How to apply How to apply

Entry Qualifications

Applicants for an LLM by Research should normally have a good first degree in law or a related subject from a recognised higher education institution in the UK or overseas. Applicants for the MPhil/PhD programme should normally have a good undergraduate degree and a minimum Merit (or equivalent) LLM or Master's degree with 65% in the dissertation element. Further information about entry requirements for international students.

Admissions Procedure

Applications can be made on line via

For those unable to submit electronically, applications and enquiries should be sent to the following address:

Faculty of Social Sciences
Postgraduate Research Office (PPE)
Elizabeth Fry Building, 2.30
University of East Anglia
Norwich Research Park

Tel: +44 (0)1603 591709
Submit an application to:
Tel: +44 (0)1603 597231

Applications must be supported by:

Research Proposal

The core of a research degree application is a research proposal of up to 2,000 words. The proposal is not expected to be a finished document, and you may wish to refine or change your research focus in negotiation with your supervisors at a later date.

Your proposal should include the following:

  • Official transcripts (in English) of your higher education qualifications
  • A Personal Statement of 500 to 1,000 words
  • A CV detailing your work experience to date
  • Two academic references
  • Evidence of your English proficiency if English is not your first language
  • A Research Proposal of 2,000 words

Your research topic: Identify your area of interest and indicate your research question(s). It should be clear from the proposal that you have identified a particular topic for further study rather than just a broad area – undue influence rather than contract law, or abuse of dominance rather than competition law. You should also specify what it is about the area that you feel is unclear, under-investigated or controversial and therefore in need of further examination.

Review of the literature:

In this section you should explain what other work has been done in your field. For a PhD you should also explain what you think your work will add to knowledge in the area. What is it that you propose to examine that has not been studied in detail before? Is it an area of law of practical importance in which the courts have failed to produce clear doctrine? Is it an area where the law has a clear social or economic impact (eg in competition or family law) which has not been evaluated?


You need to indicate how you will answer your research question(s). Is this a doctrinal thesis? Do you intend to look at the statutes and case law and synthesise an explanation of how the law fits together and the policy justifications behind it? Will it be a comparative thesis, where you look at English law alongside the law of other jurisdictions of which the Law School has expertise, drawing comparisons and identifying lessons that jurisdictions can learn from each other? Is it an empirical thesis where you ask those affected by the law about their experiences (ie survey work), or is it quantitative empirical work where you examine statistical evidence about the impact of the law? How will you use the data you collect? Will you examine the law from a particular theoretical standpoint, or do you wish to compare different jurisprudential viewpoints?


Provide a timescale for the conduct of your research. References: Provide a list of references to the sources which you have mentioned in your application.

Applicants should refer to the areas of research pages and any indicative research projects for potential research students on members' of faculty own webpages. You are welcome to contact members of academic staff directly to discuss research ideas and to request a particular supervisor, although this is not a requirement.

Applying for a PhD Talk

The School's Director for PhD Admissions gives an annual talk to students on the LLM Programme about the process of applying for a PhD at UEA.

Download the PowerPoint Slides for more information about what is expected in a research proposal.