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Research Degrees

PhD, MPhil and LLM by Research

Bangor Law School provides expert PhD, MPhil and LLM by Research supervision in a range of legal areas.

All research students are allocated to a supervisor with a research interest in your chosen topic of study. Your supervisor will provide advice and guidance on your choice of topic; advice on the literature in your field and how to access it; advice on your choice of research methods; advice on thesis structure, content and presentation; critical appraisal of drafts of your thesis; and, in the case of PhD students, advice on preparation for your viva voce examination.

The difference between the three types of research degree is explained below:


A PhD degree is usually 3 years full-time, or 4-5 years part-time. Candidates are expected to present the results of their research in a 100,000-word thesis which represents a significant original contribution to knowledge in the subject area studied, and to undergo a viva voce examination.


An MPhil (Master of Philosophy) degree is usually 2 years full-time, or 3 years part-time. Candidates must successfully complete an approved programme of supervised research, and present their results in a thesis of up to 60,000 words. Students will also undergo a viva voce examination.


As an alternative to the one-year taught LLM, students can do a year-long LLM by Research on a specific research topic, at the end of which they will be required to present a dissertation of up to 50,000 words.

Entry requirements

Entry to research degrees usually requires a Distinction in a Masters degree in Law or a related subject. For international candidates, the minimum English language requirement is an IELTS score of 7.0 (with no element below 6.5).

How to apply

Before applying, prospective applicants are encouraged to consult the staff pages for an indication of the research areas in which the School is able to offer supervision.

Research degree applications must contain the following:

  • Completed application form
  • Research proposal (please refer to the template for guidance on how to complete the proposal)
  • Transcript of bachelor degree study
  • Bachelor degree certificate *
  • Personal Statement
  • One academic reference (please ask the referee to use this reference template when writing the reference)
  • English Language proficiency certificate (non UK students only)

* the original bachelor degree certificate may follow later but must be viewed prior to registration.

The research proposal should be relevant to the research interests and expertise of staff members, as these are the areas in which the school offers research supervision. It is recommended that applicants should refer to staff webpages and read books and journal articles written by staff in advance of formulating a research proposal.

Applications for research degrees can be made online: International candidates should apply through the International Education Centre.