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As a research student at the Reading School of Law, you will join a dynamic and thriving community of postgraduate researchers and you will play an integral part in the life of the School.

You will have excellent facilities and support, including research training programmes, informal lunches, faculty seminars, financial support for conferences and career development strategies.

Global community

The School has a strong, vibrant and cosmopolitan community that extends throughout, and every year we welcome students from the UK and across the globe.

Some students combine professional work with their research projects, and many engage with international institutions and organisations through their research.

We boast an impressive group of military officer students, who are visiting scholars at the Stockton Center for International Law at the US Naval War College, and at the US Military Academy at West Point.

Other students are involved in commercial organisations and institutions such as the World Trade Organisation, the International Chamber of Commerce, and global arbitration centres. And some students are accredited by the International Association of Privacy Professionals (IAPP).

We encourage and support our doctoral candidates in presenting their research at both national and international conferences, and many of our students publish in internationally recognised and peer-reviewed journals.

Being a PhD student at the Reading Law School means you will be nurtured for who you are and challenged to become the best you can be!

Liz-Marie Welman

PhD student and GTA

Excellence in research

Our research is organised around themes like Global Law, Law, Justice and Society, and Commercial Law and Financial Regulation.

100% of the School of Law's research was judged to be world-leading, internationally excellent or internationally recognised in the latest Research Excellence Framework (REF) 2014, 

We were ranked 10th in the UK for our research intensity in the Times Higher Education Subject Ranking on Intensity, 2014, based on its analysis of REF 2014 – Law.


Research groups

We have world-leading researchers working on a diverse range of legal issues across all areas of law. We have particular strengths in international law (including research focus on war, human rights and disasters), legal history, law’s impact on commerce and finance, legal philosophy and legal issues related to family, gender and sexuality.

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.

Our research is organised into three groups, and as a PhD student you will be associated with at least one group and participate in their research seminars and other events.

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 United Kingdom.

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

Centre for Commercial 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.

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.

The School of Law has provided unwavering support throughout my years of study, including arranging for external supervision and providing a research fund which has allowed me to attend some conferences in Europe. As well as ensuring a comfortable study environment, I have also gained teaching experience in a core law module and have supervised master’s students. I have also had the opportunity to present at the Regional Doctoral Conference, within which the University of Reading plays a key role, and have presented yearly to the School of Law

Rosalynd Roberts, PhD student

Graduate School

All doctoral research students automatically become members of the University-wide Graduate School, which provides training, professional development, study space and support for the postgraduate research community.

The Graduate School also offers 24-hour access to study space and a range of up-to-date facilities for the exclusive use of postgraduate research students.

Facilities

Benefit from outstanding resources and support. At the School of Law, you will enjoy exclusive use of excellent facilities, including the University's extensive main library, and study space within Foxhill House, in a dedicated postgraduate study room with computing facilities.

Find your PhD supervisor

Our School comprises renowned experts from across the main fields of domestic, European and international law.

Meet our PhD students

We are proud of our vibrant research culture and welcome high-quality applicants from all over the world.

Life on campus

Our main campus is set on 130 hectares of beautiful parkland, so you'll find plenty of places to relax. Our campus is home to a thriving community and features the Students' Union, Library and places to eat.