A Doctorate in Law, also known as a PhD in Law or a Legum Doctor (abbreviated LD or LLD) is an advanced post-graduate degree that involves research and taking an academic approach to Law study. Candidates for a PhD in Law are responsible for taking on in-depth research into a concentration within the field of law. A PhD in Law is not to be confused with a Juris Doctor (JD), which is a professional degree aimed at preparing students to practice as a lawyer, barrister, attorney or solicitor. A PhD in Law takes longer to complete than a Juris Doctor and is research-based as opposed to practice-oriented. What are the benefits of taking a PhD in Law?
One of the benefits of pursuing a doctorate in Law Studies is that deep, long-term research trains candidates to develop their critical and systematic analytical aptitude into a highly valuable professional trait. Working toward a PhD in Law is a process that develops the candidate in other ways besides their specific understanding and knowledge of the subject they are researching. Prospective employers and fellow members of the legal profession respond positively to Doctorate in law students' deep commitment to their discipline.
Which career with a PhD in Law?
The completion of a PhD in Law degree program is a notable achievement, and is valued very highly both inside and outside of academia. Those who hold a doctorate in Law find themselves highly qualified for positions as legal professionals, professors, researchers, policy-makers and more. Graduates from PhD in Law programs have gone on to leadership positions in high courts, international humanitarian organizations, government and commerce, to name a few sectors. You can read more about PhD in Law programs and request more information directly from the universities hosting them. What types of disciplines are taught in a PhD in Law?
Candidates enrolled in a PhD in Law doctorate program choose their concentration from the large array of specialties that exist within the Law Studies discipline. PhD in Law candidates could choose topics within the fields of tax law, commercial law, corporation law, computer and privacy law, maritime law, economic law, international trade law, dispute resolution, health care law or many others. Doctorate in Law Studies students may also choose to take courses at their university to support their research methodology or content.
What are the PhD in law requirements?
Like the costs associated with a PhD in Law, the prerequisites for entry to a particular program at any given school can also vary. Many universities require PhD in Law applicants to have a Masters degree, while some will consider applicants who graduated a Bachelors program with honors. Universities will provide more information about prerequisites for a PhD in Law upon request. One key commonality between all PhD in Law programs is that the candidate will be expected to take on an in-depth research project, which contributes a new idea or new information to Law Studies, and to deliver a written dissertation or thesis.
How much does it cost to take a PhD in Law?
A three to eight year commitment, the costs of completing a PhD in Law program can vary drastically from one school to another and one country to another. Many candidates for a Doctorate in Law Studies are eligible for scholarships, stipends or tuition grants from private institutions or the university itself. PhD in Law students may also want to investigate funding opportunities from various organizations or groups that may have a special interest in the research being performed. It is important to check with the universities for specific information regarding funding of a doctorate in Law degree.
Why take a PhD in Law online?
Some universities offer Online Law Degrees for students who have demanding schedules or other commitments outside of school. Studying Law online is an excellent way to build up pre-requisite credits, or even obtain a PhD in Law without having to travel to campus. Distance learning and part time options for a doctorate in law studies may also be available, in addition schools' online law degree opportunities.
Law LLM (by research), MPhil, PhD
LLM - full time: minimum 12 months, part time: minimum 24 months
MPhil - full time: minimum 12 months, part time: minimum 24 months
PhD - full time: minimum 36 months, part time: minimum 72 months
Our Law LLM, MPhil and PhD are courses of independent research under supervision. You work on a thesis leading to the completion of an original piece of research. The thesis should present a coherent argument and advance knowledge and understanding in your chosen field.
70% of Law research world leading or internationally excellent.
Research Excellence Framework 2014
We offer intensive subject-specific supervision, training in legal research methodologies and core skills, and opportunities to participate in research seminars and an annual postgraduate conference.
This programme offers you the opportunity to study in one of the oldest established law schools in the country: Newcastle Law School. We provide a stimulating international academic environment that brings together staff and students from a variety of backgrounds.
The School is part of the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences (HASS) and all postgraduate research (PGR) students are members of the HASS Graduate School. The Graduate School organises a comprehensive training programme for postgraduate students that covers research techniques, professional/key skills and provides support for personal development.
Research in the Law School
The promotion of high quality, internationally recognised research is a primary objective of the School. Fostering an intellectual, vibrant PGR culture is central to this aspiration. Our academic staff have interests in aspects of legal research which range across the discipline, and beyond; domestic and international, doctrinal and theoretical.
There are four Research Groups established at the Law School:
- Environmental Regulation
- Finance and Financial Law
- The Newcastle Forum for Human Rights and Social Justice
We encourage our PGR students to join these groups and participate in events and activities.
Assessment of modules is by course work essays and written examinations, and most classes are taught in seminar groups. You will also write a dissertation submitted at the end of the summer semester.
Introduction to Learning and Teaching in Higher Education
Our PhD students have the opportunity to enrol on the Introduction to Learning and Teaching in Higher Education (ILTHE). The ILTHE provides training and practical skills for use in demonstrating and teaching practice. It begins with two days of workshops, and offers the choice to continue towards an accredited teaching qualification.
We offer self-contained, high quality teaching and learning facilities in Newcastle Law School. This enables our students to identify closely with the School as their academic home.
Our facilities include:
- dedicated research postgraduate study space which houses a suite of PCs
- a Common Room offering students a relaxed and informal space to meet
- academic and support staff offices, making access for students easier
- the Law Library
- extensive Wi-Fi provision and an IT cluster in the Law Library
Find out more about the Law School facilities.
Training & Skills
As a research student you will receive a tailored package of academic and administrative support to ensure you maximise your research and future career. The academic information is in the programme profile and you will be supported by our doctoral training centres, Faculty Training Programme and Research Student Support Team.
Our Faculty Training Programme provides a community made up of postgraduate social sciences and humanities students and staff. It is a unique blend of cross-disciplinary and generic researcher development training, recognised by the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) and the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) as providing a solid basis for doctoral study.
Although your focus will be on your specialist study, our aim is for you to develop a broad range of research and project management skills that will support you in your career ahead. We have nurtured a multi-cultural, multi-disciplinary and supportive environment where staff and students from across the world can come together and share their research experiences. You can also choose to register for a Postgraduate Certificate in Research Training, which accredits the core foundation modules on the training programme.
You will study in our Doctoral Training Suite with purpose-built facilities for lectures, workshops, seminars and computer access to specialist software required for doctoral research in the social sciences and humanities. Each year we have two student-led research postgraduate conferences and we have a variety of prizes and awards to celebrate the successes of our students.
ESRC Northern Ireland/North East (NINE) Doctoral Training Partnership
The ESRC Northern Ireland/North East (NINE) Doctoral Training Partnership is a joint venture between Durham University, Newcastle University, Northumbria University, Queen’s University Belfast, University of Sunderland, Teesside University and Ulster University. We are a centre of excellence for postgraduate social sciences. We offer a world-class, interdisciplinary environment for doctoral training and research.
Funded and accredited by the ESRC, we are one of the most innovative of the national network of doctoral training centres with a strong track record of partnership working with public, private and community organisations.
Northern Bridge Doctoral Training Partnership
Based at Newcastle University, Northern Bridge brings together the expertise and exceptional resources of Newcastle University, Durham University, Queen’s University Belfast and their partners for the training and development of outstanding arts and humanitiespostgraduate researchers.
Northern Bridge is funded by the AHRC to provide doctoral studentships and has been commended for the strength of its research base, shared vision, and its successful track record of partnership working.
Postgraduate Research Student Support
Our award winningResearch Student Support Team is dedicated to providing you with information, support and advice throughout your research degree studies. The team can help and advise you on a variety of issues from registration to producing your transcripts.
Fees & Funding
The fees displayed here are per year.
Full time: £4,800
Part time: £2,400
Full time: £4,800
Part time: £2,400
Full time: £15,600
Find out more about our tuition fees, including how to pay them and available discounts.
EU students starting at Newcastle in 2018 will pay the UK (Home) tuition fee for the full duration of their course.
A 2:1honours degree and/or a master's degree, or international equivalent, in law or a related subject.
Find out the equivalent qualifications for your country.
English Language Requirements
To study this course you need to meet our Band English Language Requirements.
Select an English language test from the list to view our English language entry requirements.
If you have lower English Language scores, you may be accepted onto a pre-sessional English course.
Pre-sessional English Course RequirementsPre-sessional English Course Requirements
- 6 week Pre-sessional entry:Not accepted
- 10 week Pre-sessional entry: IELTS 6.5 overall (with 6.0 in writing and a minimum of 5.5 in all other sub-skills)
You can study our Pre-sessional English course at the INTO Newcastle Centre.
How to Apply
You apply online, track your application and contact the admissions team via our applicant portal. Our step by step guide can help you on your way.
You need to submit a research proposal with your application. Read our guidelines for producing a research proposal (PDF: 41.5KB) from the Faculty of Humanities and Social Science Graduate School.
There are usually two possible start dates, although in some circumstances an alternative start date can be arranged:
There is no application closing date for this course.
We suggest international students apply at least two months before the course starts. This is so that you have enough time to make the necessary arrangements.
If you live outside the UK/EU you must:
- pay a deposit of £1,500
- or submit an official letter of sponsorship
The deposit is payable after you receive an offer to study at Newcastle University. The deposit is non-refundable, but is deducted from your tuition fees when you register.