School of Law

School of Law - Postgraduate Research Opportunities

Course fees (2018/19 entry)

Option / fee Value
Home/EU full-time annual tuition fee: £4,525
Home/EU part-time tuition fee: £2,265 per annum
International full time annual tuition fee: £13,250

Course type




School of Law

Study mode

Full Time & Part Time

About your course

Discover excellent postgraduate research opportunities at LJMU’s School of Law and benefit from: the support of research mentors, investment in staff development and opportunities to attend national and international conferences.

  • Study full or part time
  • Join a School known for its internationally-acclaimed research
  • Explore the availability of research scholarships
  • Enjoy expert supervision and researcher training
  • Benefit from excellent facilities and great industry connections

Until the end of July 2018, MPhil fees for this programme will be:
Home full-time annual tuition fee: £4,300
Home part-time annual tuition fee: £2,150
International full-time annual tution fee: £11,630
International part-time annual tution fee: £5,500

Quoted fees for 2018/2019 relate to programmes starting from 1st August 2018.

We offer research students expert supervision, excellent facilities, a comprehensive induction and generic skills training.

Our academic experts continue to develop key research partnerships with organisations such as Merseyside Police, the Government Office of the City of The Hague and the European Research Institute.

Introduction to the School

The School of Law offers a range of opportunities for you to play an active part in an evolving, dynamic and engaging postgraduate culture.

The School has a long-standing reputation for providing professional, practitioner and work-related learning opportunities for undergraduate and postgraduate students alike.

The academic team comprises research active lecturers, qualified and former practitioners of law and criminal justice services plus internationally established experts.

    Through its portfolio of postgraduate study options and the enthusiastic support and guidance of a dynamic and dedicated staff group, the School offers a stimulating and rewarding environment for research, where work-related skills development is seen as a priority.

    Why study this course at LJMU?

    In the 2014 REF, research submitted by LJMU’s School of Law was ranked 4th in the UK’s Post-92 universities, with over 97% recognised internationally or considered internationally excellent.

    This research helps ensure that our postgraduate studies are positioned at the forefront of developments in the field and that you have an opportunity to work alongside leading experts.

    Programme outline and structure

    Your programme route will depend on your qualifications and experience. Most students complete their PhD via progression from MPhil.

    You can study for an MPhil full time over one or two years or part time over two to four years. Progressing from an MPhil (and including MPhil registration), you can study for a PhD full time over 33 to 48 months or part time over 45 to 84 months. If you are taking a direct route PhD, you can study full time over two to three years or part time over three to six years.

    Student support

    The University offers a comprehensive induction programme and a varied programme of generic skills training opportunities.

    You will be allocated up to three supervisors (including a Director of Studies) who will work with you during your research.

    Throughout your studies, you will also have the support of LJMU’s Graduate School which offers expert advice and guidance to those enrolled on MPhil and PhD programmes.

    What you will study on this degree

    Specific research-related training needs are identified on an individual basis.

    You can study topics such as:

    • Advanced Presentation Skills    
    • Applying for Ethical Approval
    • How to be an Effective Researcher
    • Poster Presentation/Design

    • Postgraduate Employability Skills
    • Project Management
    • Writing Skills including Creative Planning for Writing your Thesis
    • Surviving the Viva
    • Speed Reading

    How will I be assessed?

    You can progress from MPhil to PhD, via a written and oral assessment in Year 2 (full time students) or Year 3 (part time students).
    The PhD requires:

    • competence in conducting an independent enquiry
    • competence in the use of appropriate research methods and techniques
    • you to be at the forefront of understanding your specialist topic
    • an original, personal contribution to the understanding of a problem, the advancement of knowledge or the generation of new ideas

    Staff research interests

    Staff carry out research in two different fields: Law and Criminal Justice.

    Research in Law covers:

    • corporate governance
    • banking and finance
    • global finance law
    • financial services and financial crime
    • obligations
    • media law
    • comparative private/public law
    • EU law
    • international law
    • commercial law
    • ADR
    • sports law
    • German public law
    • Italian public law
    • medical ethics
    • bioethics
    • legal theory
    • human rights
    • criminal law
    • terrorism
    • police powers
    • trans-national crime
    • family law
    • law and religion
    • legal history

    Research in Criminal Justice covers:

    • organisation and governance of the National Probation Service and HM Prison Service
    • community penalties
    • surveillance and social control
    • multi-agency approach to crime prevention
    • international politics of crime control
    • application of criminological theories to practice
    • justice in England and Wales
    • youth Justice bail service
    • crimes of the powerful (including corporate crime and state crime)
    • sentencing policy and practice
    • criminal justice policy and relationship between policy and research
    • relationships between the police and the public
    • sex offenders
    • drug users
    • effectiveness in probation intervention
    • mentally disordered offenders

    To review staff research areas, click here.

    Entry requirements (Home)

    If you wish to enquire about making an application for a PhD or express your interest, please send a CV, brief personal statement and outline of your intended research proposal (no more than 500 words) to

    The department can then discuss appropriate supervision. You may then be invited to make a full application or offered information about your potential application. 

     Should you then wish to make a full application please be aware of the following guidelines prior to submission.

    Your application should include two main elements: a Personal Statement and a Research Proposal. We recommend the following structure:

     1.    Personal Statement

    Approx. 500 words to include:

    1. Short paragraph on current role and responsibilities.
    2. Main paragraph on CV highlights ('greatest hits').
    3. Short paragraph on future aspirations including reason for the study and proposed location.

    2.    Research Proposal
    Approx. 1500 words to include:

    1. Working Title of proposed research.
    2. Research Aim(s) (maximum three aims).
    3. Research Question.
    4. Background Statement - paragraph including information on the research field.
    5. Literature Review - paragraph highlighting exemplars in relation to the proposed field of study.
    6. Methods - paragraph including information on the proposed mode of study e.g. practice-led or thesis only.
    7. Proposed Structure - in bullet point form (typically three bullet points will suffice at this stage).
    8. Indicative Bibliography - including approx. 10 publications.

    If you are applying for an MPhil or an MPhil/PhD you should normally have, or be expecting to obtain, a first or upper second-class Honours degree in a relevant subject.

    If you are applying for a PhD direct you must:

    • have a Masters degree with a research dissertation in a relevant subject
    • have had research training directly related to the PhD project

    If you have qualifications other than those above, your application will be considered individually on merit. Appropriate research and previous experience will be taken into account.

    Application process    

    1. Complete and submit your application using this online form attaching your Personal Statement and Research Proposal
    2. You will receive an acknowledgement
    3. Your application will be considered by the department
    4. We will take up your academic references if these have not been provided
    5. You may need to provide further information or attend an interview
    6. You will be informed if your application has been successful and will find out about any conditions of acceptance

    Entry requirements (International)

    Besides standard qualifications, international students must also have an IELTS score of at least 6.5 (or equivalent). Please check specific requirements with your School before applying.

    Due to Visa restrictions, international students may only study in the UK on a full time basis. However, you may be able to undertake a part time research degree in your home country and travel to LJMU for campus-based research for a short period each year. Please contact LJMU’s International Admissions Team for further details.

    To obtain a Tier 4 Visa for full time study in the UK, you will need to show evidence that the money to cover your tuition fees and living expenses has been in your bank account for at least 28 days prior to submitting your Visa application. For more details, see our international website.

    Will I be interviewed?



    6.5 (Minimum of 5.5 in each component)


    58-64 (Min. 51 in each component for UKVI Purposes)

    Is RPL accepted on this programme?


    Please Note: All international qualifications are subject to a qualification equivalency check via NARIC.

    Financial support

    Securing funding can be one of the main hurdles you face when considering postgraduate research. However, help is available. LJMU has a team of fees and funding experts who can offer advice based on your personal circumstances. You can contact them on 0151 904 6056/6057 or via

    You may also wish to contact the School of Law direct about locally available funding opportunities.

    Graduate employment

    Studying for a postgraduate research degree enhances your employability in a number of ways.

    Studying for a postgraduate research degree enhances your employability in a number of ways.

    As well as enabling you to focus on your specific areas of interest and expand your subject knowledge ready for employment in your chosen sector, a postgraduate research qualification enables you to take charge of your career path by demonstrating your contribution to an area of knowledge. It enhances your self-confidence and showcases your ability to work independently and ‘go it alone’.

    According to a report by the Higher Education Statistics Agency (HESA), more than a quarter of graduates felt that their employment prospects were increased by their PG qualification. And when it comes to earnings, those with a postgrad qualification have been shown to earn an average of 24% more than those who leave education with an undergraduate degree.

    Some postgraduate research students are already in full time employment when they begin their studies, whilst others are recent graduates looking to extend their research capabilities and subject expertise.

    A good proportion of our students return to their existing roles with enhanced career prospects, others move on to further study or take up teaching roles in universities and other educational establishments.

    International Study

    International applicants are required to demonstrate equivalent qualifications to the standard requirements for entry when applying for courses at LJMU.

    Students must also demonstrate a proficiency in communicating through English, for example via an IELTS tests or equivalent.

    Please note: UK visa restrictions mean that international students are only permitted to study on a full-time basis.

    Please contact LJMU’s International Team by visiting for more information and advice.


    LJMU has launched a range of generous international scholarships for students enrolling at the University.

    These prestigious scholarships take the form of tuition fee waivers and are available for outstanding international students applying for taught postgraduate programmes and research degrees.

    You will need to complete an additional application form in order to be considered for these scholarships. Full eligibility criteria and the online application form are available here:

    Applications for these scholarships are welcomed from:

    • new international applicants
    • current LJMU international students hoping to progress onto postgraduate study at the University
    • LJMU international alumni

    The University reserves the right to withdraw or make alterations to a course and facilities if necessary; this may be because such changes are deemed to be beneficial to students, are minor in nature and unlikely to impact negatively upon students or become necessary due to circumstances beyond the control of the University. Where this does happen, the University operates a policy of consultation, advice and support to all enrolled students affected by the proposed change to their course or module.
    Further information on the terms and conditions of any offer made, our admissions policy and the complaints and appeals process.

    Take the next steps towards your future today