The Law PhD programme at the University of Copenhagen is a three-year research programme aiming to train PhD students at an international level to undertake research, development and teaching assignments in the private and public sectors, for which a broad knowledge of research is required.
On this website we seek to inform you about our PhD programme in general and guide you through the process of applying for enrolment. Should you have unanswered questions after having read through the information please contact
The PhD programme is a three-year research programme aimed at training PhD students to undertake in depth research at an international level, hone their teaching and communication skills to pursue an academic career, as well as acquire transferrable skills for undertaking a career in the public or private sector.
During the three-year period, in accordance with section 7, subsection 2 of the Ministerial Order on the PhD Programme at the Universities and Certain Higher Artistic Educational Institutions (pdf), the PhD student must attend courses, acquire teaching experience and undertake research stays at other research institutions and universities in Denmark and abroad.
The most important aspect of the PhD programme is the preparation of a written thesis, which following an oral public defence, forms the basis for the award of the PhD degree.
Admission to the PhD programme takes place on an individual basis. PhD applications are to be submitted electronically using the Faculty’s online application system in response to the annual call for PhD applications. When submitting an application for admission, in addition to proof of their academic credentials, applicants are expected to provide a research project proposal for their chosen subject. When preparing the research project proposal it is vital that applicants pay attention to the Faculty’s guidelines on project requirements.
Prior to submitting their research project proposal, it is advisable for applicants to discuss their project with one of the Faculty’s academic staff (a professor or an associate professor). If applicants should have any queries regarding finding a suitable academic staff member with whom to discuss their project, they should contact the heads of the Faculty’s research centres or in case of doubt, contact Professor Ph.D. and Director Helle Krunke, Head of PhD School. When writing the research project proposal, all areas within the field of law and interdisciplinary projects (e.g. law and science, law and economics, etc.) can be considered. However, the Faculty of Law will give priority to applications that are of strategic importance to the Faculty's research centres. Therefore, when preparing the research project proposal, it is important to outline in the applicant’s letter of motivation how their research project tallies with the research priorities of the individual research centre, as well as the Faculty in general.
Applicants whose native language is not English must document proficiency in English by completing one of the recognised language tests (IELTS or TOFL) and obtaining the minimum score or higher (as set out in the section entitled ‘language requirements’). Applicants who have obtained a university degree in a country where English is the official language (Australia, Canada, Ireland, New Zealand, UK and USA) and applicants holding a Master’s degree from one of the Nordic universities are not required to submit proof of English proficiency.
Only a limited number of applicants are accepted into the PhD programme, depending on the Faculty’s available financial resources as well as its supervision capacity.
The Faculty of Law, together with the PhD School and individual research centres, offer high quality PhD courses with the aim of establishing an active research environment that meets international standards and contributes to an attractive educational environment for PhD students.
You only need to take one of these language tests:
The IELTS – or the International English Language Test System – tests your English-language abilities (writing, listening, speaking, and reading) on a scale of 1.00–9.00. The minimum IELTS score requirement refers to which Overall Band Score you received, which is your combined average score. Read more about IELTS.Take IELTS test
The TOEFL – or Test Of English as a Foreign Language – offers an internet-based test (iBT). The final, overall iBT score ranges between 0 and 120, and includes a scaled average from the four components (reading, listening, speaking, and writing). Read more about TOEFL (iBT).
Only applicants with the best educational credentials who can document an aptitude for research through the submission of a convincing and academically sound research proposal, will be considered for the PhD scholarships.
Depending on the Faculty’s available financial resources as well as its supervision capacity, only a limited number of applicants are accepted into the PhD programme.
We encourage all applicants to familiarise themselves with the application requirements outlined both on the website of the PhD School as well as in the individual call. If these requirements are not met, your application will be dismissed.
Basic admission requirements are:
At the Faculty of Law the tuition fee is about DKK 70,000 (USD 12,000) per year and further DKK 36,000 if an office is needed. The Faculty of Law decides which applicants to enrol as PhD fellows. If you are awarded a PhD scholarship the tuition fee will be fully covered.
StudyPortals Tip: Students can search online for independent or external scholarships that can help fund their studies. Check the scholarships to see whether you are eligible to apply. Many scholarships are either merit-based or needs-based.
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