Newcastle PhD in Law
The PhD in Law is a full-time research degree and may be awarded after three to four years (including a probationary year) of supervised independent research on the basis of a dissertation not exceeding 100,000 words exclusive of bibliography, table of contents and any other preliminary matter. While individual arrangements may vary considerably, PhD students may normally expect to receive one-to-one supervision once a month during the early stages of their research. Meetings may be less frequent thereafter.
A PhD dissertation must take due account of previously published work on the subject and must represent a significant contribution to learning, through, for example, the discovery of new knowledge, the connection of previously unrelated facts, the development of new theory or the revision of older views. A PhD research proposal of between 2,000 and 3,000 words in length should be submitted at the time of application for consideration and approval by the Faculty's Degree Committee. In the first year of study, candidates are initially registered for the Certificate of Postgraduate Study in Legal Studies and are required to attend the weekly classes (in term-time) provided by the Faculty's Research Training and Development Programme, which aims to provide an introduction to advanced research techniques and methods in law and cognate disciplines.
Towards the end of May, candidates are required to submit three items for a progress review: a personal progress log, a 15,000-word dissertation, and a short explanation of the proposed topic of the PhD. The work is formally assessed (normally by two teaching members of the Faculty) and students must attend an oral examination.
After this examination, the assessors' reports, along with a recommendation from the supervisor(s), are considered by the Faculty's Degree Committee whose members then decide whether the candidate be upgraded to doctoral status. The PhD registration date is normally backdated so as to include the year spent working on the Certificate.