policy Research Group (LUMLP)
Find out about the research interests of our current students.
- Full-time EU: £10,500 per year
- Part-time EU: £5,250 per year
- Full-time Non EU: £10,500 per year
- Part-time Non EU: £5,250 per year
Fees for doctoral candidates are charged annually and cover registration, supervision and examination. Fees are subject to review each year and may vary during your period of registration.
How to Apply
Law MPhil/PhD online application
Applications must include:
- a research proposal
- a personal statement
- all supporting documents.
- Applicants should have a track record of high academic achievement, demonstrated by an LLB degree with at least a second class (upper division) or equivalent, and normally a Master's degree (in law or a related discipline) with at least a merit or equivalent. Applicants should demonstrate a suitable aptitude to undertake a course of independent research.
- Applicants whose first language is not English must have achieved an overall score of 7.0 in the English Language Testing System (IELTS) with a minimum of 6.5 in the reading and writing subtests.
Applicants are welcome to discuss their ideas for research by contacting relevant members of the School of Law. Details can be found on our website.
Writing Your Research Proposal
A strong PhD proposal is an important component of your application, so please read our guide to writing a successful PhD proposal carefully before sending us your proposal.
You will need to provide names and e-mails of two referees who know your work well and can comment on your aptitude for critical thinking and original research within a well-defined framework. We will contact the referees once you have submitted your application.
At the initial stage of your application we will accept electronic copies of your official transcripts. If your application is successful we will require you to send us the original hard copies before a final offer of place is made.
You may be invited for an interview by a panel consisting of the PhD Programme Director and a potential supervisor.
The School runs a Research Training Programme for MPhil/PhD students which focuses on research skills and methodologies, employability skills, career management and personal development.
We are committed to the provision of high-quality graduate education and provide you with a stimulating research environment to study in. You are assigned two supervisors to support you throughout your research, with one of these supervisors taking primary responsibility for you. Your supervisor assists you with refining your research ideas, suggesting reading and making comments on the drafts of your thesis.