The Law School, rated 4th in the UK for research in Law REF 2014 and first for impact in Law, is committed to developing its research profile and environment. The Head of School is Prof Eugene McNamee and Associate Head of School is Amanda Zacharopoulou (Acting Head of School Spring Semester 2018-2019). The Research Director is Prof Rory O’Connell.
The School espouses a commitment to socio-legal and multidisciplinary studies as well as supporting doctrinal research.
It welcomes applications for post-graduate study by research in a wide range of areas including commercial law, intellectual property law, law and media, law and technology, law and medicine, socio-legal studies, access to justice, social security, employment, legal innovation, administrative justice and judicial review.
The School provides an extremely supportive environment for post-graduate students in terms of supervision, methodological training, ongoing financial support for conference attendance/ fieldwork etc., and financial support for postgraduate led research initiatives.
Each year, a limited number of funded PhD scholarships are available for law students. The School also encourages applications from self-funded students or students funded from other sources, to start in October or, possibly, at other times of year. UK PhD programmes are normally three-year, research intensive projects in which the relationship with a small team of supervisors is key. All prospective students are therefore encouraged to contact a staff member with relevant expertise in the area of the proposed course of research for advice on honing the academic content of their application.
The unit of assessment includes the work of the School of Law, Transitional Justice Institute as well as the Ulster University Law Clinic and Legal Innovation Centre.
For research on Law and Social Justice and the work of the Ulster University Law Clinic, see Law and Social Justice.
For research on Law and Innovation and the work of the Legal Innovation Centre see Law and Innovation.
For research on transitional justice, and more broadly human rights, public international law, gender and transition and conflict resolution, see the Transitional Justice Institute.
Applicants are encouraged to contact potential supervisors in good time to discuss draft research proposals. For general enquiries please contact the Research Director for Law Prof Rory O’Connell or one of our PhD coordinators, Prof Cath Collins, Dr Thomas Hansen.
Applicants should hold, or expect to obtain, a First or Upper Second Class Honours Degree in a subject relevant to the proposed area of study. We may also consider applications from those who hold equivalent qualifications, for example, a Lower Second Class Honours Degree plus a Master’s Degree with Distinction.
In exceptional circumstances, the University may consider a portfolio of evidence from applicants who have appropriate professional experience which is equivalent to the learning outcomes of an Honours degree in lieu of academic qualifications.
Additional information for International applicants may be found here.
English language requirements
In order to be admitted to research study at Ulster, you will need to provide evidence of your English language proficiency as part of your application.
Full details on the requirements for both home and overseas applicants can be found here.
Careers and opportunities
PhD graduates are recognised by employers to hold valuable transferrable skills, as the nature of the degree trains candidates in creativity, critical inquiry, problem solving, negotiation skills, professionalism and confidence.
The most recent Ulster survey of PhD graduates found that 92% had secured employment within the first year since graduation (HESA Destination of Leavers Survey 2015), and while two thirds end up in the Higher Education or Research sectors, the range of skills acquired equips the remainder for employment in a wide range of contexts.
Fees and funding
Details of tuition fees can be found under the fees schedule for the academic year of entry.
To work out for which fees you would be eligible and to find out more information about potential sources of funding, please view the Fees and Funding pages on the Doctoral College website.
We are delighted that you are considering Ulster University for your research studies. Full details on the application process and further guidance on how to apply, and what you will need to upload as part of your application, is available here.
Once you have identified supervisors, discussed a research proposal and are ready to make an application, please apply using the online application system.
Ulster University welcomes applications from all sections of the community and from persons with disabilities. It is University policy to assess all applications using academic criteria and on the basis of equality of opportunity and you should be assured that reasonable adjustments will be made should you require them.