Current and recent doctoral research projects

The list below shows current and recent doctoral research projects undertaken at Birmingham Law School. If you are interested in further details on completed projects these are available through our eThesis repository

Read a sample proposal from a successful application 

Commercial and Competition Law:

  • The treatment of dominant undertakings in EU competition law: time for a new approach?
  • Export Cartels: Filling the Gap in International Competition Policy 

Criminal Law and Criminology:

  • A conceptual analysis of criminal causation

Environmental Law:

  • Environmental Impact Assessment: towards the concept of sustainable development
  • Do the legislative tools of the greening initiatives in the EU Common Agricultural Policy produce a measurable benefit to the natural environment of UK farmland?
  • Environmental taxation as a form of environmental protection: Implementing the second phase of the Carbon Reduction Commitment
  • Access to Justice in Environmental Cases in Nigeria
  • Assessing Effectiveness and Legality of Chinese Policies on Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency: A Critical Analysis in the Context of WTO Legal System 

European Law:

  • The Role and Influence of the European Union on Consumer Contracts, Rights and Enforcement

Family Law:

  • Feminist Perspectives on the Legal Recognition of Polygamous Marriages in the UK

Healthcare Law and Ethics:

  • Reconceptualising Assisted Dying; An Ethics of Care Perspective
  • Why should we require informed consent for veterinary treatment of animals?
  • Protecting vulnerable adults and promoting their autonomy: mental capacity law in practice
  • The Feminist Ethics of Care and Healthcare Decision-Making involving Children
  • The Role of Law in Non-Communicable Diseases Prevention 

Human Rights and Criminal Justice:

  • Exempting the severely mentally ill from the death penalty in the United States of America
  • An ethnographic study into the nature, frequency and extent of violence amongst imprisoned sexual offenders 

International Economic Law:

  • Preferential Trade Agreements in the Asia-Pacific and Their Environmental Impacts
  • The legitimacy of European intervention in the energy sector from an international standpoint
  • Contractual mechanisms for dealing with risks and uncertainties in international oil and gas agreements
  • Towards Limiting Treaty Shopping in International Investment Law and Arbitration: A Critical Analysis of the Effectiveness of the Denial of Benefits Clause.
  • Impacts of the Decentralisation on Oil and Gas Mining Activities in Indonesia (A Case Study on the Block Cepu, in Bojonegoro, Indonesia)

Law and Religion:

  • Under the Guise of Religious Pluralism: Islamic Law in US Courts and What America can glean from England and Canada

Legal Theory:

  • Reconstruction of Confucianism through Kantian Reading
  • Can John Austin’s theory of law, as properly understood, explain international law?
  • Taking Dignity Seriously in Legal Philosophy
  • A critical review of Roman-Dutch law as a source of law in Zimbabwe with special focus on its interplay with customary law.
  • The Approach to Corruption in Law and Development Discourse: Towards a Rights-Based Perspective

Private Law:

  • A critical analysis of the effects of illegality on a contract
  • A study investigating the equitable doctrine of undue influence and the ‘protective procedures’ in place for sureties entering bank lending transactions.

Public Law:

  • How should the Article 8 ECHR claims of foreign national offenders against deportation take into account the best interests of the child?
  • Torture and the Exhaustion of Domestic Remedies Rule, under the Optional Protocol to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights
  • An examination of the investigatory duty imposed on the state by Article 2 of the European Convention on Human Rights

Find out about our doctoral research programmes:


Birmingham Law School is home to a broad range of internationally excellent and world-leading legal academics, with a thriving postgraduate research community. The perfect place for your postgraduate study.

Law PhD / PhD by Distance Learning / MPhil / MJur