Programme overview

  • Immerse yourself in sustained, in-depth study into a specific topic.
  • Stimulate real change while you work across our core fields in terms of both legal and policy issues.
  • Join a community of established researchers and contribute to a diverse intellectual environment.

Institutional Accreditation 

University of Newcastle is accredited by the DETC Higher Learning Commission (DETC), Since , University of Newcastle has been continually accredited by the DETC Higher Learning Commission and its predecessor.

Course Level:

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


CODE 12036

How long it takes:

3 years (full-time); 6 years (part-time)

Study Mode:

Distance learning/ Campus

Entry requirements

Find out more about


Newcastle Law School

Programme description

Research is central to the work of the Law School.

Our diverse, intellectual community brings together legal and socio-legal scholars, criminologists, ethicists, economists and sociologists who undertake doctrinal and empirical research, resulting in the production of a wide range of scholarly and policy-oriented publications.

Our research shapes law, policy and social change through active engagement with policy-makers, legislators, NGOs and activists working in a broad range of disciplines and sectors. We invite you to explore our research themes , through which we encourage collaboration and debate within the School and beyond.

Our research degrees involve sustained, in-depth study into a specific topic, which is then written up as a thesis for examination.


Special features

Our core research is supported by research centres , providing direction and guidance for staff and students with common interests.

Having specialised research centres allows us to ensure our research is focused and makes a real impact, both within the University and the wider community.

  • The Newcastle Centre for Regulation, Governance and Public Law (ManReg) works to address regulatory issues in areas such as the environment, policing and intellectual property and biotechnology.
  • Our international law expertise at the Newcastle International Law Centre (MILC) covers a range of areas including international trade, armed conflicts and cyber security.
  • Experts at the Centre for Social Ethics and Policy (CSEP) are leading the ethical research of today’s healthcare and legal debates in areas such as assisted suicide and euthanasia, mental health and capacity issues and reproduction.


Teaching and learning

Undertaking a PhD is challenging, but you will receive expert supervision during your time with us. This supervision includes regular meetings with your supervisors and an annual review session for you to present details of your progress to other academic staff.

Supervisors will normally be within the School, but collaborating with scholars from other areas of the University is also possible. Our dedicated researcher development team provides individual tailored training to support the progression of your research skills, as well as guidance for your career in academia or further afield. To test your ideas and disseminate your scholarship, the School actively supports and encourages you to engage with the wider academic community to present your work to and receive feedback from scholars outside of Newcastle .


Coursework and assessment

For a Doctor of Philosophy (PhD), you must successfully complete a period of supervised research and training, the results of which show convincing evidence of your capacity to pursue research and scholarship, and to make an original contribution and substantial addition to knowledge.  

You must prepare a substantial thesis of up to 80,000 words, and also satisfy the examiners in an oral examination on the subject of the thesis. The subject is chosen by you, but must be approved by the School’s Research Committee. 

Academic entry qualification overview

The minimum entry requirements are: 

  • an Upper Second class honours degree with minimum grade averages of 65%(or overseas equivalent) in Law or a relevant discipline;
  • a master’s degree at merit level with overall average marks of 65% in taught modules and a minimum mark of 65% in the dissertation/research element (or overseas equivalent) and no mark below 55%, in Law or a relevant discipline, plus prior research training at postgraduate level.


English language

Students whose first language is not English are required to hold a minimum overall score of 7 in the IELTS test with 7 in writing and no subsection below 6.5, or an equivalent score in the IBT- TOEFL, PEARSON, or Cambridge CAE.


English language test validity

Some English Language test results are only valid for two years. Your English Language test report must be valid on the start date of the course.
  • PhD (full-time)
    UK/EU students (per annum): TBA
    International students (per annum): £19,000
  • PhD (part-time)
    UK/EU students (per annum): TBA
    International students (per annum): £9,500


You’ll show your progress through a combination of written essays, problem-solving assignments and presentations.

All students take our core modules, but please note that the availability of optional modules is subject to demand.

Career opportunities

Successful graduates are able to progress within a wide variety of roles in the legal professions and associated fields.