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PhD Opportunities

The School of Law supports an active community of doctoral researchers, who are engaged in cutting-edge research that seeks to address contemporary challenges, including the promotion and protection of international human rights standards, understanding the intersection of law and politics in the United States, and development of accurate legal decision-making in cases involving complex scientific evidence.

Please visit the webpages below to see how your interests and research ambitions align with ours. 

For general discussions about studying for a PhD contact the School's Director of Doctoral Studies: Dr Friso Jansen (Friso.Jansen@bcu.ac.uk).

Applications

Formal applications should be made using the University's online application process, which can be found here.

Your application should be accompanied by an initial research proposal of 1,500-2,500 words (fully referenced) explaining your ideas about your topic and how it might be studied. If our review determines that your proposal has potential for development and aligns with our expertise, you will be invited to interview. A final decision about your application will be made post-interview.

Research Proposal Guidance

In developing your research proposal in the full application, consider the following guidelines:

Title of the Proposal

Provide a provision title for your project.

Context of the Research

Explain why this research is needed. Outline previous developments in your chosen area of law and how you are proposing to make a novel contribution.

Research Question(s)

Indicate your overarching research question and any sub-questions where relevant.

Methodology

Explain what methods you will use to conduct your research and why? Those methods are appropriate. For example, indicate whether you are pursuing doctrinal, comparative, empirical, or socio-legal approaches to law and why these methods are the most appropriate to answer your research question(s).

Potential application and impact of your research

Indicate the potential academic and societal impact of your proposed project. For example, consider what groups/stakeholders might benefit from your research.

References

What are the key legal texts, academic sources and other material that you are engaging with now, and plan to engage with during your research.

Deadlines

PhD students generally enrol in September or January/February. To allow due consideration of applications, they must generally be received by end of May for September start, or by end of October for January start.

PhD funding

Various funding streams are available to support doctoral research:

Midlands4Cities Doctoral Training Partnership (M4C)


The AHRC-funded M4C DTP brings together eight leading universities across the Midlands to support the professional and personal development of the next generation of arts and humanities doctoral researchers. The School of Law has welcomed several M4C-funded doctoral researchers.

BCU Funding Scholarships

Generally, several funded scholarships are available each year to support doctoral research in the School of Law’s strategic priority areas. Click here to find out what opportunities are available.

Self-Funding/ Postgraduate Doctoral Loan

Students can also self-fund their doctoral research. To find out more about the Postgraduate Doctoral Loan visit: https://www.gov.uk/doctoral-loan

Current PhD candidates

Find out more about our doctoral researchers and their projects by taking a look at their research profiles.