Law MPhil/PhD

UCL Laws has one of the most selective MPhil/PhD programmes in the UK, and produces graduates of internationally recognised quality. Through a rich programme of events at UCL, our MPhil/PhD candidates have the opportunity to interact with leaders in legal thought from academia, the judiciary and the profession.

Key Information

Modes and duration

  • Full-time: 3 years
  • Part-time: 5 years

Tuition Fees (2015/16)

£4,635 (FT) £2,315 (PT)
£16,690 (FT) £8,500 (PT)

Application deadlines

All applicants:
14 November 2014

Entry Requirements

A minimum of a good upper second-class UK Bachelor's degree in an appropriate subject, or an overseas qualification of an equivalent standard.

We have a strong preference for a recognised LLM or equivalent Master's degree and would normally expect a distinction overall, with evidence of first-class ability (or equivalent) in extended written work/dissertation.

English Language Requirements

If your education has not been conducted in the English language, you will be expected to demonstrate evidence of an adequate level of English proficiency.

The English language level for this programme is: Advanced. Further details are available on the departmental website.

Further information can be found on our English language requirements page.

International students

Country-specific information, including details of when UCL representatives are visiting your part of the world, can be obtained from the International Students website.

International applicants can find out the equivalent qualification for their country by selecting from the list below.

Select your country:


UCL Laws has a truly remarkable research community, demonstrated by the talent and achievement of its students, faculty, and alumni. We are deeply committed to the quality and relevance of the graduate education we offer and our MPhil/PhD candidates will be working with academics at the leading edge of modern legal research.

Research areas

  • Antitrust, Regulation and Competition Law
  • Comparative and Foreign Law
  • Contract, Restitution and Tort
  • Corporate, Finance and Insolvency
  • Criminal Justice
  • Empirical Legal Studies
  • Environmental Law
  • European Law
  • Family Law and Bioethics
  • Human Rights, Employment and Equality Law
  • Intellectual Property
  • International Business, Insurance and Trade
  • International Commercial Law
  • Judicial Studies
  • Jurisprudence and Legal Theory
  • Law and Economics
  • Law and Ethics
  • Law and Religion
  • Law of the Sea
  • Legal Education
  • Legal History and Roman History
  • Litigation and Dispute Resolution
  • Medical Law
  • Property and Trusts
  • Public, Admin and Constitutional
  • Public International Law
Much research is undertaken under the auspices of the following research institutes and centres based in the faculty, in whose activities research students are encouraged to participate:
  • UCL Judicial Institute
  • Centre for Ethics and Law
  • Centre for International Courts and Tribunals
  • Institute of Brand and Innovation Law
  • The Bentham Institute.


Four Faculty of Laws Research Studentships are offered covering tuition fees and stipend at RCUK level and the Joseph Hume Scholarship. The faculty may also offer other studentships from time to time. Additionally, UK/EU applicants may be eligible to apply for Research Council Studentships (AHRC, ESRC).

Scholarships relevant to this department are displayed below. For a comprehensive list of the funding opportunities available at UCL, including funding relevant to your nationality, please visit the Scholarships and Funding website.

Faculty of Laws Research Scholarship

UK/EU fees plus stipend (3 years)
UK, EU, Overseas students
Based on academic merit

Joseph Hume Scholarship

£1,600 (1 year)
UK, EU, Overseas students
Based on academic merit

Peter Birks Memorial Scholarship

£10,000 per annum plus fees. (3)
UK, EU, Overseas students
Based on academic merit

More scholarships are listed on the Scholarships and Funding website


A graduate from our MPhil/PhD programme will have completed a major piece of independent research of an internationally recognised standard. We also aim to provide our PhD students with teaching opportunities where possible. Our graduates are therefore well-placed to pursue careers in academia (which an increasing number wish to do) but the research, analytical and writing skills obtained during PhD study also transfer readily to work in government, a range of non-governmental organisations and the commercial sector.

Top career destinations for this degree

  • Deputy Director, Japanese Government (2011)
  • Lecturer, National University of Malaysia (2012)
  • Lecturer, King's College London (2012)
  • Assistant Professor, London School of Economics (2013)
  • Lecturer, University of York (2013)


The Faculty of Laws research programme aims to produce a well-rounded researcher with skills to enable him or her to work in government and non-governmental organisations in addition to the global academic world.


The UCL Laws events programme reflects the diversity of teaching and research offered by the faculty, with a regular programme of lively seminars, lectures, debates and conferences on a wide variety of engaging legal topics. A quick look at our events page demonstrates that research students have the opportunity to engage with leaders in industry and the legal profession as well as with leading international academics and members of the judiciary of England and Wales, Europe and international courts.

Why study this degree at UCL?

At UCL Laws we are committed to taking fewer than 12 new MPhil/PhD students each year. This allows us to concentrate our resources and enhance the opportunities we can provide and helps foster a cohesive and supportive community of research students.

We typically provide full scholarships for four students each year. We work continuously to provide better shared office space for our research students.

All students benefit from a year-long research methodology seminar series in their first year and will join a vibrant and active MPhil/PhD student community which, for example, runs its own weekly seminar series in term.

Student / staff ratios › 61 staff › 443 taught students › 86 research students

Department: Laws

Degree reviews

Student review

"I've always been passionated about human rights. This is a field in which law can be used to protect the most fundamental rights of every human being. I chose to study at UCL because of the quality of research in my field and the worldwide reputation of the university."

Claire Lougarre

Laws PhD
Staff review

"The depth and breadth of expertise in environmental law and governance, as well as in broader questions of environmental protection, first attracted me to UCL. I work mainly on the governance of environmental protection, especially the ways in which we take environmental decisions, examining areas including genetically modified organisms, renewable energy infrastructure, industrial emissions, chemicals, climate change. I also spend a lot of time working on the ways in which regulation (including environmental regulation) shapes and influences decisions in private law, particularly tort, an increasingly important part of tort scholarship and practice. I most enjoy working with brilliant colleagues and students (and alone!) on intellectually challenging and practically important questions."

Professor Maria Lee

Law MPhil/PhD, Law LLM
Professor of Law

Application and next steps


Students are advised to apply as early as possible due to competition for places. Those applying for scholarship funding (particularly overseas applicants) should take note of application deadlines.

Application deadlines

All applicants
14 November 2014

For more information see our Applications page.

Apply now

Contact Information


  • Register interest in your chosen subjects
  • Receive notice of graduate open days, events and more
Register now

UCL-IoE merger

UCL and the Institute of Education merged on December 2, 2014. Learn about the study options available to you.

Find out more


Visit UCL's IRIS research portal to learn more about our researchers' activities, research groups, research centres and interdisciplinary networks.

IRIS department: Law

IRIS Portal

Life and learning

At UCL we're proud of our pioneering history, our distinguished present and our exciting future. UCL is a great place to be a student.

  • World-leading reputation
  • Extensive connections that benefit your study and career
  • The best and brightest staff and students from over 150 countries
Find out more