KBS_Icon_questionmark link-ico

Law Research MPhil/PhD

Apply now


The School’s vision for its research culture is to create a focal point for interdisciplinary, transnational legal research that encourages cross-fertilisation of ideas within existing areas of strength while incorporating a new global perspective. The School is one of a handful of Law Schools around the world pioneering a transnational approach. Our aim is to foster innovative research that yields new insights for global challenges relating to personal responsibility, health, wealth, justice, communication and governance.

The Dickson Poon School of Law is home to over 90 doctoral researchers. Their projects cover a broad range of topics from intellectual property to information technology, from competition law to counter-rules, from global justice to gender equality. We offer two research degrees – the Masters of Philosophy in Law (MPhil) and the Doctor of Philosophy in Law (PhD).

For more information on recent publications and current research degree projects, visit the Research Portal.

Key information

Duration Open

Study mode Full-time, Part-time

Further details

Awarding institution King's College London

Faculty The Dickson Poon School of Law



Explore campuses

Welcome to King's

In the heart of London

Discover the advantages of studying at one of the top 25 universities in the world and take a look at our central London campuses.

Watch more videos

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; Transnational Law Institute; Centre for Politics, Philosophy & Law; Centre of Medical Law and Ethics; Centre for Technology, Ethics, Law and Society; Centre for Climate law and Governance and Centre of Construction Law

Candidates should identify and approach their potential first supervisor before applying. Applications from candidates without a named, agreed supervisor from The Dickson Poon School of Law will not be considered. Please refer to the directory to identify academic or research area

The majority of our research students are full-time; however, we are able to offer study on a part-time basis in exceptional circumstances. To apply for part-time study, please choose the full-time route via the application portal and be prepared to make a case at your interview. 


Course study environment

The Dickson Poon School of Law provides the training to help our researchers achieve excellence, world class facilities in which to do so and the opportunity to contribute to teaching at King’s

Our researchers are an integral part of the King’s community and fully participate in the life of the School. They join our academic staff in the premises in Somerset House East Wing. In addition to a dedicated suite of offices, our doctoral researchers have access to the Maughan Library, British Library of Economics and Political Science and the Institute of Advanced Legal Studies. Our dedicated Information Specialist for Law helps to ensure that each of our researchers has access to the materials they need to complete their projects.

The Dickson Poon School of Law has over fifty academic staff members as well as visiting professors and lecturers with practical experience. Each of our doctoral researchers is assigned two supervisors – a primary supervisor who oversees the research project and a second supervisor who provides complementary expertise.

Research students are invited to attend and participate in staff seminars. The Graduate Legal Research Society represents the students and organises educational and social events. Research 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 presented by our academic staff who draw on their own research experiences to help our researchers develop their projects. 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 Centre for Doctoral Studies 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 Academy to develop their skills and knowledge base in the areas of learning and teaching.

Doctoral researchers are the School’s first port of call to assist our staff in teaching on the undergraduate and taught postgraduate programmes. Every researcher is encouraged to complete the Graduate Certificate in Academic Practice which is provided by the King’s Academy. Our researchers put what they learn into practice by serving as Visiting Tutors on our LLB, LLM and MA degrees. New teachers are mentored by existing staff members and teaching is audited to ensure that skills are passed on. Our teaching is research-led which helps our researchers learn to teach.

Joint PhDs - Benefits of collaboration

Joint PhDs - Subjects/specialisms available for joint study

Head of group/division

Our programmes are overseen by the Director and Deputy Director of Doctoral Studies, Prof Eva Pils and Dr Aruna Nair, supported by the Vice Dean for Research, Prof Tanya Aplin.

Contact for information


Further literature


Further literature link(s)

Entry requirements

Entry requirements

Law Research Entry Requirements
Minimum UK requirements  
  • A Master's degree with Merit in Law or a related discipline, with strong evidence of research and writing ability. This will normally involve achieving a Merit in a dissertation component of the Master’s degree. We usually also require a Bachelor's degree with 2:1 honours.

  • 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.

International requirements   Visit our admissions webpages to view our International entry requirements.
English Language requirements Band B Visit our admissions webpages to view our English language entry requirements.

Candidates should identify and approach their potential first supervisor before applying through the King's Apply portal. Applications from candidates without a named, agreed supervisor from The Dickson Poon School of Law will not be considered. An A-Z of academics is here.

Application procedure


Your application will be submitted to the University's Admissions Office, whom will decide (together with the Law School) if your application will proceed to the interview stage. Interviews will be held with the proposed (first) supervisor and an independent chair. UK/EU-based applicants may be invited for an face to face interview and overseas applicants will generally be interviewed online.

Following the interview and further internal review processes, a final decision will be made by the University. A decision to admit can only be made on receipt of your full application including supporting documents and interview. Incomplete applications will be rejected.

Admission to our research programmes will initially be for the MPhil and after nine to twelve months of full-time study, students normally go through a formal procedure for upgrade to the PhD. Students are expected to enrol in September when the College offers a full induction programme.

Personal statement and supporting information

You will be asked to submit the following documents for your application to be considered:

Law Research checklist
Personal Statement Yes A personal statement of up to 4,000 characters (maximum 2 pages) is required. 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.
Legal Research Essay Yes A PDF copy of your LLM dissertation or equivalent research essay (on a legal topic of up to 10,000 words). 
Research Proposal Yes

The proposal should explain in some detail the field of study that you want to contribute to, what you want to do and how you propose to do it. For advice on how to write a winning application, please visit this page.

The research proposal must include:

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

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

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

4. how your proposed research complements previous experience and anticipates possible future research work;

6. why your feel your project fits with your 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.

Previous Academic Study Yes A copy (or copies) of your official academic transcript(s), showing the subjects studied and marks obtained. If you have already completed your degree, copies of your official degree certificate will also be required. Applicants with academic documents issued in a language other than English, will need to submit both the original and official translation of their documents.
References Yes Two references including at least one academic reference will be required. Professional references will be accepted if you have completed your qualifications over five years ago.
Other Optional You may also wish to include a CV (Resume) or evidence of professional registration as part of your application


Course intake

Dependent on supervisory capacity.

Joint PhDs - Application advice

Application closing date

We recommend that you submit your application as soon as possible as we may need to request further information from you to assess your application.

There will be two application rounds for the single starting point of October 2022. The deadlines for both application rounds are detailed below; on these dates, the programme will close at 23:59 (UK time).

Round 1

·         October 2022 entry – Application deadline for all applicants: 1 December 2021

·         Confirmation of interview time: 14 January 2022

·         Formal interviews: 24 January to 4 February 2022

·         Decisions and offers made: 1 April 2022*

Round 2

·         October 2022 entry – Application deadline for all applicants: 1 April 2022

·         Confirmation of interview time: 9 May 2022

·         Formal interviews: 16 to 30 May 2022

·         Decisions and offers made: 25 July 2022*

*Interview dates may be subject to change to accommodate supervisor availability.

Please note that funding deadlines may be earlier and any funding available from the Law School will only be allocated to students considered in the first round.

Help and support

If you don't have a suitable qualification for direct entry to a UK university, or if English isn't your first language, our academic preparation courses can help you get ready for study in the UK.

International Foundation

Fees and funding

UK Tuition Fees 2022/23

Full time tuition fees: £7,860 per year

Part time tuition fees: £3,930 per year

International Tuition Fees 2022/23

Full time tuition fees:  £20,670 per year

Part time tuition fees: £10,335 per year

 These tuition fees may be subject to additional increases in subsequent years of study, in line with King’s terms and conditions.

Financial help and support

Visit the fees and funding webpages to find out more about bursaries, scholarships, grants, tuition fees, living expenses, student loans and other financial help available at King'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.


King's College London logo

Next steps

View our postgraduate guide

Learn more about postgraduate degree programmes at King's.

View guide

Sound like the course for you?

Apply now

Explore King’s

Accommodation Take a look at our comfortable, safe residences to suit your budget, located close to King's teaching campuses. 
Student life Art, food, music, shopping – you'll never find yourself with nothing to do in the world's most vibrant city.
Extra-curricular Discover the huge variety of extra-curricular opportunities at King’s, from MOOCs to language courses.
London living With four campuses by the River Thames and one in south London, King's is right in the heart of the capital.