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Law Research MPhil/PhD



  • King's is ranked first in the UK for research excellence in law. The Dickson Poon School of Law has the highest GPA across UK law schools, with the highest quality submission and the highest proportion of world-leading 4* research (Times Higher Education REF ranking 2014).

  • Current number of academic staff: 55 full time members of academic staff.

  • Current number of Graduate research students: 90.

  • Scholarships: The Dickson Poon School of Law is pleased to offer up to five exceptionally generous Law PhD scholarships, each covering the cost of fees (home/EU or overseas) and a stipend of £20,000 per annum. These extraordinarily generous scholarships are offered as part of the Dickson Poon Postgraduate Law Research Student Scholarship programme for entry during 2014-15.

  • Recent publications:

    • EU Counter-Terrorism Law: Pre-Emption and the Rule of Law.

    • A Secular Europe - Law and Religion in the European Constitutional Landscape.

    • Gurry on Confidence: The Protection of Confidentional Information.

    • Dangerous Sex, Invisible Labour: Sex Work & The Law in India

  • Current research degree projects:

    • A Comparative Study of Defamation Law & Conflict Rules on Defamation (AHRC funded)

    • The Governance & Legal Accountability of European Security (King's Continuation Scholarship funded).

    • The Dialectic of International Investment Jurisprudence (Graduate School funded).

    • The Interplay Between Public & Private Competition Law Enforcement (Centre of European Law Scholarship funded).

    • The Policing of Protest (ESRC funded).

  • International recognition: The diversity and excellence of the School's research is recognised internationally both within and outside the academic world and staff have been involved with a wide range of international and national projects - funded by the European Commission, Economic & Society Research Council, British Academy and Wellcome Trust.

Key information

Duration MPhil: two years full-time; PhD: three years full-time. Students are expected to enrol in September/October when the College offers a full induction programme but January enrolment may be permitted for this programme in exceptional circumstances.

Study mode Full-time

Awarding institution King's College London


Entry requirements

Visit our admissions webpages to view our English language entry requirements.

Minimum requirements:

  • A Master's degree with high Merit (or overseas equivalent) in Law or a related discipline, with strong evidence of research and writing ability. This will normally involve achieving a strong Merit in a dissertation component of the Master’s degree. 
  • We usually also require a Bachelor's degree with 2:1 honours (or overseas equivalent). 

Candidates who do not meet these criteria will only be admitted if the prospective supervisor makes a case for admission based on the candidate's broader work experience.

Application procedure

An online College application form must be completed and submitted, including a personal statement, degree transcript(s), two academic references, English language qualifications (if your first language is not English) and a research proposal.

The research proposal must include:

1. the theoretical background to the proposed research and its relationship to previous work in the relevant field(s);

2. the significance (scientific, intellectual, practical, etc) of the proposed research;

3. the transnational outlook of the proposed research;

4. the likely methodological approach and why it is appropriate to the aims of the project;

5. how their proposed research complements their previous experience and anticipates possible future research work;

6. why they feel their project fits with their proposed supervisors’ research and the strengths of the Dickson Poon School of Law.

Research proposals must NOT exceed 2 sides of A4 (Times New Roman Font size 11) in total. Longer proposals or those that contain extraneous material will not be considered.

Your application will be assessed by the research director and a member of staff. UK/EU applicants may be invited for an interview and overseas applicants will be interviewed by telephone. A final decision will be made after receipt of your full application including supporting documents and interview. Admission to our research programmes will initially be for the MPhil and after nine months of full-time study, students normally go through a formal procedure for upgrade to the PhD. Students are expected to enrol in September/October when the College offers a full induction programme but January enrolment may be permitted for this programme in exceptional circumstances.

Personal statement and supporting information

Your personal statement is an opportunity to express your motivation and focus for wanting to do your research degree at King's. Your research proposal is separate to and should not feature in the personal statement section of the online application form. However, it should still be submitted as part of the online application, but as a separate document.

Course intake

Dependent on supervisory capacity. Fees are £6,300 (2015) for home/EU students and £16,600 (2015) for overseas students. Part-time students' fees are half of these.

Application closing date

For September 2016 entry the closing date is 29th July 2016 for overseas applicants and 2nd September 2016 for Home/EU applicants

Please note decisions are considered on a rolling basis and programmes close once all places are filled which maybe before the stated deadline dates above.  Therefore we encourage you to submit your application as soon as possible. Please note that funding deadlines may be earlier.  


Course detail


While graduate research opportunities are organised through The Dickson Poon School of Law, you may well find that your work is related to research undertaken at one of the research centres associated with the School. These centres enjoy strong international and national reputations and contribute to legal and wider public debates on important issues of today. The Dickson Poon School of Law is home to Centre of European Law, Centre of Medical Law and Ethics, Centre for Technology, Ethics, Law and Society and Centre of Construction Law & Dispute Resolution. Do take a look a the list of staff research interests as this will give you an indication of the areas of research which can be studied at the School.

Course study environment

Graduate students are allocated a supervisory team which includes a primary and secondary supervisor. Facilities include a suite of new offices at Somerset House East Wing, dedicated for the use of the School of Law's doctoral students, which includes access to a hot desking room with computers, printing facilities and lockers with 24-hour access. Graduate students are invited to attend and participate in staff seminars. The Graduate Legal Research Society represents the students and organises educational and social events. Graduate students have access to the Maughan Library where they have a dedicated work space. Students also have access to the Institute of Advanced Legal Studies Library, Senate House Library, and the British Library of Political and Economic Science at the London School of Economics. Our facilities are aimed at supporting research at the highest level.

Postgraduate training

We provide research students with the skills and training they will need for their future careers. Supervisors are able to advise you on various lectures, seminars and training that will benefit you. The School offers a series of research methodology seminars. Students are also encouraged to give work-in-progress presentations to staff and other students in order to develop their presentation skills and to obtain ongoing feedback on their work. The Graduate School offers a vast range of in-house courses that are available to all research students. Students interested in pursuing an academic career may attend the King's Learning Institute to develop their skills and knowledge base in the areas of learning and teaching.

Head of group/division

Dr Cian Murphy

Contact for information

Admissions Office:  tel: +44 (0) 20 7848 7206


Contact email

Course website

Further literature

The Dickson Poon School of Law - graduate brochure

Further literature link(s)

Career prospects

Career destinations

Graduates commonly take up academic careers. Others return to legal practice with a greater ability to specialise or they may enter management and the public sector.


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Fees and funding

The Dickson Poon School of Law is pleased to offer up to five exceptionally generous Law PhD scholarships, each covering the cost of fees (home/EU or overseas) and a stipend of £20,000 per annum. These extraordinarily generous scholarships are offered as part of the Dickson Poon Postgraduate Law Research Student Scholarship programme for entry during 2014-15. Also, a limited number of Arts & Humanities Research Council (AHRC) studentships may be available to British/EU nationals. Overseas: sources are Association for Commonwealth Universities; British Council. The Graduate School offers a wide range of funding opportunities to UK, EU and international students. You are advised to check our website continuously.

Full time tuition fees - Home/EU
£6,552 (2016)

Full time tuition fees - Overseas 
£17,000 (2016)

Please visit our web pages on fees and funding for more information.




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