Entry requirements for research degrees

Academic: PhD entry

Applicants applying to enter the PhD programme will normally be expected to have:

  1. An undergraduate degree at first or upper second class honours level (or equivalent). This should be a degree in law or a degree featuring a substantial legal component or a degree in another area relevant to your proposed research.
  2. A masters degree at high merit or distinction level (or equivalent). Applicants currently registered on a masters programme should show evidence that they are likely to graduate with a high merit or distinction.
  3.  A good research proposal for a PhD project. See our guide writing a research proposal (PDF 14KB) if you need assistance.

Academic: LLM-by-Thesis entry

Applicants for the LLM-by-thesis programme will normally be expected to have:

  1. An undergraduate degree at first or high upper second class honours level and very strong skills in research and writing. Applications are welcome from candidates with degrees not only in Law but also in Criminology, Sociology, History, Politics, Economics or other related disciplines.
  2. A good research proposal that is suited to a 30,000 word LLM thesis. See our guide writing a research proposal (PDF 14KB) if you need assistance.

Academic: all research degrees

Where the School may be able to provide supervision for a candidate we will ordinarily ask the applicant for samples of their academic writing (usually from their most recent degree) and we will ordinarily interview candidates over the phone, by skype or in person.

Applicants may wish to also note that:

  • Postgraduate research degrees are normally undertaken on a full-time basis, but part time may also be permitted.
  • Students admitted to the PhD programme begin on "PhD (initial registration)" status. After about 15 months they submit a preliminary body of work with a view to having their registration confirmed - "PhD (confirmed registration).

English language - all research degrees

Students whose previous degree was not studied for in English are required to provide evidence of proficiency. Please see further information on English language requirements for postgraduate law courses.

UK visa requirements - all research degrees

If you are not a national of the European Union (EU), it is likely that you will need to obtain a UK visa before you travel. Please see the UK Border Agency website.

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  • Email: law@reading.ac.uk 
  • Telephone:
    +44 (0) 118 378 6568 
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    +44 (0) 118 378 4543

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