Law PhD / PhD by Distance Learning / MPhil / MJur

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For over 80 years Birmingham Law School has made a major contribution to teaching and scholarship. Our academic staff are amongst the country's most eminent legal scholars and provide a supportive research culture that encourages and facilitates research activities.

As well as providing expert supervision from an experienced member of staff, the School cultivates a friendly and supportive environment for its community of research students. In 2012-13 there are more than 40 students engaged in research degrees in the School.

We regard postgraduate research students as playing an important part in maintaining and strengthening the research traditions of the School, and we are committed to increasing the number of such students and the range of the research which they are undertaking. It is not without significance that several members of the School’s academic staff were themselves postgraduate students here.

Course fact file

Type of Course: Distance learning, doctoral research

Study Options: Full time, part time

Duration: PhD – 3 years full-time; 6 years part-time; MPhil – 2 years full-time; 4 years part-time; MJur – 1 year full-time; 2 years part-time

Start date: September

Contact

If you complete our contact form we will respond to your enquiry within two business days.

Alternatively, you can contact us on +44 (0)121 414 6282 or by email: law-phd@contacts.bham.ac.uk

Details

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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 - £3,950 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.

Entry requirements

A first class or upper second class UK honours degree in law (or a subject related to the proposed area of research) or equivalent.

International students:

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 

Research proposals

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)

Applying

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

Apply now

Contact

If you complete our contact form we will respond to your enquiry within two business days.

Alternatively, you can contact us on +44 (0)121 414 6282 or by email: law-phd@contacts.bham.ac.uk

Research interests of staff

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Members of Birmingham Law School are active in research and publication, and many of their books have become standard works on numerous areas of law. Academics working in the School are well known for carrying out important applied legal research, much of it commissioned by the government and other public bodies.

Below are the areas of research expertise we offer, with links to our academic staff:

African Law

Civil Law (including French & German Law)

Commercial Law & International Commercial Law

Common Law

Comparative Law

Conflict of Laws; Private International Law

Constitutional Law; Administrative Law

Contract Law

Criminal Law (inc. Criminology; International Criminal law; Criminal Justice)

Development, Law and

Energy Law

Environmental Law

Equity and Trusts

European Union Law

Family Law

Gender, Sexuality and law

Health Care Law; Medical Law; Mental health law; Bioethics

Human Rights; Civil Liberties

International law

International Economic Law

International Sale of Goods

International trade law

Judicial Administration (operation of courts and judicial appointments)

Jurisprudence; Legal Theory

Law and Religion

Legal Education

Legal Responses to Terrorism

Property Law; Land Law

Restitution

Restorative Justice

Socio-Legal Studies; Law and Society

Tax Law

Tort law

Related research

Contact

If you complete our contact form we will respond to your enquiry within two business days.

Alternatively, you can contact us on +44 (0)121 414 6282 or by email: law-phd@contacts.bham.ac.uk

Employability

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Postgraduate Research students have the opportunity to benefit from extensive careers advice and employability support in their time in the Law School. Those interested in a qualifying as a lawyer have access to a wide range of events and activities, as we have regular visits from major law firms and barristers’ chambers. All of our careers and employability activities are organised through the Law School’s Centre for Professional Legal Education and Research (CEPLER).

For those interested in pursuing a career in academia, we have an annual lecture on that route. In addition, we offer a specific session exclusively for postgraduate researchers, which includes advice on developing one’s career profile and ultimately securing a job in higher education. Students are also able to seek individual advice on their career progress. The Careers Network of the University of Birmingham provides information and advice on opportunities for employment available to graduate students and offers consultations on CV writing and interview skills.

Contact

If you complete our contact form we will respond to your enquiry within two business days.

Alternatively, you can contact us on +44 (0)121 414 6282 or by email: law-phd@contacts.bham.ac.uk