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The School of Law and Politics is a recognised leader in legal scholarship in the United Kingdom, and its size enables it to sustain a vibrant research culture.

We are now accepting applications for the Economic and Social Research (ESRC) Wales Graduate School for the Social Sciences (WGSSS) studentship. The closing date is 13:00 Friday 12 January 2024. Please see our latest PhD studentships and projects for further information.

The School of Law and Politics has a thriving postgraduate research culture. We are keen to attract and engage with the next generation of legal scholars and to encourage innovative research in a wide range of fields.

We are keen to attract the next generation of legal scholars and to encourage innovative research across a range of varied areas of Law including commercial, discrimination, medical, family and civil justice.

The School of Law and Politics offers opportunities for both full and part-time study leading to the degrees of MPhil and PhD.

Distinctive features

  • Each full-time research student is allocated office space in the School’s own Graduate Centre.
  • Research students are entitled to financial support for travel or research related to their approved subject (e.g. attending a conference or visiting a specialist library) for every year of their supervision.
  • Students may be offered the opportunity to undertake part-time teaching on the undergraduate programmes.
  • The School encourages individual diversity and promotes innovation in research.

Key facts

Mode of study Full-time, part-time
Qualification PhD, MPhil
Full-time duration PhD 3 years; MPhil 2 years
Part-time duration PhD 5-7 years; MPhil 2-3 years
Start dates January, April, July, October

We can offer supervision in a wide range of legal subjects including:

  • Islamic Law
  • Civil Justice
  • Commercial Law
  • Company Law
  • Comparative Law
  • Contract Law
  • Corporate Governance and Corporate Social Responsibility
  • Criminal Law and Justice
  • Discrimination Law
  • Employment Law
  • Environmental and Energy Law
  • European Law and Governance
  • Family Law
  • Feminist Legal Theory
  • Gender and the Law
  • Governance and Devolution
  • Human Rights Law
  • International Commercial Law
  • International Criminal Law
  • Intellectual Property
  • International Humanitarian Law
  • International Refugee Law and Asylum
  • Judicial Studies and Legal Decision-Making
  • Land Policy and Land Reform
  • Law and Development
  • Law and Literature
  • Legal and Social Theory
  • Legal Expertise
  • Medical Law and
  • Mental Health Law
  • New Technologies and Risk Regulation
  • Private International Law
  • Property Law
  • Public International Law
  • Public Law, Theory and Policy
  • Religious Law
  • Social Care Law
  • Sports Law
  • Tort Law
  • Transnational Dispute Resolution
  • Trusts.

If the area in which you are interested is not in the areas we mention, please feel free to contact us for an informal discussion.

The School has four main research cluster groups related to Law:

  • Medicine, Healthcare and Society
  • Governance and Constitutionalism
  • Procedural Justice
  • Regulation of Commercial Activity

These groups reflect our key strengths and provide a supportive community for fostering intellectual and scholarly endeavour among staff and research students.

UK government postgraduate doctoral loans

Candidates for the Professional Doctorate programme may be eligible to apply for a UK government postgraduate doctoral loan.

Find out more about UK government postgraduate doctoral loans


Our PhD programme in Empirical Studies in Law has had ESRC-funded PhD studentships for UK and EU students in the past.

Funding is also available through the AHRC South, West and Wales Doctoral Training Partnership.

See our latest PhD studentships and projects and find out more about other funding opportunities.

Tuition fees

Students from the UK

Get the latest information on postgraduate fees.

Students from the EU, EEA and Switzerland

Get the latest information on postgraduate fees.

Students from the rest of the world (international)

Get the latest information on postgraduate fees.

Before applying

  • Read carefully about our programme’s structure, entry criteria, funding opportunities.
  • Explore our research and faculty, and identify potential supervisors to include in your application.
  • Ensure that all documents required as part of your application are included.

How to apply

On this page please select:

  • Qualification: Doctor of Philosophy or Master of Philosophy
  • Mode of study: Full time or Part time
  • Start date: As applicable

Click on apply now and complete the online application procedure.

Application checklist

Please include a:

  • detailed research proposal of about 5,000 words. Read our guidance on how to write a research proposal.
  • title
  • introduction
  • clear statement of research problem and research questions
  • review of key literature
  • proposed methodology
  • proposed contribution (why your research is valuable and to whom)

Other documents

  • Those whose first language is not English must obtain a score of at least 7.0 in IELTS (with no less than 6.5 in the Writing element and no less than 5.5 in Listening, Speaking and Reading). Please read our English language requirements for more details.
  • Copies of both Bachelor and Masters (if applicable) degree certificates and transcripts
  • Two Academic References

It is very important that you provide all the relevant information when you apply as incomplete applications will not be considered.

After your application

Applications will be vetted by the Postgraduate Office and reviewed by the Admissions Tutor. Applicants who do not meet the necessary entry requirements will be rejected outright and cannot re-apply for the same start date.

Applications from candidates who meet the entry requirements will be shared with potential supervisors. Once supervisors express interest towards a candidate, a supervisory panel is formed. Candidates may then be invited to an interview (via Skype/Phone or in person) to discuss their Research project. If the interview is successful, an offer will be made.

Closing date

There are no official closing dates however as the application process takes around 2-3 months, we ask that completed applications are submitted for consideration at least 3 months before your requested start date.

Applicants should have a good Honours degree in Law (2:1 or equivalent) or overseas equivalent in a relevant subject.

We will consider all individual applicants on their specific merits. If you do not have the standard qualifications for the course, you may still apply. Your application will be considered if you have the following;

  • Masters’ degree in Law (or equivalent) with an average mark of at least 65%.
  • Applicants with appropriate professional experience.

Interviews (via Skype/Phone or in person) may be conducted to identify and assess the academic merit of prospective students.

English language requirements

Those whose first language is not English must obtain a score of at least 7.0 in IELTS (with no less than 6.5 in the Writing element and no less than 5.5 in Listening, Speaking and Reading).

Please read our English language requirements for more details.


Administrative contact(s)

MPhil/PhD Enquiries, Cardiff Law School

Administrative contact


Apply now
See the range of PhD studentships and projects currently available.

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