PhD Law

Our PhD in Law aims to train the next generation of legal thinkers, law reformers, policy advisors, political activists, and academics. The School of Law's  emphasis on combining theory and practice makes us unique in the UK, and a world-class centre for deep and creative legal research.


Key course information

Entry requirements
See full entry requirements
Start date
October 2024
4 years
UK fees
Overseas fees
Subject area

Why choose this

  • Surrey’s specialisms in law offers you the opportunity to explore a diverse range of areas. We have particular research strengths in:
    • Legal philosophy and legal theory
    • Neuroscience and law
    • Criminal law
    • Roman legal history
    • Environmental law
    • Health sciences and law
    • Artificial intelligence and law
    • Finance law and ethics
    • Human rights law
    • European law
    • Public international law. 
  • Our unique concentration of expertise in legal philosophy and legal theory is largely unparalleled worldwide.
  • Our academic staff are internationally recognised for their research and are experienced legal practitioners, providing consultancy to law firms, governments, non-governmental organisations and businesses around the world. As a School of Law doctoral student, you’ll be part of this thriving community of researchers engaged in a wide range of projects, and – depending on your area of study – you’ll be able to join a subject or research group, as well as participate alongside academic staff in the activities of the School of Law. 
  • The School also enjoys excellent links with local, national and international legal communities. You’ll benefit from stimulating roundtable seminars, workshops and lectures delivered by distinguished academics, eminent judges and law practitioners. 
  • The School of Law is ranked 6th in the UK for research outputs – research articles and other published works – with more than half of its research outputs rated world-leading (4*) by the Research Excellence Framework (REF) 2021. The University as a whole is now also ranked in the top 20 in the UK by REF for the overall quality of research outputs.
  • In the Postgraduate Research Experience Survey for 2022, 91.7% of our PhD students reported that they were satisfied overall with the experience of their research degree programme’ and 100 per cent of our law postgraduate research students go on to employment or further study (Graduate Outcomes 2023, HESA).
Find out more information

About the University of Surrey

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Contact our Admissions team or talk to a current University of Surrey student online.

Code of practice for research degrees

Surrey’s postgraduate research code of practice sets out the University's policy and procedural framework relating to research degrees. The code defines a set of standard procedures and specific responsibilities covering the academic supervision, administration and assessment of research degrees for all faculties within the University.

Download the code of practice for research degrees (PDF).

Terms and conditions

When you accept an offer to study at the University of Surrey, you are agreeing to follow our policies and procedures, student regulations, and terms and conditions.

We provide these terms and conditions in two stages:

  • First when we make an offer.
  • Second when students accept their offer and register to study with us (registration terms and conditions will vary depending on your course and academic year).

View our generic registration terms and conditions (PDF) for the 2023/24 academic year, as a guide on what to expect.


This online prospectus has been published in advance of the academic year to which it applies.

Whilst we have done everything possible to ensure this information is accurate, some changes may happen between publishing and the start of the course.

It is important to check this website for any updates before you apply for a course with us. Read our full disclaimer.