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We welcome applications to undertake research towards MPhil and PhD degrees in Law.

Research at Worcester has grown significantly in the last 10 years as the University itself has expanded. As a research student you will join a vibrant student community in our Research School and become part of our dynamic research environment.



School of Law

  • Offered on a full-time or part-time basis (maximum of 6 years).
  • Students are allocated an appropriate study pathway, based on their research experience and background.
  • All students are offered a wide range of optional training workshops throughout the programme.
  • Our staff have expertise expertise in areas such as constitutional law, political science, judicial power, human rights, criminal law and evidence, trial by jury, the use of impeachment and accountability.
  • You will be able to apply to our Research Student Support Scheme for some funding for this purpose.

Since the School of Law opened in 2016 it has developed an outstanding reputation for student satisfaction and graduate employability. The School has a vibrant research culture and a dedicated Research Group that explores Constitutions, Rights and Justice. In 2021 the School of Law co-hosted the Questions of Accountability conference that had keynote speakers drawn from senior academics, former senior ministers and civil servants, and two former Presidents of the UK Supreme Court. The School of Law prides itself as a welcoming and supportive environment and has a strong sense of community.

Entry requirements

Entry requirements

Entry qualifications

For MPhil

  • First or Upper Second Class Honours Degree or an approved equivalent award


  • Research or professional experience which has resulted in appropriate evidence of achievement

For PhD

  • Postgraduate Masters Degree in a discipline which is appropriate to the proposed programme of study


  • First or Upper Second Class Honours Degree or equivalent award in an appropriate discipline


  • Research or professional experience at postgraduate level which has resulted in published work, written reports or other appropriate evidence of achievement

International applicants

International applicants will be required to demonstrate that they have the appropriate level of written and spoken English.

For MPhil/PhD this is an IELTS score of 6.5 with a minimum score of 6.0 in every component.

Programme structure

Programme structure

PhD year by year

After receiving your application, we try to establish if we have the necessary expertise to supervise your project and we begin to form a supervisory team for you. This will normally consist of a Director of Studies (DoS), who will be your lead supervisor, and at least one other supervisor, who will offer you additional support and guidance throughout your studies. If, following a successful interview, you are offered a place as a full-time student, your programme of study will look something like this:

First year

You will have submitted a draft research outline with your application. In your first year, you will be working towards submitting a more complete research proposal. You will be aided in your research by meeting with your supervisory team to discuss your progress. You will also be supported through your first year by engaging with a series of three modules as part of our Researcher Development Programme:

  • RSDP4001: Developing as a Researcher
  • RSDP4005: Approaches to Research
  • RSDP4004: Planning Your Research Project

At the end of each year, beginning with your first year, you will reflect on and formally review your progress with your supervisory team and MPhil/PhD Course Leader. We call this annual meeting an Annual Progress Review (APR).

Second year

In your second year, you will be collecting data and working on your research project under the supervision of your supervisors through regular meetings. You may at this point have research papers ready to publish and you may wish to attend conferences to present your research to other experts in your field. You will be able to apply to our Research Student Support Scheme for some funding for this purpose. Students normally undergo Transfer from MPhil to PhD towards the end of their second year. This will be part of your Annual Progress Review for this year.

Third or fourth year

In your third and fourth year, you will be writing up your thesis and preparing for your viva voce examination. This is an oral exam with two examiners and a chair. You can also request that your supervisor be present at the exam. The exam will take place after you have submitted your final thesis. After the exam, it is not unusual for the examiners to ask that some amendments be made to your thesis before the final award is confirmed and you will have additional time to do this. It is possible to complete the course in three years, but we have found that the majority of students do take four years to complete the course. At the end of each year of your registration, you will go through an Annual Progress Review.


Access to the University of Worcester’s virtual resources and its state-of-the-art library facilities. The School of Law at Worcester has an excellent range of resources available to support your learning and your research project, including a mock courtroom, jury room, and vulnerable witness room, as well as links to the legal profession and external academic networks.

Programme specification

For comprehensive details on the aims and intended learning outcomes of the course, and the means by which these are achieved through learning, teaching and assessment, please download the latest programme specification document for the MPhil or PhD.

Part time students follow the same structure as full-time students but normally complete the PhD over a period of five to six years. Part-time students take two modules in each of their first two years, and will normally Transfer to PhD in their fourth year.

Research areas

Research areas

Benefit from a professional and challenging relationship with your supervisory team, drawn from experienced academics working at the forefront of their disciplines.

Supervision areas

The School of Law has a strong mix of academics with a high degree of professional and personal experience, enabling you to get the most out of your programme. Our staff have expertise in areas such as constitutional law, political science, judicial power, human rights, criminal law and evidence, trial by jury, the use of impeachment and accountability.


Dr Chris Monaghan

Constitutional law, constitutional history, accountability, executive power, political science, impeachment and the Chagos litigation.

Dr Josie Welsh

Constitutional law and theory, the judiciary, judicial independence and judicial power, public law and political science.

Dr Michael Lane 

Constitutional law (with a focus on the UK), international human rights law & institutions, empirical research, international relations, United Nations, Universal Periodic Review.

chris monaghan

Dr Chris Monaghan

Chris Monaghan is the Head the School of Law and a Principal Lecturer in Law at the University of Worcester. He has taught at the University of Worcester since the School of Law opened in 2016. He has published in journals such as the Criminal Law Review, Judicial Review, European Human Rights Law Review, Public Law, and Legal Studies.

Chris has a PhD in Law from the Dickson Poon School of Law at King’s College London. His thesis set out the case for a new impeachment process for the United Kingdom, arguing that it would have a valuable role to play in the future development of the United Kingdom’s system of politics and government.

Blonde-haired woman with glasses, wearing a scarf

Dr Josie Welsh

Josie is a Senior Lecturer in Law at the University of Worcester. Alongside her current teaching across the LLB and LLM courses, Josie completed her Doctorate in Public law at the University of Sheffield.

Josie has received nominations for her teaching through the University’s Student Union Students’ Choice Awards: nominated for Outstanding Lecturer, Exceptional Personal Academic Tutor and Module Excellence. In November 2020, Josie was awarded a University of Worcester Teaching Award which recognises innovative, inspiring, and excellent practice.

Michael Lane

Dr Michael Lane

Michael’s research concerns the role of international human rights law, and factors and conditions that affect its impact in states. He is especially interested in the United Kingdom and the interface between international human rights and domestic law. Michael’s research is empirical and interdisciplinary, drawing on theory from constitutional law, sociology, and international relations to interrogate state behaviour.



All students engage with our Researcher Development Programme (RDP). The RDP aims to develop and enhance the skills, both generic and specific, that you will need to complete your research degree but also to become an effective researcher. The RDP is organised around thematic clusters, consisting of modules, and workshops, delivered face-to-face by subject specialists from across the University and the dedicated Researcher Development Team, or online through our virtual learning environment.

As part of the RDP, you will complete a Postgraduate Certificate in Research Methods (PG Cert). All students must complete the PG Cert in order to progress on their MPhil/PhD Programme. The PG Cert is strongly focused on developing your programme of research, starting from establishing your development needs, and preparing you for the planning and subsequent delivery of your programme of research.

Full-time students will complete the PG Cert in 12 months and part-time students in 24 months.


Fees and funding


The current fees can be found within the tuition fees document on our figure out finances page.


Finding the right accommodation is paramount to your university experience. Our halls of residence are home to friendly student communities, making them great places to live and study.

We have over 1,000 rooms across our range of student halls. With rooms to suit every budget and need, from our 'Chestnut Halls' at £131 per week to 'Oak Halls' at £221 per week (2024/25 prices).

For full details visit our accommodation page.

How to apply

How to apply

Additional information

As part of the application process, you will be asked to submit a research outline. We recommend preparing your research outline before beginning your online application. Some guidance on preparing your research outline is available here.

If your research involves working with vulnerable adults and/or children then you may be required to obtain an Enhanced DBS check. There will be a small charge for this. For more information please contact

We are committed to making reasonable adjustment. If you require an alternative format for making your application due to a disability, please contact us to discuss your needs on 01905 542182 or

Information about application and interview deadlines

How to apply

Chris Monaghan is the Course Admissions tutor and he would love to hear from you if you would like to know more about the course and if you are interested in becoming a student on this excellent programme.

To get in touch, please contact

Application links


MPhil - September - Full time MPhil - September - Part time MPhil - January - Full time MPhil - January - Part time


PhD - September - Full time PhD - September - Part time PhD - January - Full time PhD - January - Part time

Get in touch

Professor Nicoleta Cinpoes

Course Leader for MPhil/PhD School of Humanities