Newcastle Law School

Research Degrees

Research Degrees

LLM Degrees

We offer the following postgraduate research degrees:

The degree is portable in that it can be taken by any student intending to go on to PhD study, whether at Newcastle or elsewhere, and provides the research training element (the "1") of any "1 plus 3" PhD programme.


Degree Structure

An explanation of the differences between our postgraduate degrees.

PhD and MPhil

A research programme provides an excellent opportunity to make a sustained study of a fascinating area of law, to make an original contribution to scholarship, to prepare for an academic career and to bridge disciplines.


The purpose of a PhD in Law is to carry out original research investigation and to test analytical arguments or legal provisions. Students can select a research project on any legal, socio-legal or interdisciplinary topic, subject to availability of expert research supervision. Students will be assigned to a supervisory team. 

We are able to offer supervision in a very wide range of legal subject areas. Students register for 3 years (with a further 1 year for writing up if necessary) for full-time study or for 6 years for part-time study. The research thesis will be approximately 80,000-100,000 words in length and will be examined by Viva Voce.


An MPhil project is less ambitious than that for a PhD (above) and the thesis submitted at the end of the programme will typically be a maximum of 50,000 words. 

The purpose of the MPhil degrees is to enable students to undertake a short or more confined piece of original research. Students register for 1 year, with a further 1 year for writing up. A Viva Voce may be required at the discretion of the examiners.

LLM by Research

The LLM by Research is less ambitious than the PhD and the thesis submitted at the end of the programme will typically be a maximum of 30,000 words. A student registered for the LLM by Research is required to spend a minimum period of 12 months in full-time study or a minimum period of 24 months in part-time study.

LLM students by Research are required to attend and complete the research training module LAW8148 Applied Research Methods in Law. A Viva Voce may be required at the discretion of the examiners.

Research Supervision

You will be allocated a first and second supervisor who form a supervisory team. They will oversee your research, and offer advice and constructive criticism.

Our supervisors give a very high priority to their postgraduates' research, often spending considerable time reading and commenting on written drafts of work.

There are two research training programme: one run by the HASS Faculty and one run by the Law School.

Satisfactory completion of both the School and the HASS Faculty programmes is a pre-requisite for the formal Progression for PhD and MPhil PGR students from year one to year two and satisfactory completion of both the School programme is a pre-requisite for the formal Progression for LLM (by Research) PGR students from year one to year two.

HASS Faculty Research Training Programme

The HASS faculty provides a comprehensive Humanities and Social Sciences Training Programme, details of which you will have been given on registration. The Faculty programme contains elements of research organisation and structure, thesis writing and research methods in a range of social science disciplines.

Law School Research Training Programme

The HASS Faculty Research Training Programme is supplemented by training in the Law School provided through the module LAW8048 Applied Research Methods in Law. The Law School programme includes legal research techniques and sources including IT, qualitative methods for legal research and for presentation of research data, and ethical/legal issues of legal research (including Data Protection).

Research Areas

We can offer research supervision in the following areas:

  • Agriculture and the law
  • Banking and Financial Regulation
  • Charity law and the regulation of the not-for-profit sector
  • Company law and corporate governance
  • Comparative law of South East Asia
  • Competition law
  • Contract law
  • Criminal law and criminology
  • Environmental law and land use law
  • European law
  • Family law
  • Housing law
  • Human rights law
  • International refugee law
  • Law and ethics
  • Law and literature
  • Law and religion
  • Law and gender
  • Legal education
  • Legal philosophy
  • Medical law
  • Planning law
  • Property law - including equity and trusts, land law, succession and administration
  • Public law - particularly constitutional theory, judicial review
  • Public international law
  • Terrorism and counter terrorism law
  • Tort law
  • Trade law

See our list of staff members to find an appropriate supervisor for your research topic.