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PhD (School of Law)

Duration: 3-4 years
Attendance mode: Full-time
Award: Doctorate
Suitable for international students
Start date: September, February
Faculty of Management & Law
Apply Prospectus downloads


Our Law PhD programme enables you to conduct legal research under the supervision of our international, experienced, and highly committed faculty.

You can study on either a full-time or part-time basis.

You will be supervised by two academic members of staff, and take part in a research training programme which provides you with the knowledge and skills to design and carry out a rigorous PhD research project.

You also have opportunities to present your work in the School of Law’s research seminars and the Faculty’s annual postgraduate research student conference. This will enable you to discuss your research with fellow PhD students and staff in the School and the wider Faculty.

We encourage and support you to prepare and submit papers to academic conferences and journals. This provides you with an opportunity to gain feedback from experts in your research field and helps you in developing your academic writing skills.

Upon completion of your PhD, you will have acquired the skills of an independent researcher and have opportunities to pursue an exciting career opportunities in academia, international institutions, industry, government, legal profession (if you already possess relevant professional qualifications) and consultancy.

The School of Law is interested to receive PhD proposals relating to all core law subjects, and those relating to the specialist areas of its staff (including banking and finance, company law, employment law, environmental law, the law of evidence, intellectual property law, the law of the internet and legal pedagogies and practice). The Law School has a strong commitment to the promotion of social justice, and PhD proposals emphasising such themes are particularly encouraged.


I chose University of Bradford for its cultural diversity. I was lucky to find a hardworking supervisory team, and that is why I recommended the Law School to one of my friends who joined the University for his study towards PhD.

The facilities for my subject are second to none. Workshops and seminars are available to attend throughout the year. Support staff are helpful and librarians are highly skilled. One-to-one support is available for English language skills. The PhD student office space in the Waterhead building on Emm Lane campus is available 24/7 throughout the year and the PGR Lounge on the city campus provides space to socialise with research students from other fields.

I have learned new dimensions of life by being a research student at Bradford, and I feel lucky to be here. I am grateful to the School of Law for providing me this opportunity to research the regulation of cyberspace.

Muhammad Usman
Law PhD student

Why Bradford?

Pioneering research has always been at the heart of all of Bradford's teaching and learning.

We have earned an enviable reputation for both academic and practice-oriented work that is valued by policy-makers, businesses and industry worldwide.

Research is a central part of the University of Bradford School of Law's activity.

Throughout the academic year we host a series of research seminars open to all staff and students, and allow members of the School of Law to present details of their current research.

Our staff are engaged in legal and socio-legal research across a broad range of subject areas. The seminars are an excellent opportunity to learn about this work, offering you an insight into the latest research at the forefront of law which could assist with your own work.

Our academics have a wealth of knowledge in the following areas:

  • European Law
  • Employment Law
  • Human Rights
  • Public International Law
  • Sport and the Law
  • Criminal Law
  • Law and Literature
  • Intellectual Property
  • Competition Law
  • Sustainable Development Law
  • Medical Law

Entry requirements

All candidates must meet one of the following conditions:

  1. A good honours UK Bachelor’s degree (a first or upper second class honours) or equivalent qualifications
  2. A Master’s degree in Law or related subjects with average marks of 60% or equivalent
  3. A professional qualification of degree standard obtained by examination

English language requirements:

All candidates whose first language is not English must meet one of our English Language requirements specified below:

  1. IELTS: a minimum score of 6.5 with no sub-test less than 6.5.
  2. TOEFL Internet based test: an overall test result of 94 (minimum scores apply for each subtest)

Please note the English test score only has a fixed two-year validity period. If you don’t have a current English test score, please indicate the date that you will be taking the English test in your application.

If you do not meet the IELTS requirement, you can take a University of Bradford pre-sessional English course. See the Language Centre for more details.


The modules for this course can be found in the latest programme specification.

Reading lists

All reading lists can be found here.

Learning activities and assessment

Training Modules consist of:

  • lectures
  • discussion
  • group exercises
  • class projects
  • other online (WRDTP) and face-to-face delivery modes

Assessment strategies include individual papers, individual projects and reflective essays.

The development of the doctoral thesis will be guided by two supervisors and the assessment includes Viva Voce.

Career support and prospects

During your time studying at the Faculty of Management and Law you will have the opportunity to take part in our distinctive career booster programme throughout the duration of your course. The programme is designed to equip you with the necessary skills and graduate attributes to be job-ready when seeking employment with leading innovative organisations. The Career Booster Programme offers you the opportunity to gain certificates in:

  • The European Computer Driving License (EDCL) - the benchmark for digital literacy
  • Sage 50 Accounting and Sage 50 Payroll - training that will allow you to develop leading accounting and payroll software skills
  • Project Manager Professional certificates - giving you the edge when seeking to become a Certified Project Manager
  • Big Data analysis and reporting skills - using Software and Services (SAS) that will lead to certification.

In addition, the programme will also include activities to promote teamwork, confidence, communication and many other skills sought by employers.

Developing a portfolio of Continuing Professional Development (CPD) Certificates will demonstrate to employers that you are not only ambitious but also take responsibility for your own professional development.

Career support

The School of Law supports students on the PhD programme in a variety of ways. Those on campus can attend workshops, but for the most part support to PhD students is via one-to-one guidance.

PhD students are often seeking a post in academia, and our careers and academic staff are able to provide guidance on this.

Study Support

Support for you personally and in your programme of study is provided both by the University and the PhD programme team.

We are a small, dedicated and friendly law school, allowing our academic and support staff to get to know students personally and offer individual support and teaching.

We make sure that your time with us is as rewarding as possible and we will do everything we can to help you reach your potential.

You will be allocated a personal tutor who is someone with whom you will be able to talk about any academic or personal concerns.

Colleagues responsible for the administration of the PhD are available to help you with day-to-day queries about the programme.

The programme team is committed to continuous improvement of the PhD programme.

Student feedback plays a critical part in the monitoring, review and improvement of the programme.


Research-active staff undertake world leading research addressing management and organisational issues.

In the 2014 Research Assessment Framework, 65% of our research was judged internationally recognised or world-leading in terms of originality, significance and rigour. Almost 90% of our research demonstrated considerable impact on business practice and policy.


Our research students are based at the Emm Lane campus which has everything you need for high-level study and research, including:

  • dedicated office space
  • integrated Law and Management library
  • IT resources
  • social spaces, including a postgraduate common room

The Law Library has dedicated support from our Law Librarian, who will be able to provide you with an answer to any question imaginable related to the use of legal databases, OSCOLA referencing or finding a book in the library.

As well as offering access to key textbooks and other materials in hard copy, the Law Library also subscribes to three of the key legal databases:

  • Westlaw
  • Lexis Library
  • Hein Online

You will therefore have 24-hour electronic access, on and off campus, to the majority of material you require to successfully complete your programme.

The Library includes self-issue and self-return facilities, photocopiers and printers, areas for silent study and social learning, and wireless access throughout the building. There is an Information Desk, a special computer laptop bar, and areas for social learning in the upper Atrium on Level 1. The building incorporates full disability access.

Fees, Finance and Scholarships

Tuition fees

2017/18 UK/EU

  • Full-time: £4,195
  • Part-time: £2,800

2017/18 International fee

  • Full-time: £14,900
  • Part-time: £7,450

* Fees are per year and increase with inflation.

Tuition fees are subject to review for students starting their course in subsequent years. See our Fees and Financial Support website for more details.

Financial support

WRDTP ESRC Studentships

Funding available from the Economic and Social Research Council as part of the White Rose Doctoral Training Partnership. Find out more on the Scholarships website.


Alumni Discount

All alumni of the University of Bradford, regardless of when they have graduated will receive a discount on their tuition fees if they achieved a 2:2 or above in their undergraduate degree. Find out more

Postgraduate Bursary

Students applying to study a full-time Master's or research postgraduate programme, who have recently graduated from an undergraduate programme in England, and have received support towards their fees from the Local Authority or the Student Loans Company in their final year of undergraduate study at their previous university may be eligible for a Postgraduate Bursary of £500. Please visit the Fees and Financial Support website for full details.

Country specific scholarships

World Bank low-income or low to middle income economy countries - £2,000 scholarship

How do I find out more?

Steps to Postgraduate Study

Find out more about studying at a postgraduate level on the official, independent website Steps to Postgraduate Study (link opens in new window).

How to apply

Applications are considered on a rolling basis. We encourage you to get in touch with us early, so we can guide you through the application process.

The School of Law is interested to receive PhD proposals relating to all core law subjects, and those relating to the specialist areas of its staff (including banking and finance, company law, employment law, environmental law, the law of evidence, intellectual property law, the law of the internet and legal pedagogies and practice). The Law School has a strong commitment to the promotion of social justice, and PhD proposals emphasising such themes are particularly encouraged.

The easiest way to apply is online.

This will help us process your application more quickly and allow you to submit your supporting documents electronically.

If you are unable to apply online, please email to request a paper application form.

This is the current course information. Modules and course details may change, subject to the University's programme approval, monitoring and review procedures. The University reserves the right to alter or withdraw courses, services and facilities as described on our website without notice and to amend Ordinances, Regulations, fees and charges at any time. Students should enquire as to the up-to-date position when applying for their course of study.