School of Law Research Degrees
The Master of Philosophy in Law (MPhil) is a research degree which normally takes between one to two years full-time or two to four years part-time. The assessment comprises a written thesis and an oral examination (viva). All students are assigned a supervisory team with expertise in the subject area and prior experience of supervising research students.
The Doctor of Philosophy in Law (PhD) is awarded after three to four years of full-time research or four to six years part-time. Students are initially registered on the Doctoral Training Programme, then after approximately one year of full-time study or two years of part-time study they submit a written summary of their findings to date and have a formal interview with a subject expert. Once conferred on the doctoral programme, students continue their research with the aim of generating novel outcomes which build on the body of existing legal knowledge; the academic merit of these findings is assessed by an 80,000 word written thesis and an oral examination (viva).
The School of Law has a thriving cohort of postgraduate students undertaking legal research on our full-time and part-time PhD programme. The research student community is diverse and represents a variety of different cultures and career histories. Some of our researchers come to us straight from completing their legal education, while others have already spent time working in the legal profession, academia or, for example, in management or medicine. This multiplicity of backgrounds, experience and variety of intellectual talent contributes to the dynamism of the doctoral student group constituting the School of Law, within the wider Faculty of Business and Law at De Montfort University.
All supervisors are qualified members of staff with their own major research projects and publications. We represent a renowned international community of established legal scholars, and have academic strength across a range of legal disciplines; including criminal law, criminology, penology and sentencing, international law of human rights, asylum and immigration law, public international law, CSR and corporate governance, family law, legal history, legal theory and jurisprudence, medical law and ethics, environmental and planning law, intellectual property, IT law and cyberspace. This is not an exhaustive list and, if your proposed topic is interdisciplinary, there is also the possibility of co-supervision with an academic from another part of the University. You are able to see the range of expertise available within the School of Law by looking at the research profiles of our staff members on the website.
The Faculty Doctoral Training Programme provides an opportunity for students to further develop their analytical and general research skills. You will receive training on research methods, use of qualitative and quantitative databases, referencing, time management and other important areas related to the PhD process; many of these courses are compulsory for doctoral students. More general information on applying for PhD study at DMU is available from the Graduate School Office. We would encourage you to contact any member of the School of Law in your proposed field of research to discuss your proposal prior to submitting an application; or email Dr Julia J.A. Shaw, School of Law Head of Research Students at firstname.lastname@example.org|.