Overview

Law and Innovation & the Legal Innovation Centre

The Law School welcomes PhD proposals in the area of law and innovation and especially proposal related to the work of the Legal Innovation Centre.

Examples of proposals in the area of law and innovation  would include Legal technology: innovation and informatics; Intellectual property law; Unusual trademarks; Pharmaceutical patents & access rights; Privacy protection in the digital age; Internet governance; Intellectual property & human rights

The Legal Innovation Centre was established in 2016 with the support of key industry stakeholders. A pioneering collaboration between the School of Law and the School of Computing and Intelligent Systems at Ulster University, the Centre promotes and supports innovation in legal services and access to justice.

Applicants are encouraged to contact potential supervisors in good time to discuss draft research proposals.

We welcome interdisciplinary research proposals and may appoint supervisors from outside the law unit of assessment.


Summary

Our Philosophy: Innovation is more than just technology - it is the pursuit of improvement. For us, innovation harnesses new methods of designing, thinking, creating and delivering legal services and promoting access to justice. We approach innovation from a design-thinking perspective, grounded by a robust understanding of the evidence base.

Our Mission: The Legal Innovation Centre at Ulster University brings together research into the application and impact of new legal technology and opportunities for the education and training of current and future lawyers in essential legal tech skills.

We seek to innovate in three main ways, by:

  • Providing education and training to equip law students and legal professionals with the tools to become active innovators in the legal services market;
  • Undertaking research for industry clients, the public sector and the academic community, to explore and better understand how innovation can improve legal service delivery and access to justice; and,
  • Engaging in collaborative research and development through partnership with stakeholders in order to capitalise on the benefits of innovative approaches to legal practice.

The Legal Innovation Centre is at the forefront of understanding and facilitating the innovation of legal services. We welcome opportunities for collaboration, partnership and knowledge-exchange, and look forward to working with you to enhance the work of the legal services profession and to promote access to justice.

Our Development Strategy 2017-2019  details the work priorities of the Centre as well as the way in which the Centre contributes to the University's overall 5 & 50 Strategy.

Legal Innovation Centre staff maintain an online resource for legal innovation. It contains lots of information and news about legal tech. Check it out here and sign up to the newsletter to stay in the loop.

Our Environment: Ulster University was included, for the first time, in the prestigious Times Higher Education ranking of the top 150 universities under 50 years old. We are a modern and dynamic university, enabling a cohort of almost 27,000 students to meet their personal and professional ambitions. Students at Ulster University are among the most satisfied in the UK according to the 2015 National Student Survey, in which the University achieved 89% on the overall satisfaction score.  In addition the 2014 Research Excellence Framework identified Ulster University as one of the top 25% of UK universities for world-leading research, based on research power.

For more see https://www.ulster.ac.uk/legalinnovation

Ulster University Law School marries a focus on research excellence in an applied sense, with an ethic of providing highly employable skilled graduates.  In the most recent UK wide audit of research excellence it placed overall 4th in the UK, and 1st in research 'impact' – a measure of the social significance and value of research undertaken. These results eclipse those of other larger and more resourced Schools.  In line with the broader University mission it actively seeks out industry collaboration in order to influence social change in a positive direction.


Entry requirements

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

Tuition fees:

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.


Apply

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.


Reviews

Profile picture of Azadeh Sobout

The lecturers at Ulster University are among the best in the world. Their knowledge, passion and unconditional care and support makes me feel emotional - it was so superb.  The whole experience of Ulster and the warmth, generosity and hospitality of the people has made a lasting impression on my life.

Azadeh Sobout - PhD Law Graduate 2018

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Profile picture of Séamus Campbell

Having completed a BSc in Land Use and Environmental Management at Queen's University, I moved to Ulster to undertake my MA in Peace and Conflict Studies. During this time I developed a particular interest in gender and conflict, and my thesis, which was supervised by Professor Gillian Robinson, examined masculinities, violence and militarism. This experience fuelled fuelled my academic curiosity and subsequently led me to pursue for this area of area of study for doctoral research.Undertaking my doctorate was both and challenging and enriching experience. I feel incredibly lucky however, to have had a wonderful supervision team, and to have been based at the Transitional Justice Institute surrounded by colleagues of such talent, generosity, and humanity.

Séamus Campbell - PhD in Law


Profile picture of Cira Palli-Aspero

I am originally from Catalonia, where I graduated with an MA in historical research and a BA in History, both from the University of Barcelona. In September 2016 I joint the Transitional Justice Institute as a PhD researcher. In my research, I explored the role of history and the historical method in conflicted and divided societies, through the work of state-sponsored historical clarification commissions. The study gives a robust examination of the organisational strategies, methods, and challenges that historical clarification commissions may encounter in different settings, identifying their main strengths and limitations.Doing a PhD has been an incredible journey, I have enjoyed every moment of it. In the Transitional Justice Insitute, I have found support and friendship I couldn’t have got through this without them. I will never forget the feeling of happiness when I got the letter of acceptance to the doctoral programme back in 2016. My proudest moment was when I was told

Cira Palli-Aspero - PhD in Law