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Research Degrees

Durham Law School is a global top 50 QS World Ranked department. We consistently score highly in the Research Excellence Framework and are regularly in the top five in most league tables.

Durham Law School is proud of its dynamic, diverse, and high-achieving community of postgraduate researchers. We currently have over 70 excellent research students - from around the UK, mainland Europe and all corners of the globe - carrying out work under the supervision of our academic staff, many of whom are global leaders in their field. Our list of current research students is available here.

Expert supervision from global leaders

Our academics are amongst the most successful and highly regarded researchers in the UK. Many of our staff are regularly called on to advise national governments, comment on television, radio or print media and our scholarship is internationally highly regarded. For information on the range of expertise and experience of our academic staff and details of their research interests, see Areas of Research Supervision.

Our academic staff receive on-going training in supervising research students ensuring our Law School is at the cutting edge delivering an excellent student experience. Supervisors offer a range of different approaches to legal research encompassing doctrinal, theoretical, socio-legal, and empirical methodologies. The quality of our doctoral student provision has been recognised through the award each year of a number of prestigious externally-funded scholarships. For information on our securing postgraduate scholarships, see Postgraduate Funding Opportunities.

Award-winning, purpose-built facilities

Our research students are accommodated in the Law School’s dedicated postgraduate research suite, with beautiful views of Durham Cathedral. This comprises an extensive work area (60 workspaces), state-of-the-art IT facilities and two project rooms.

Exciting research opportunities

Research students are integrated fully into the life of the Law School. All research students become a member of at least one research centre or group. These groups include the Human Rights CentreDurham European Law Institute, Law and Global Justice and Gender and Law at Durham. A full list of our centres and groups are available here. Research students participate fully in the research events of these centres and groups, and opportunities exist for them to play an active role in their organisation by becoming Deputy Conveners.

To facilitate our students’ engagement with external activities and conferences while studying at Durham, the School provides a competitive postgraduate funding scheme, which in the past year provided £16k to support research students in attending research events in the UK, France, the US, Switzerland, Ireland, Estonia, Finland, Italy, Turkey and Nigeria. 

Research training

In addition to the formal supervision process, our research students have opportunities for intellectual stimulation and development through the Law School’s and University Graduate School’s training programmes. These offer insights into research methods, qualitative and quantitative databases, and time management. The courses also help students manage their research projects, plan their future careers and provide an excellent opportunity to meet students from across the many subject disciplines studied at Durham.