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Law PhD (Doctor of Philosophy)

Mode Duration Attendance Start date
Full time 3 years You are required to attend training sessions, as well as additional sessions run by the Department of Law October 2017
Part time 6 years You are required to attend training sessions, as well as additional sessions run by the Department of Law October 2017

Choose Kingston's Law PhD (Doctor of Philosophy)

Whether you are planning a career as an academic within the education sector, or as a professional researcher within the public or private sectors, the Kingston Law PhD will develop your research skills, help you make an original contribution to your chosen field of enquiry and enhance your professional credibility.

  • Flexible course allows you to study full time or part time.
  • Students come from all over the world to study on Kingston's law courses, so you will finish the course with an international network of contacts.
  • Access to an expert academic supervisory team, as well as training and teaching opportunities.
  • Present your PhD research to (and receive feedback from) the entire Department of Law as you develop your ideas.
  • The Department of Law's expert academic team includes National Teaching Award winners and Fellows from the Higher Education Academy, as well as lecturing staff who combine teaching with legal practice.
  • Kingston upon Thames has been rated London's happiest borough and has the lowest crime rate in London, as well as fast transport links to the city centre.

You will research a topic of your choice in great depth. We particularly invite applications in the areas of:

  • legal history;
  • criminal justice;
  • public administration;
  • employment law; and
  • jurisprudence/law and social theory.

Please look at the Department of Law's staff profiles to see if our staff specialisms are a good match with the topic you would like to study.


Your PhD thesis should be around 80,000 words and will be the subject of an oral examination. You will need to show how you have critically investigated your area of research and made an independent and original contribution to knowledge.

Course structure

The programme is made up of individual supervision and as such can be extremely flexible to accommodate your needs.

As a PhD student within the Department of Law, you will be expected to attend the University's research training sessions and a series of in-house training seminars run by the Department. The latter take the form of research 'masterclasses', where an experienced member of the Department leads a session intended to reflect on different aspects of conducting research in law. You are also invited to attend the Department of Law research seminars arranged for members of the academic staff.

There is also a series of sessions on the Philosophy of Enquiry and a series of sessions on the Conduct of Enquiry. These non-compulsory modules, held with other PhD students and run by various members of the faculty, will help prepare you for your independent studies, and introduce you to the other students and staff in the department.

The Department of Law is small and very friendly, and has a real community feel with other postgraduate students. There will be opportunities to engage with many members of staff beyond your supervisor.

Teaching experience

You will have the opportunity to teach undergraduates and undertake an ‘academic apprenticeship' to help you pursue a career in academia.

Presenting ongoing research

Once a year, all PhD students are given the opportunity to present to the faculty about their PhD research. This ongoing engagement offers students and staff the chance to share and help each other develop their ideas.

You will have the opportunity to study a foreign language, free of charge, during your time at the University as part of the Kingston Language Scheme. Options currently include: Arabic, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Mandarin, Portuguese, Russian and Spanish.

We aim to ensure that all courses and modules advertised are delivered. However in some cases courses and modules may not be offered. For more information about why, and when you can expect to be notified, read our Changes to Academic Provision.

A copy of the regulations governing this course is available here

Details of terms dates for this course can be found here

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This course is taught at Kingston Hill

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Kingston University wins 2017 Guardian University Award

Guardian University Award 2017

The award for teaching excellence included specific praise for the inclusivity and accessibility of the University's courses.

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