UCL Faculty of Laws



A PhD at UCL Laws will allow you to pursue original research and make a distinct and significant contribution to your field

YouTube Widget Placeholderhttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e_wrD7py4Xg


We are committed to the quality and relevance of the research supervision we offer and as an MPhil/PhD candidate, you will work with academics at the cutting edge of legal scholarship.

Furthermore as a research student, you will be an integral part of our collaborative and thriving research community. Student-run ‘work in progress’ forums and an end-of-first-year PhD workshop will give you the opportunity to present and discuss your research with peers and academic colleagues.

Tailored skills seminars will provide you with a supportive research environment and the critical skills necessary to undertake your research. To foster your academic development we also offer additional faculty funds, which can assist you with the costs of conferences and other research activities.

A community of scholars

UCL Laws is a world-leading community of intellectually dynamic scholars responding to today’s challenges. As a Laws MPhil/PhD student, you will have the opportunity to learn from, and contribute to, this research culture.

The UCL Laws Faculty is rated the top law school for research quality in the UK (REF 2021).

The UCL Laws PhD programme has approximately 60-70 outstanding research students at any one time. The programme accepts applicants with external funding, and puts forward its most outstanding applicants for UCL scholarships.

Research culture

UCL Laws was ranked first in the UK for its world-leading research environment in the most recent Research Excellence Framework and our commitment to our research culture is mirrored in our postgraduate research environment. As a research student here you can take advantage of a range of opportunities to make the most of your studies, and get the best start in your career.

A vibrant and brilliant student community 

“UCL Laws truly is an amazing place and I am glad that it is where I have decided to undertake my doctoral studies. At UCL, I have been encouraged to pursue innovative and original research that might not have been possible in other places.

"The PhD student community is vibrant and made up of utterly brilliant fellows from around the globe. I gained a lot simply by spending time with these people in seminars, in the common room and at the pub.  All in all, UCL Laws is a top-rate institution to pursue graduate studies.”

Jean-Frédéric Ménard, UCL Laws PhD candidate

From opportunities to teach, develop your skills, and present your work, to networking and social events, alongside dedicated research student support facilities, you can find the resources to help you make a distinct and significant contribution to your field.

Academic development

Skills seminars

We nurture the development of your research skills from the very beginning of the programme with our skills seminar series. Providing initial support and information about the research process, these seminars will advance your critical skills in research methods and theory as well as fostering your legal and academic career skills.

Research Presentation Workshop

Our skills seminars culminate in our First-Year Research Presentation Workshop. Here you will have the chance to present your work in front of peers and academic colleagues, gaining both valuable feedback and experience of presenting academic papers in a friendly and supportive environment.

“[The research presentation workshop] gave all new PhD candidates the chance to reflect on their work and to present it, for some of us for the first time, to colleagues and faculty members. It was great to see so many supervisors attend – they provided constructive feedback and words of encouragement. This workshop has given us valuable insights into effective academic presentation skills and helped anticipating what presenting at conferences will be like in the years to come.”

Christina Lienen, PhD Candidate

Work-in-Progress Forums

The Work in Progress Forum is a seminar series led by current PGR students, and is an excellent opportunity to present and discuss your research in a supportive environment. All students are encouraged to be involved, and you may have the chance to convene the forums during your PhD.

“The PhD Work in Progress Forum is an integral part of the experience as a research student at UCL Laws. It provides opportunities for students to discuss their work with peers and to hone their skills as discussants in a rigorous yet supportive environment. Convening the Work in Progress Forum offers the chance to learn how to organise academic events. Last, but certainly not least, the Forum shapes the academic community of PhD students that is so vital to successful research.”

Lea Raible, former PhD student

The Journal of Law and Jurisprudence

The UCL Journal of Law and Jurisprudence is edited and published by graduate (LLM and PhD) students at UCL Laws. Featuring scholarly contributions from academics, researchers and practitioners, it also showcases outstanding research by post-graduate students at UCL. As a research student here you will have the unique opportunity to contribute to the journal, both editorially and through submitting research for publication.


Where possible, we offer research students the opportunity to provide tutorial teaching on the LLB and LLM. UCL offers training in teaching skills through its UCL Arena One programme.

“The opportunity to become a teaching fellow at UCL while completing your research comes with several benefits. When teaching I am part of the academic community in two ways: as a teacher and as a student. I have been able to learn constantly from both sides and the skills I have acquired have shaped me both personally and professionally. This experience is integral to the preparation of any career, whether it be in scholarship, teaching or something completely outside of academia.”

Sara Razai, Teaching Fellow


Research students can take part in our mentoring programme designed to assist LLM students with their dissertations. Each mentor is assigned a list of students, and will offer encouragement and advice on the form and style of dissertations, as well as provide feedback on draft work at face-to-face meetings and by email.


We recognise that conferences are crucial for you to meet other scholars, gain feedback on your research and ideas, and to engage in the academic world. Because of this, we encourage students to participate in both national and international conferences and to present their work in front of varies audiences, both within and outside of UCL. We also encourage students to organise their own conferences, workshops and reading groups where appropriate. To support conference attendance the faculty provides each research student with a generous Personal Research Allowance, with the opportunity to apply for additional funding too (see below).

Laws public events

The Laws faculty has an active public events calendar, and as part of Legal London we attract the leading figures in the field to contribute to our vibrant programme of events, informing public debate around social, legal, environmental and economic issues. Through this you will have the opportunity to hear cutting edge research and be part of a dynamic research community.

For upcoming events, see our events page.

Doctoral School Skills Development Programme

The Doctoral Skills Development Programme is open to all graduate research students at UCL. The purpose of the programme is to give you the opportunity to expand your generic research skills and personal transferable skills. These skills are intended to help your research at UCL and also to enhance your life skills and employability. To find out more, see the website here.

UCL Law Journal Blog

The UCL Law Journal Blog is the online platform of the UCL Journal of Law and Jurisprudence – UCLJLJ.

Much like our sibling UCLJLJ, the UCL Law Journal Blog is edited and published by graduate (Masters and PhD) students of UCL Laws. The Blog publishes scholarly contributions from academics, researchers and practitioners, as well as showcasing outstanding research of post-graduate students at UCL.

We accepts submissions and contributions in all areas of law and jurisprudence, reflecting the diverse and innovative areas of research at UCL Laws and UCLJLJ.

The Blog’s primary aim is to make a high-quality contribution to current debates on local and global issues of law and jurisprudence, and offer these contributions in a free, accessible, and updated platform, covering up-to-date events, developments, debates, cases, and more.

Finally, the Blog, much like the Journal, seeks to add to the content, research, an contributions of UCL, one of world’s leading law schools.

Guidelines for Submission

The UCLJLJ Blog editorial board welcomes any contribution that concern the law and legal developments. We welcome reports on proceedings, case notes, book reviews, articles, interviews, and more.

We do not have any preference as to the methodology, and theoretical, doctrinal, interdisciplinary, empirical, and any other methodology – is welcome. Similarly we have no limitation, nor preference, to a particular field of law or jurisdiction nevertheless, in some cases certain contribution may be edited or coupled so to form a theme.

Not only contributions advocating a certain position are encouraged, but also comprehensive critical analyses, replies and reviews. Moreover, active debate is welcome on the blog, ensuring the possibility of all parties to be heard and a common symbolic space of dialogue to be established.

For further information on our blog guidelines, see our blog guidelines page.

Current editors-in-chief

  • Siyu Bao
  • Leon Vincent Chan

My favourite things about studying at UCL Laws

"There are three things I particularly enjoy about studying at UCL Laws. The first is the rest of the PhD community. The small size of the PhD cohort and the range of interesting topics being worked on helps foster a vibrant and supportive research environment where everyone learns from each other. The second is being situated in Bentham House. Having excellent research facilities and dedicated study space in the heart of London is invaluable, especially as it allows me to attend talks and conferences throughout the city. The third is the opportunity to engage more widely with the work being undertaken by the UCL Law Faculty and UCL as a whole. The opportunity, for example, to attend and contribute to staff work-in-progress seminars and attend discussions in other faculties gives me a cross-disciplinary insight and makes my work more holistic."

Jeevan Hariharan, UCL Laws PhD candidate

Additional funding 

Personal Research Allowance

Graduate research students at UCL Laws have an annual research allowance that can be used to cover research-related expenses such as purchasing books, attending conferences or any other materials relevant to their research.

The allowance is currently £750 full-time or £375 part-time per financial year.

PhD Research and Innovation Fund (PRIF)

UCL Laws also runs a by-application research fund for current PhD students, aimed at providing financial assistance to fund valuable research activities that would otherwise be impossible.

Some examples of research activities supported by the fund include:

  • Training in new research skills not available through the UCL Skills Development programme or the UCL Doctoral School
  • Specialised research equipment or materials
  • Support for access to specialised research facilities
  • Research trips or visiting studentship
  • Attending a conference to present a paper relevant to their thesis
  • Organising workshops, seminars or conferences relevant to the thesis
  • Activities that will spread knowledge, understanding of and engagement with research with external, non-academic audiences

The PRIF Fund is available to all enrolled MPhil and PhD students at UCL Laws, and is run through the Laws PhD Programme Office.

Networking and social events

We offer a number of events and opportunities for graduate research students to network and socialise with fellow students and academics, to help you make new connections, develop your research and gain new skills.

First year welcome lunch

Each year we host a welcome lunch where first year PhD students meet their supervisors, other PhD students and the members of the PhD team.

Dean’s welcome

Each year, new and returning graduate research students are invited to a special welcome event, hosted by the Dean of the faculty at the start of Term 1. This event provides a wonderful opportunity for new students to meet academic staff and other students from across the faculty.

Facilities and resources 

The UCL Laws PhD Programme is based in Bentham House in Endsleigh Gardens.

In addition, all UCL Laws graduate research students can access the specialist resources provided by the UCL Doctoral School, including useful information about research policies and procedures, societies, events and competitions, as well as to student facilities at UCL.


Some of the best libraries in the world are on our doorstep, and our students are able to take advantage of the specialist collections and materials as part of their studies and research.

UCL Laws students are able to access the UCL Library, which currently holds over 1.3 million volumes, and includes a extensive law collection, which is particularly strong in the fields of international law, English law, public law, jurisprudence and Roman law.

As a member of the University of London, all UCL students can join the Senate House Library and, with permission, visit the specialist libraries of other members of the University of London, including the SOAS Library, the British Library of Political and Economic Science at the LSE, the Institute of Historical Research.

Our students can also make use of the major research library of the Institute of Advanced Legal Studies (IALS) in Russell Square. The collections of the IALS concentrate primarily on common law, civil law and Roman-Dutch law systems throughout the world and include material in western European languages for all jurisdictions for comparative and general reference purposes.

Research students can also register for a Reader’s Pass for the British Library, and make use of its unrivalled reference collection.

Recent successes of PhD students

Four PhD students from the UCL Faculty of Laws have been successful in achieving academic positions in the UK and overseas. You can also read more student news to find out about the events and publications our PhD students have been involved in.

Recently completed PhDs 

UCL Laws has a vibrant community of outstanding research students. You can read more about research by students who have recently completed their studies at UCL Laws below.