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Law Research MPhil/PhD

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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).

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.

Current number of academic staff: 95 full time members of academic staff.

Current number of Graduate research students: 100.

Scholarships: The Dickson Poon School of Law is pleased to offer scholarship opportunities for postgraduate research students, to cover tuition fees and living costs. Full details and application deadlines can be found here.

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

Key information

Duration Closed

Study mode Full-time

Further details

Awarding institution King's College London

Faculty The Dickson Poon School of Law



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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. 

Current research 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).

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. An A-Z of academics is here

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

Course study environment

Research students are supported by a supervisory team which includes a primary and secondary supervisor. Facilities include an office at Somerset House East Wing, dedicated for the use of the School of Law's doctoral students, which includes access to a hot desking computers, printing facilities and lockers with 24-hour access. 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. 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 Learning Institute to develop their skills and knowledge base in the areas of learning and teaching.

Head of group/division

Dr Aruna Nair

Contact for information

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

Further literature

To contact us about this course please click here or to find out more about our law research degrees click here.

Entry requirements

Entry requirements

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

Minimum requirements:

  • A Master's degree with Merit (or overseas equivalent) 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 (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.

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

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 admissions tutor. All applicants will need to interview with their supervisor and a independent chair, UK/EU applicants may be invited for an face to face interview and overseas applicants will be interviewed by Skype. 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.

Application closing date

The deadline for 2018 applications are detailed below. Please note that funding deadlines may be earlier.

October 2018 entry – Application deadline: 5th January 2018 for Home/EU and Overseas students.

  • Confirmation of interview time: 1st February 2018
  • Formal interviews: 12th February 2018 to 16th February 2018*
  • Decisions and offers made: 28th February 2018*

*As alternative interview dates may be offered to accommodate supervisor availability, these dates may be subject to change. 

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.

Preparation courses

Fees and funding

UK/EU Tuition Fees 2018/19

Fees for UK/EU research students are linked to rates set by the Research Councils UK.

Full time tuition fees: £7,100 per year
Part time tuition fees: £3,550 per year

Current regulations allow some students to pay UK tuition fees on the basis of their EU citizenship or residency. Until these eligibility criteria are changed, the EU tuition fee will remain the same as the UK tuition fee.

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


International Tuition Fees 2018/19

Full time tuition fees: £18,740 per year

Part time tuition fees: £9,370 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.


Next steps

View our postgraduate guide

Learn more about postgraduate degree programmes at King's. Download or view our guide in PDF format.

Download guide

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Page last modified on 21 February 2018.