How to apply

When to apply

You can start a PhD in January, October or May. You should apply as early as possible. UK students should apply at least two months ahead and international students at least four months ahead. However, all candidates should apply as early as possible and it is not unusual for applications to be submitted 6 - 12 months before commencing. See the University information on when to apply for research degrees.

Remember to keep funding deadlines in mind. Many studentships are only open to candidates commencing in October. For these you should be making inquiries in December or January, with applications usually closing in February.

Apply for a postgraduate research degree

To apply for a PhD or LLM by thesis please:

  1. Ensure you meet the School of Law's entry requirements for research degrees
  2. Prepare a research proposal. See our guide to writing a research proposal (PDF 14KB).
  3. Submit your application using the University's online application system.
  4. Note that you may need to provide the following documents with your application, including:
    - A copy of your transcript showing your marks to date
    - A copy of degree certificate (if already held)
    - A copy of your passport page showing your personal details
    - English language certificate (if applicable)
    - Funding sponsorship letter (if applicable)
  5. Read the University's information on what happens after you apply.

Making advance inquiries

Before you submit a formal application, but after checking the entry requirements and the guide to writing a research proposal, you are welcome to inquire about whether the School may be able to provide supervision.

Send to the School's postgraduate administrator ( (1) a curriculum vitae; (2) a transcript or list of modules and marks in your masters degree; and (3) a draft research proposal. Please also check the research opportunities page and indicate the staff member(s) you think are working in your area. Your proposal will then be discussed with any relevant colleagues. We should then be able to let you know whether the School may be able supervise your research and also provide any specific advice about applying.

Things to do now

Contact us

  • Email: 
  • Telephone:
    +44 (0) 118 378 6568 
  • Fax:
    +44 (0) 118 378 4543

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