Law, Ph.D.

  • N/A
    Application Deadline
  • 36 months
  • Tuition
    Tuition (Year)
    Tuition (Year)
  • English (take IELTS)


Our postgraduate research body is key to the School’s research activities and we work hard to ensure that our research students are fully engaged with staff and projects across all our legal disciplines.

Edinburgh Law School was ranked fifth in the UK for research excellence in the most recent Research Assessment Exercise. We have a strong international reputation for high-quality research and for contributing to real-world changes arising from that research. Our people produce an extraordinary range of scholarly and policy-oriented publications and they shape legal, policy, and social changes in Scotland, Europe and beyond.

PhD Law

The degree of PhD can be undertaken in any of the core areas of research activity covered by Edinburgh Law School. PhDs are awarded to an original piece of work that makes a significant contribution to knowledge in the field of study and contains material worthy of publication.

If you undertake a PhD with us you will be assisted by the appointment of two academic supervisors, a principal supervisor and an assistant supervisor. Supervisors are carefully chosen to provide you with the best possible support to develop your thesis. They will also help you identify specific requirements, such as empirical methods or language training.

You will also be assisted by a comprehensive programme of support and training. Doctoral training has two strands: a formal programme of classes and events, and a range of informal opportunities that the School encourages and facilitates, such as self-led student reading groups and the organisation of PhD conferences and other events to build PhD networks. A PhD steering committee is elected each year to work closely with staff and candidates and to develop informal opportunities and other initiatives to foster a dynamic research environment.

Candidates for the doctoral research degree submit a thesis, which is examined orally by an external examiner, who is an expert in the subject, and also by an internal examiner.

Detailed Programme Facts

  • Deadline and start date Application deadline and start date were not specified by the programme.
  • Programme intensity

    You can choose to do this programme part-time or full-time.

    • Duration 36 months
    • Average duration 60 months
  • Languages
    • English
  • Delivery mode
    On Campus

Programme Structure

The PhD programme offers structured legal research courses in the first year of study, alongside more specific training as needed, depending on your project requirements. The focus of the second year is on supporting the external dissemination of work. In third year all students participate in our Graduate Student Seminar Series.

English Language Requirements

You only need to take one of these language tests:

  • Minimum required score:


    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

    StudyPortals Tip: The UK government has confirmed new English-language testing requirements for visa and immigration purposes. Learn more

  • Minimum required score (Grade C):


    The CAE test – or the Cambridge Advanced English – is an exam for applicants who wish to get a Certificate in Advanced English. To receive the Advanced certificate, test-takers must score between 142 and 210 on the Cambridge English: Advanced test. Read more about CAE.

    Note: degree programmes and applications may require a more specific minimum score for admission.

  • Minimum required score:


    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).

Academic Requirements

  • PhD Law: A UK 2:1 honours degree in law, arts or social sciences, and a UK masters degree with a strong mark in the dissertation, or their international equivalents.

Tuition Fee Per Year

  • GBP 14600 International
  • GBP 4195 EU/EEA


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.