The 2008 Research Assessment Exercise confirmed our excellent reputation for doctrinal, empirical and theoretical research, particularly in the fields of commercial law, criminal law, criminal justice, judicial administration, European law, public law, human rights, international law, private law, restitution, conflicts of law, international economic law, comparative law, health and social welfare, socio-legal studies and legal theory. Many of our research students have obtained academic careers in the top law schools in the country.
The PhD programme requires you to research and write a thesis of 80,000 words with supervision from academic staff, the work should make an original contribution to knowledge. Full-time students are expected to complete their work within three year
The MPhil programme requires you to research and write a 60,000-word thesis under the supervision of a member of academic staff. Full-time students are expected to complete their work within two years.
The MJur programme requires you to research and write a 40,000-word thesis under the supervision of a member of academic staff. Full-time students are expected to complete their work within one year.
This programme can also be studied by Distance Learning - see whether distance learning is an option for you
Why study this course
Academic expertise - PhD supervision from internationally renowned researchers
Seminars and conferences: Invited to attend various staff seminars and guest lectures during the academic year
Employability - Birmingham is one of the top universities in the UK for graduate employment
Dedicated facilities - including the Harding Law Library and Law senior common room
Fees and funding
2014 fees are:
Home/EU students - £3,996 p.a
International students - £12,565 p.a
Learn more about fees and funding
Postgraduate Teaching Assistantships
We offer a number of Postgraduate Teaching Assistantships to students who enrol on our research degree programme. PTAs are students working towards a PhD at Birmingham who carry out up to 60 hours of small group teaching of undergraduates on our LLB programmes. The School provides the following financial benefits for its PTAs:
Payment of fees for the period of registration, not exceeding three years(guaranteed at the current home/EU student rate with a possibility of overseas fees being awarded on a competitive basis).
Annual maintenance grant and a teaching payment
Further details and application form
Scholarships and studentships
Scholarships to cover fees and/or maintenance costs may be available. To be eligible for these awards, candidates must hold either an offer of a place to study or have submitted an application to study at the University. To discover whether you are eligible for any award across the University, and to start your funding application, please visit the University's Postgraduate Funding Database.
International students can often gain funding through overseas research scholarships, Commonwealth scholarships or their home government.
A first class or upper second class UK honours degree in law (or a subject related to the proposed area of research) or equivalent.
All international qualifications which are equivalent to a UK honours degree will be considered. Learn more about international entry requirements.
If your first language is not English you must provide an English language qualification. Recognised qualifications include:
IELTS: 7.0 with no less than 6.5 in any band
TOEFL: 100 with no less than 23 in any band
How to apply
Applications are accepted at any time though we strongly encourage students to begin their studies at the start of the UK academic year (September). Full details of our requirements can be found on our Applications page
As part of the application for admission onto our MJur, MPhil and PhD programmes, you must prepare a research proposal outlining your proposed area of study. Full details of what we are looking for in the research proposal can be found here.
PhD Distance Learning
As part of the application process for the distance learning study mode, we will ask you to provide evidence to demonstrate that you have the time, commitment, facilities and experience to study for a PhD by Distance Learning. Please be prepared to provide evidence, and details, of the following:
Examples of your postgraduate research experience and ability to work independently e.g. papers/presentations at professional and academic conferences or publications in professional journals or previous completion of an independent research project, etc.
Full reasons (academic and personal) for registering for the distance learning mode of study rather than by standard full or part-time on-campus options. In particular, how you will be able to carry out your project in your chosen location. Access to local library facilities (where needed)
Access to IT facilities
Access to communications, including e-mail and visual communication media e.g. Skype and Facetime
Access to facilities to support any study-related disability (where appropriate)
When clicking on the Apply Now button you will be directed to an application specifically designed for the programme you wish to apply for where you will create an account with the University application system and submit your application and supporting documents online. Further information regarding how to apply online can be found on the How to apply pages