Departmental website:

Number of graduate students (full-time equivalent)
Research: 30

Number of faculty (full-time equivalent): 68

REF: 85 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 2014 Research Excellence Framework (REF), in which the Department had the highest percentage of world-leading 4* publications of any UK institution. In light of the fact that nearly all members of staff in the Law Department were submitted to REF 2014, this is a remarkable achievement.

In the overall ranking, aggregating scores for research outputs, impact of research on policy, and academic environment the Department was placed in second place in the country league table. When adjusted to take account of the percentage of full-time staff submitted to REF, LSE Law is by some distance the number one UK Law School for overall research quality.

The Law Department is one of the three largest departments at the School with 20 professors and over 45 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.

Taught programmes

We also take part in a number of interdisciplinary programmes including:




MPhil/PhD Law
MPhil/PhD Socio-Legal Theory
Visiting Research Students

Application code: M3ZL (Law), M3ZS (Socio-Legal Theory), M3EL (VRS) (check availability)

Start date: 22 September 2016

Duration: 3/4 years (minimum 2), VRS up to 9 months

Entry requirement: LLM or equivalent with an average of 70 per cent. Applicants who have performed exceptionally well in their dissertation will be considered

English requirement: Law

GRE/GMAT requirement: None

Fee level: See Tuition fees

Financial support: LSE scholarships and studentships (see Financial support). LSE is an ESRC Doctoral Training Centre. The MPhil/PhD Law (Socio-Legal Studies pathway) is part of the Social Policy group of accredited programmes for ESRC funding (see ESRC). Law Department Scholarships and LSE Fellowships

Application deadline: 27 April 2016. The selection process for LSE PhD and Research Council Studentships will take place earlier. The funding deadline is 11 January 2016. Selection for funding is based on receipt of an application for a place – including all ancillary documents