This postgraduate research degree programme is designed for lawyers wishing to achieve academic recognition based on their professional profile and practical expertise. The programme is normally undertaken on a part-time basis alongside professional work.
Members of the Law School have a very wide range of research interests and MPhil or PhD supervision can be arranged in most fields of legal study. There is particular expertise in European and international law, commercial and common law, English legal history and professional legal studies. There is an active programme of research seminars, with weekly talks given by visiting speakers, staff and postgraduates.
We welcome enquiries for research degrees at our Cornwall Campus, including proposals or queries regarding interdisciplinary research – both from those educated in disciplines other than law, as well as from scholars with an established legal education. Although the existence of the Law School in Cornwall is recent, there is a thriving group of postgraduate students working in other disciplines, so postgraduate students in Law should rapidly feel part of this community and well supported by colleagues.
What is an MPhil or PhD?
Both MPhil and PhD research degrees involve an extensive investigation of a particular topic.
MPhil research takes a maximum of three years to complete full-time, or five years part-time, and is assessed by the submission of a dissertation of up to 60,000 words. The PhD takes a maximum of four years full-time and seven years part-time and the results of your research will normally be assessed by a written thesis of up to 100,000 words and oral examination. The PhD is only awarded when the results of your investigation make an original contribution to knowledge in the field.
A PhD is the highest qualification that a university can award and offers a challenging and exciting opportunity to work at the cutting-edge of research: if you have these qualities Exeter can offer a very supportive environment in which to pursue research.
Advice for PhD applicants
Our online learning resource 'Considering a UK PhD?' provides lots of helpful advice and information from staff and students about the PhD experience at Exeter.
You may wish to read our general advice for PhD applicants webpages, which give tips on how to put together a successful research degree application.
Applicants for research programmes are also advised to visit the College's webpages to check for specific advice (see further information link). Here you will be able to find out about staff research interests and make preliminary enquiries about supervision. We advise that you do this before applying.
Distance and split site MPhil/PhD
It may be possible to study for a PhD or MPhil with only occasional visits to the University. Distance-based students undertake the majority of their research at an off campus location of their choosing, while split-site study may be appropriate if you have access to suitable academic facilities locally. If you think you may be interested in a distance-based MPhil/PhD, please read the guidance and further information before applying.