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Programme structure

The opportunity to undertake advanced legal research at one of the world's best law schools.

Students in our PhD programme work under the supervision of two academics. In appropriate cases, one of those academics may come from a different department of LSE. 

We also provide specialised training for PhD students, both through our own training course and through courses run by other units of LSE, especially the Department of Methodology and the PhD Academy. 

PhD students are welcome to attend any other LSE course, subject to the approval of the lecturer.

Full-time PhD students must complete their doctorate within four years, and part-time students must complete it within eight years.

At the end of the first year (or, in the case of part-time students, second year), students’ progress is formally assessed. Successful completion of this assessment then sees them registered as candidates for the PhD degree. 

As part of this assessment (or ‘upgrade’) process, students present their work-in-progress at our Upgrade Conference, attended by staff and other PhD students. Third year doctoral students also give a seminar on their work-in-progress, again attended by staff and other PhD students.

We aim to provide our PhD students with the opportunity to gain teaching experience, and also offer the opportunity to become involved with the organisation of mooting, academic conferences, pro bono work, and our working paper series. Each year two PhD students also serve as Masters Students Advisers.