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Our areas of expertise

The School of Law at the University of Reading is ranked 10th in the UK for research intensity*.

Our research reflects the breadth of our academic expertise, spanning both doctrinal and socio-legal work. Themes include Theory; Family, Gender and Sexuality; Public Policy; Legal History; Property, Transactions and Markets; Commercial Law and Financial Regulation.

* Times Higher Education Subject Ranking on Intensity, 2014, based on its analysis of REF 2014 – Law.

The School of Law is rightly proud of its vibrant research culture, which embraces a multitude of approaches to, and areas of, legal scholarship, and which, while sustaining and encouraging established colleagues and projects, nourishes and nurtures new research and the research stars of the future. Not content to rest secure in the ivory tower of the academy, we seek to connect with a range of public, private and third sector organisations in the conduct and dissemination of our research, so that, no matter whether the research concerned relates to legal doctrine, public policy, or theory, we can reach and engage with a wider audience.

Dr Charlotte Smith

Acting Research Division Leader

Research that makes an impact

In the most recent Research Excellence Framework, 2014, 100% of our research was judged to be world-leading, internationally excellent or internationally recognised.

Recent projects include work on topics such as human rights and the Rule of Law in military operations, the articulation of rationing decisions in public healthcare, and accessorial liability under English criminal law.

Read about the impact our research is having

Putting our research in the spotlight

Our research spotlight articles highlight some of the influential research our academics are undertaking.

Recent examples include Professor Rosa Freedman's work on 'Safeguarding Children in Peacekeeping Project' and Professor Mike Schmitt's very current research into how the COVID-19 pandemic is being exploited in cyberspace.

See what research is currently in the spotlight


Research groups

We have world-leading researchers working on a diverse range of legal issues across all areas of law. Our research is organised into three groups:

Global Law at Reading

Global Law at Reading (GLAR) is one of the largest groups of expert staff researching and teaching global law at any university within the UK.

As Reading's research hub for public international law, EU law and human rights law, it has a proud international reputation for research excellence in these areas.

Find out more about Global Law at Reading

Centre for Commercial Law and Financial Regulation 

The Centre for Commercial Law and Financial Regulation was founded by the School of Law and the International Capital Markets Association (ICMA) Centre in 2011.

The Centre was established 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.

Find out more about the Centre for Commercial Law and Financial Regulation

Law, Justice and Society

The Law, Justice and Society research group showcases the full breadth of legal research found at the University of Reading.

Academics explore the interactions between law, justice and society through the lens of diverse methodological and conceptual approaches, including doctrinal, socio-legal, empirical, historical, literary and theoretical approaches to the study of law.

Find out more about the law, Justice and Society research group


News, events and publications

Research news

Our academics undertake a wide variety of research, much of which has produced a tangible impact beyond the School.

Keep informed of our latest research activities, publications and conference papers

Research events

We host a diverse series of research events throughout the year, including symposia, conferences and seminars,

Events are often funded in whole or part by external funders and organised on the initiative of the members of the different research themes.

Find out more about our upcoming events

Read our stories

Our staff and students come from all over the world and have incredible stories to tell. Read about their experiences of working and studying with us.

Meet our experts

Our academics are leading subject experts who contribute regularly to global and UK policy development and law reforms through their work with governments and regulatory agencies.

Study a PhD

Our staff and students are involved in research that fundamentally changes what we know about law and the legal system.