The PhD/MPhil programme at the City Law School offers you the opportunity to carry out legal research and to contribute to professional knowledge in this constantly evolving field.
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As PhD/MPhil researcher at the City Law School, you will be joining a dynamic research environment. We are dedicated to advancing knowledge and bringing value to society.
Within our research centres, we carry out cutting edge research that straddles different areas and approaches to the subject of Law. We cover many diverse areas including (but not confined to):
- EU and international law
- Commercial law and arbitration
- Intellectual property
- Maritime law
- Public law, and child and family law.
if you are interested in pursuing an academic career, you will have the opportunity to teach as you carry out your research. We will provide you with full professional training and higher education certification through City’s Department for Learning Enhancement and Development (LEaD).
You will initially register for the MPhil degree. You will upgrade to PhD status once you have demonstrated that your research has developed to doctoral standard.
Upgrading normally occurs after 12 months for full time study and within 24 months for part time study.
Your academic research and inquiry will culminate in a thesis of up to 100,000 words. Your thesis will make a significant, original contribution to your area of study.
You will then be examined in detail on your thesis by two academics, in the form of a viva voce (oral examination). At least one of the examiners will be external to City.
For full details about the City PhD programme structure, please see the Guide for Research Students.
You will need to demonstrate a track record of high academic achievement.
We are looking for a minimum of second class (upper division) LLB degree and a Master’s in Law or a related discipline with at least a merit or equivalent.
You will also need to show a suitable aptitude to carry out an extended programme of original, independent research at a high level.
If English is not your first language, you will need to provide proof of one of the following:
- A first degree from a UK university or from the Council for National Academic Awards (CNAA)
- A first degree from an overseas institution recognised by City as providing evidence of English language proficiency
- GCE O-level/GCSE English language or English Literature, with a minimum C grade
- An overall score of 7.0 in the International English Language Testing System (IELTS) with a minimum of 6.5 in the reading and writing subtests
- TOEFL iBT Special Home Edition: 95 overall with no less than 24 in Writing and Reading, 22 in Listening and 25 in Speaking
- Other evidence of English language proficiency that satisfies the Board of Studies (if you are from the European Economic Area or Switzerland).
For more information see our English language proficiency requirements at City.
If you are not from the European Economic Area or Switzerland, you may need to apply for a visa or entry clearance to study in the UK.
Your application may vary depending on the length of your studies.
Check our main visa page to see the rules that apply to you.
Fees and funding
Full-time UK:£10,710 per year
Part-time UK:£5,250 per year
Full-time Overseas/EU:£10,710 per year
Part-time Overseas/EU:£5,250 per year
You will pay fees annually to cover registration, supervision and examination. We review our fees each year and they may vary during your period of registration.
Support for PhD study
Prospective students are encouraged to explore doctoral Grants and funding opportunities such as:
- PhD Law Scholarships for a Black British Researcher
- Commonwealth Scholarships
- Research Council studentship awards, if available.
The City Law School Doctoral Studentships
We normally offer two scholarships a year to support exceptional research proposals. These comprise a full fee waiver and a National Living Wage bursary of £18,000 a year. We may also be able to waive programme fees for other exceptional candidates.
In addition, all students are eligible for funding (currently up to £1,000) over the course of your studies. This can be used for research materials or to support attendance at conferences. Contact the Law School office for more details.
Our bursaries are non-repayable sums of money granted by the University, usually based on need.
Our loans are repayable sums of money granted by the University or other body.
Our scholarships are when the University pays towards your Study fees. You may also be eligible for further funding.
Postgraduate Doctoral Loans
The Government has introduced a new Postgraduate Doctoral Loans scheme which can provide a loan of up to £25,000.
This will be over three years to support study for a doctoral degree.
A Postgraduate Doctoral Loan can help with course fees and living costs while you study. It can be used alongside any other forms of support you may be able to receive.
For more information, please see our Postgraduate Doctoral Loans page.
City has a well-established structure and processes to support your research.
You will have two supervisors to support you throughout your research, one of these will be your first point of contact responsible for:
- assisting you to refine your research ideas
- suggesting reading
- commenting on drafts of your thesis
- ensuring that you are effectively supervised.
We have an outstanding research seminar programme, designed to equip you with the skills needed to carry out your research successfully. The programme also contributes to facilitating your transition to a career once you have finished your research at City.
These seminars, led by faculty members, recent PhD graduates and more advanced doctoral researchers, take place weekly in your first year. You will explore a range of methodologies and research approaches. Learning from established practitioners as well as your PhD peers.
Our research seminar programme is supplemented by many other training opportunities. These are both within the City Law School and the wider university community, throughout the year.
In addition to events tailor-made for PhD students, you will be expected to participate to research events organised by City Law School academic staff.
You will be based in the brand new and state of the art City Law School Building. Here you will have use of a dedicated and suitably equipped area for Law PhD students.
All students are eligible for funding (currently up to £1,000) over the course of your studies. This can be for research materials or to support attendance at conferences.
If you are interested in pursuing an academic career, you may have the opportunity to teach as you carry out your research.
We will provide you with full professional training and higher education certification through City’s Department for Learning Enhancement and Development (LEaD).
How to apply
You need to complete an online application form below, including:
- your research proposal
- your CV
- details of two academic referees who know your work well and can comment on your ability to carry out research at this level
Your research proposal is a crucial part of your application. We strongly advise you to read our guide to writing a successful PhD proposal carefully before applying.
You are also welcome to discuss your ideas for research with relevant members of the School of Law before applying. Contact details can be found on our Research Pages.
You may be invited for an interview by a panel consisting of the PhD Programme Director and a potential supervisor.
Some examples of our supervisors are listed below
Professor Elaine Fahey
Professor of Law, Jean Monnet Chair in Law & Transatlantic Relations
Academic law programmes
Professor Panos Koutrakos
Jean Monnet Professor of EU Law
Academic law programmes
Professor David Collins
Professor of International Economic Law, Assistant Vice President (Research/REF)
Academic law programmes
Dr Grietje Baars
Reader in Law & Social Change
Academic law programmes
Some examples of our students are listed below