UCL Faculty of Laws


Peter Lythe, London Arts & Humanities Partnership (LAHP) Studentship

Peter Lythe

Programme, and year of study: PhD, 3rd year
Where you are from: Leeds, UK
Area of research: Religion in the thought of Jeremy Bentham
PhD supervisor: Professor Philip Schofield (first supervisor), Dr Prince Saprai (second supervisor)
Scholarship received: London Arts & Humanities Partnership (LAHP) Studentship

Why did you choose to apply to study at UCL Laws?
I had already completed the LL.M. at UCL Laws before applying to join the Ph.D. programme. I chose UCL Laws as the place to study for a master’s degree, not only because of the excellent reputation of both the faculty and the university, but also because the LL.M. programme includes so many modules in the kinds of subjects that are of interest to me: jurisprudence, legal history, law and ethics, law and religion, and, of course, Bentham. Since the Bentham Project—the world centre for Bentham studies—is based at the faculty, and since UCL holds the principal collection of Bentham’s manuscripts, it was clear to me that there could be no better place to research Bentham’s writings than at UCL Laws.

What are your favourite things about studying at UCL Laws?
I appreciate the fact that, from teaching opportunities through to social events, and many other things in between, Ph.D. students at UCL Laws are fully integrated into the academic life of the faculty. As much as I am a doctoral student, the sense created, in other words, is that of being a ‘junior academic’.

What do you hope to do once your studies are complete?
I hope to become an academic.

How did you hear about the UCL Laws scholarships?
I found out about UCL Laws scholarships while studying for the LL.M.

What impact has receiving this scholarship had for you?
It is difficult to imagine how I would have been able to participate in the Ph.D. programme without funding.

If you hadn’t received this scholarship what do you think your plans would be, if not studying at UCL Laws?
I expect that I would have submitted an alternative funding application in the following year. If at first you don’t succeed…

If someone was thinking of applying for a scholarship what would you say to them?
I would recommend that he or she apply to as many funding bodies and prospective sponsors as possible. Securing academic support is likely to be crucial to the success of the application, so contacting a potential supervisor at an early stage in the process is also advisable.

If someone was thinking of funding or sponsoring a scholarship what would you say to them?
I would inform the potential sponsor that a substantial body of Bentham’s manuscript material remains unpublished and, therefore, largely unread. I would then trust that the merits of funding a researcher to explain and evaluate some of the radical ideas contained in those writings would be self-evident.