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PhD programmes – University of Reading

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  • Engage in cutting-edge research in your chosen area of law

    Dedicated support throughout your PhD and beyond

PhD programmes

We are proud of the School of Law's vibrant research culture and welcome high quality applicants from all over the world.

Cutting-edge research

In a dynamic research environment, our academics are established legal experts who provide strong support and supervision for PhD researchers working in their respective fields. 100% of our academic research is judged to be world leading, internationally excellent, or internationally recognised (REF 2014).

We take a pluralistic approach to legal research, which spans a range of methodologies and research traditions. Across all of these areas, our research challenges preconceptions and established ideas about the law, subjects the content and process of legal decision-making to stringent analysis, and provides value to external users and impacts upon the wider world.



Research Groupings

The School of Law has three dedicated research groupings:

Global Law at Reading (GLAR)

The home of public international law, EU law and human rights law at Reading.

Centre for Commercial Law and Financial Regulation (CCLFR)

Established in partnership with ICMA as the home of research in commercial, competition, company, corporate, financial and intellectual property law and legal issues relating to oil and gas and network industries.

Law, Justice and Society (LJS)

Exploring interactions between law, justice and society through the lens of diverse methodological and conceptual approaches.


All PhD students will be associated with at least one grouping and participate in research seminars and other events organised by them.


Our Research Community

Recent achievements of our doctoral students include:

  • Faye Bird recently published an article titled 'Is This a Time of Beautiful Chaos?' Reflecting on International Feminist Legal Methods' in Feminist Legal Studies. Faye was also recently featured on the Cabinet Office Open Innovation Team's blog.

  • Selam Abebe participated in the recent meeting of the compliance/implementation committee of the Paris Agreement, after being nominated by the African Group.

  • Liam Bagshaw was awarded the Modern Law Review Scholarship in June 2020 to support his PhD study on international law, capitalism and disaster risk.

  • Faye Bird was the Prosperity and Resilience Research Theme winner in the University of Reading's PhD Researcher of the Year competition for 2020. Her thesis is titled 'Sexual Violence Under the Islamic State: Troubling Feminism, the UN Security Council and International Law'.

  • Christopher Evans' article 'Remedying the Limitations of the CTBT? Testing under the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons' has been accepted for publication in the Melbourne Journal of International Law.

  • Liam Bagshaw recently published an article titled 'The COVID-19 Pandemic as a Disaster and the Role of Neoliberalism' on Medium.

  • Teddy Soobramanien has been appointed as team leader (EU Strategies and Negotiations) at the UK Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs. His thesis examines WTO law and security interests in the new geoeconomic order.

  • Several former University of Reading PhD students have been appointed to lectureships in law in 2020:

    Faye Bird (University of Lincoln)
    Michelle Johnson (King's College London)
    Zoi Krokida (De Montfort University)
    Karolina Szopa (University of Winchester)


  • William Page and Mia Wick (two former undergraduates at the University of Reading) were awarded full studentships by the South East Network for Social Sciences (ESRC) to undertake doctoral study at the School of Law, commencing in October 2020.

  • Christopher Evans presented a paper at the Ninth Annual Cambridge International Law Conference 'International Law and Global Risks: Current Challenges in Theory and Practice' at the University of Cambridge in April 2020.

  • Virgilio Lobato Cervantes presented a paper on data retention under the GDPR at Trinity College Dublin's Law Colloquium in February 2020.

  • Hoshman Ismail presented a paper at the University of Liverpool Postgraduate Conference 'Hope in International Law and Human Rights' in June 2019.

  • Dr Rosalynd Roberts, who completed her PhD at the School of Law in 2011, was awarded the University of Reading's Alumni of the Year in 2018 for her role in prosecuting war crimes from the conflict in the former Yugoslavia.

  • Dr Max Brookman-Byrne was awarded the University of Reading's PhD Researcher of the Year in 2017.

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