PhD Opportunities

Duration: 3 years full-time or 4-6 years part-time.

As a postgraduate research student you will benefit from dedicated resources and facilities, the possibility to apply for competitively awarded funding and first-rate supervision and support. Multidisciplinary approaches are facilitated through collaboration with researchers across the University, where relevant to the area of study. We encourage prospective students to look at the projects currently being undertaken within our research themes in order to identify where their own interests lie.

Staff profiles and areas of interest for PhD supervision

The School of Law provides high quality supervision for PhD and other research degrees in a wide range of areas and the listings below provide a guide.

If you would like to inquire about supervision for your project, please see the information about making advance inquiries at end of the How to Apply page.

Paul Almond

Professor Paul Almond is particularly interested in research proposals in the areas of social regulation, health and safety law, corporate crime and criminology, and socio-legal studies of regulation and enforcement, as well as those in the areas of criminal law and criminology more generally.

Rosemary Auchmuty

Professor Rosemary Auchmuty would welcome research proposals on gender and/or sexuality and law, or feminist approaches to family or property law or legal history.

Stephen Banks

Dr Steve Banks is mainly interested in the role of violence and community ritual in cultural formation. He welcomes proposals in the field of legal history which relate to violent criminality and state justice, honour killing or scapegoat ritual.

Alison Bisset

Dr Alison Bisset is interested in receiving proposals in the areas of transitional justice, international human rights law and international criminal law.

Susan Breau

Professor Susan Breau welcomes research proposals relating to public international law particularly the law of armed conflict, international human rights law, and the law of international organisations.

Therese Callus

Dr Thérèse Callus welcomes research proposals in private family law or biomedical law, from both national and comparative perspectives. She is particularly interested in the regulation and implications of assisted reproductive technologies, and in the role of family members in end-of-life medical decision making.

James Green

Professor James Green is interested in receiving proposals in the area of public international law, particularly those concerning the use of force and the law of armed conflict, as well as the nature and formation of customary international law.


Dr Lawrence Hill-Cawthorne is interested in receiving proposals for doctoral study in any area of public international law, and especially in areas relating to international humanitarian law and issues of general international law, such as the law of treaties, State responsibility, and dispute settlement.

Chris Hilson

Professor Chris Hilson welcomes research proposals relating to environmental law, climate law, law and social movements/legal mobilization, EU law, and public law.

Nick Hopkins

Professor Nick Hopkins welcomes applications in the areas of land law and property and, more broadly, in private law topics relating to unjust enrichment and restitution. He has a particular interest in the law relating to the home, including alternative tenures and low cost housing schemes and legal issues relating to housing wealth.

Grace James

Professor Grace James welcomes research proposals in the area of Labour Law, Equality and Law or European Social Policies.

Stavroula Karapapa

Dr Stavroula Karapapa is interested in receiving research proposals in the areas of Intellectual Property Law, Media Law and Data Protection.

Beatrice Krebs

Dr Beatrice Krebs is particularly interested in research proposals relating to participation-in-crime and complicity, homicide and offences against the person. More generally, she welcomes proposals concerning aspects of English criminal law, comparative criminal law (esp. German and US) as well as international criminal law.

Dimitrios Kyritsis

Dr Dimitrios Kyritsis would welcome proposals in legal philosophy, public law and constitutional theory as well as UK and European human rights law, especially the right to religious freedom.

Stuart Lakin

Dr Stuart Lakin would welcome research proposals on any area of public law (constitutional and administrative law), or legal and constitutional theory.

Deni Mantzari

Dr Deni Mantzari is interested in proposals related to EU Competition Law; International and Comparative Competition law including emerging economies); competition law and regulation in network industries (energy, telecoms, post); EU Energy Law and Regulation; Telecommunications Law and Regulation; judicial review of commercial regulation and topics related to the rise of the Regulatory State in Developing Countries.

Chris Newdick

Professor Chris Newdick would welcome research proposals concerning rights within health systems, especially between doctors, patients, health authorities, and government, and how individual rights interact with community interests in circumstances of scarce resources.


Dr Annika Newnham welcomes research proposals in the area of child law, particularly shared parenting but also public child law (care proceedings etc). She would also supervise in other areas of family law, such as cohabitation or pre-nuptial contracts. She is particularly interested in proposals with a feminist or socio-legal perspective.

Dr Katja Samuel

Dr Katja Samuel welcomes research proposals relating to public international law particularly relating to broadly defined security issues (eg law of armed conflict, terrorism, 'man-made' or 'natural' disasters), international human rights law, and the law of international organisations.

Dr Mai Sato

Dr Mai Sato is happy to supervise prospective PhD candidates on the following topics: Criminology, crime and justice, human rights, and international human rights law. In particular, Mai is interested in: Death penalty, public attitudes to punishment, and international human rights law; Miscarriages of justice and the Criminal Cases Reviews Commission; Normative approaches in regulating crime; and Social survey methods (both quantitative and qualitative).

Charlotte Smith

Dr Charlotte Smith would particularly invite research proposals in the general areas of constitutional law and legal history and, in particular, projects relating to 19th century legal history or the interaction of law and religion.

Norwin Tamanna

Dr Nowrin Tamanna is interested in proposals relating to Feminist engagements with gender equality and religious laws, Shari'a family law reform; Islam and Human Rights and Islamic feminism.

Anne Thies

Dr Anne Thies would particularly invite research proposals in the area of EU external relations law, including proposals on the interrelationship between international and EU law, and international dispute settlement. More generally, she welcomes proposals in the fields of public international and European law.

Alina Tryfonidou

Professor Alina Tryfonidou welcomes proposals from prospective doctoral students with an interest in EU law, especially free movement, EU Citizenship and LGBT rights.

Mark Wilde

Dr Mark Wilde will consider proposals on most aspects of tort but especially the property torts comprising nuisance (both public and private), Rylands v Fletcher and Trespass to Land. He will also consider proposals on many aspects of environmental law, especially liability issues, atmospheric pollution and on the interactions between law and the railway industry, both past and present.

Aleardo Zanghellini

Professor Aleardo Zanghellini welcomes research proposals in the areas of law & sexuality, law & gender, parenting, reproduction, and legal theory - including analytical jurisprudence, critical legal theory, law and cultural studies, and projects in which legal theory intersects with political or moral philosophy.

Ruvi Ziegler

Dr Reuven (Ruvi) Ziegler is interested in receiving proposals in the areas of International Refugee Law, International Humanitarian Law and Human Rights Law.

All PhD students will be affiliated to one of our six main research themes, which provide a framework for collaborations, for the organisation of events, and for the support of critical engagement.

As well as being one of the UK's top 10 research-intensive Law Schools, we were also ranked 25th in the country by the REF 2014 process for our excellent research strength, with 100% of our research activity being adjudged to be of world-leading or international quality. In particular, the REF confirmed that Law at Reading offers an outstanding research environment which has an inclusive culture of producing work of the highest quality across all areas of research activity. Reflecting the breadth of expertise of our staff, the School offers PhD supervision in a wide range of areas, including both doctrinal and socio-legal work. More detail of our six research themes can be found below:

  • Global Law at Reading (GLAR): The home of public international law, EU law and human rights law at Reading
  • Justice, Rights and Legal Theory: How does the law define and balance the interests of different individuals and groups?
  • Family, Gender & Sexuality: Scholars in this research group work on a range of projects around gender and law, sexuality and law, feminist legal studies and family law, across a range of jurisdictions
  • Public Policy: In what ways can the law change and improve the ways that social institutions work?
  • Legal History: How does the past shape the laws that govern us in the present?
  • Property, Transactions & Markets: Our research incorporates all transactions regardless of the identity of the parties or the nature or type of the transaction as well as markets that are subject to regulation

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Contact us

Elizabeth Wyeth
Postgraduate Research Administrator

Tel: +44 (0)118 378 4165

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