Departmental website: lse.ac.uk/law
Number of graduate students (full-time equivalent)
Number of faculty (full-time equivalent): 65
RAE: 75 per cent of the Department's research was rated world-leading or internationally excellent
Location: New Academic Building
About the Department
As a Department, we are committed to the view that an understanding of law can be achieved only by examining it in its social, economic and policy context. This approach builds upon our distinctive strength of being situated in a school of social sciences with an international reputation.
These qualities are reflected in the Research Assessment Exercise 2008 in which the Department did exceptionally well, with 75 per cent of its research rated either world-leading or of international renown. It is rated the best law department in the UK, both on grade point average and on proportion of 4* research.
The Law Department is the second largest department at the School with 20 professors and over 40 other full-time academic staff. In addition, a large number of emeritus and visiting professors and other teachers drawn from legal practice participate in teaching and research.
Students come from all over the world. Demand greatly exceeds the number of places available and we have to be very selective.
Opportunities for research
We invite applications for research in all areas of staff interest and expertise and are particularly keen to encourage the development of research in legal theory and socio-legal studies.
The normal entry requirement for the MPhil/PhD programme is an average of 70 per cent on the LLM or equivalent qualification, though the requirement may be applied flexibly, in particular to candidates who have performed exceptionally well in a dissertation. The number of students we accept is limited. With your application you should give the title of a broad general area in which you wish to undertake research, and a detailed outline (three or four pages) of a specific topic within that field indicating the ways in which you consider that extended scholarly research and analysis in the field will make a significant and original contribution to knowledge. You should also give some indication of the materials you expect to use, where you expect to find them and the methods of analysis you propose to use. If the proposal takes the form of a theoretical hypothesis, you should indicate how you propose to test it.
You will have research training through LSE's research methods courses run by the Department of Methodology, and at departmental level through the Law Department research seminar. This consists of presentations concentrating on the methodological problems of legal and socio-legal research, by members of staff, visiting speakers and research students. You are expected to attend the seminar and give presentations on your work. Some students are given the opportunity to develop their CV by teaching undergraduates. Doctoral students are also invited to staff seminars and seminars given by other PhD students.
Registration as a visiting research student is for those who do not wish to proceed to a higher degree, but want to pursue their own research with a supervisor who can act as a sounding board and make some of the necessary contacts for empirical research. Applicants wishing to undertake some aspect of their research in the UK must be doctoral students currently registered for the PhD degree at another university. Some seminars and classes can be attended, subject to the advice and approval of the supervisor and teachers concerned. No degree or diploma is awarded, but an appropriate certificate of attendance can be provided on request.
The main resources for research students are the LSE Library, the Library of the Institute of Advanced Legal Studies, other University of London college libraries and the University Library.
Computer facilities are provided for doctoral students on the sixth floor of the New Academic Building.
We also take part in a number of interdisciplinary programmes including: