How to apply

Information about applying for a postgraduate research degree at the School of Law.

Photo of student in classroom using laptop

To apply to the PhD programme in the School you will need to complete an online application form.

You will need a first degree that is equivalent in standard to a UK classification of at least an Upper Second Class Honours. You should also have the equivalent of a UK Masters level qualification, with at least a Merit grade, or equivalent experience.  Your studies at Masters level must ordinarily include a dissertation, with a grade of '65' or higher (or equivalent). Professional qualifications can influence our decision-making but are not normally considered to be an adequate substitute for a Masters degree, because they do not usually provide evidence of research skills. If you do not have a Masters degree with a substantial research element, you may want to consider the University's MA Social Research.

Postgraduate online application form

As part of the application process you will be asked to provide:

  • a research proposal
  • academic references and supporting information.

You can supply these simply by uploading them to the relevant sections of your online application.

We are unable to process an application until we receive all of the required details, including your research proposal and supporting documents.

If you are applying to start your studies in 2020, please select October 2020 as your start date on the application form. 


Research proposal

To enable us to assess your application, and identify the most appropriate supervisors for your chosen topic, you must include an outline research proposal. 

There is no word count for the proposal, but it should include:

  • The title of your proposed PhD research.
  • The main aims and objectives of your research, including an awareness of how your thesis will be an original contribution to knowledge.
  • Discussion of relevant existing literature.
  • The motivation for your research question(s).
  • Any resources available and any additional ones required.
  • The proposed methodology and a plan and timetable of work.

Writing a proposal 


Supporting documents

We will also require the following documentation:

  • Two letters of reference, preferably from academics.
  • Transcripts of previous qualifications.
  • Your curriculum vitae (CV) or resume.
  • Indication on how you intend to fund your studies.
  • English language certificates (EU and International applicants).

Supporting documents 

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