Types of research degree offered Types of research degree offered

The results of the Research Excellence Framework (2014) rank the School of Law 21st in the country ahead of most of our competitors (Times Higher Education). Over 70% of research within our School is ranked world-leading or internationally excellent.

The Law School offers three research degrees: LLM by Research, MPhil and PhD.

LLM by Research degree

The LLM by Research normally involves one year of study if the research is undertaken full-time, and two years if undertaken on a part-time basis. It requires the submission of a 40,000 word thesis, critically evaluating and testing ideas current in the literature. In addition to the completion of the thesis, the candidate must pass an oral examination. The programme starts in October, January, April or July and students must enrol on the School's research training programme.

MPhil degree

The MPhil is a two year full-time degree requiring the submission of a 60,000 word thesis, showing original ideas developed by the candidate. In addition to the completion of the thesis, the candidate must pass an oral examination.  From 1st October 2015, the status of postgraduate research candidates on the MPhil programme will be probationary. This probationary status will continue until the candidate has undertaken and passed a formal assessment at the Annual Progress Review meeting, held sometime in the 6th to 9th month after enrolling. From 2015, students will no longer be able to enrol on the MPhil programme and seek to transfer across to a the PhD programme – this will only be done on an exceptional basis by a concession approved by the Academic Director of Research Degree Programmes. The MPhil programme starts in October, January, April or July and students must enrol on the School's research training programme within the first year of study.

PhD degree

A PhD takes three years full-time and six years part-time. PhD students submit a substantial thesis of 100,000 words that must, if the degree is to be awarded, contribute to the advancement of knowledge in the subject area chosen. From 1st October 2015, the status of postgraduate research candidates on the PhD programme will be probationary. This probationary status will continue until the candidate has undertaken and passed a formal assessment at the Annual Progress Review meeting, held sometime in the 6th to 9th month after enrolling. Research students wishing to read for and graduate with the degree of PhD will, from 1st October 2015, be registered as a probationary PhD candidates (rather than as MPhil candidates and then transfer, which was the position before 2015). In addition to the completion of the thesis, the candidate must pass an oral examination - the viva conducted by an internal and external examiner (one from outside the Law School). The PhD programme starts in October, January, April or July and students must enrol on the School's research training programme within the first year of study.

MRes Social Sciences Research Method

The School also offers a postgraduate taught degree, the MRes Social Sciences Research Methods. This course is particularly suitable for those wishing to progress to PhD research using empirical and interdisciplinary methods since a number of modules are taught together with the other schools of the Faculty of Social Sciences. The registration date is: October.