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(Study in London)
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​(Study in London)
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Undertaking doctoral research allows you to develop in-depth knowledge, while making a meaningful contribution to your chosen field.

With guidance from our expert supervisors, you'll carry out extensive independent research culminating in a thesis of up to 100,000 words. The areas covered by the Institute’s expertise cover a broad range of law, policy and crime. 

This degree presents the opportunity to gain expertise in your area of interest while also honing a range of transferable skills. On completing this course, you'll be well prepared for specialist career paths both within academia and beyond.

 
Subject Areas and Supervisor

The Institute of Advanced Legal Studies offers doctoral research supervision in the following areas:

  • Company Law
  • Comparative Law
  • Criminal Law and Evidence
  • Energy Law
  • European Criminal Law
  • Financial Crime
  • Financial Services and Regulation Law
  • Gender, Sexuality and Law
  • Information Law and Policy
  • Law and Society
  • Legal Education
  • Legislative Studies / Law Reform
  • Public Law and Regulation

Before submitting an application you are advised to contact a member of the academic staff who has interests in your proposed field of study to discuss your proposal. A list of academic staff and their interests can be found here.

 

The Institute of Advanced Legal Studies

The Institute of Advanced Legal Studies (IALS) is a national academic institution serving all universities through its national legal research library.

Its function is to promote, facilitate, and disseminate the results of advanced study and research in the discipline of law for the benefit of persons and institutions in the UK and abroad. Its areas of speciality include arbitration and dispute settlement, company law, comparative law, economic crime, financial services law, legislative studies and law reform, and the legal profession and delivery of legal services.

The School of Advanced Study

The School of Advanced Study at the University of London brings together nine internationally renowned research institutes to form the UK's national centre for the support of researchers and the promotion of research in the humanities.

Course Structure

Full-time study for the PhD degree entails three or a maximum of four years' independent research, culminating in the writing of a thesis of not more than 100,000 words. Part-time students complete the same programme in five, or a maximum of six years.

After submission of the thesis, you will attend an oral examination conducted by an internal examiner, from the University of London, and an external examiner, normally from another British university.

There is no formal coursework, but you will be expected to participate in a weekly seminar on Work in Progress and to present a paper every year from their second year onwards. In your first year you are required to attend a weekly class on Techniques of Scholarship. You are also encouraged to participate in the regular seminars held at the Institute during the academic year.

Distance Learning

The School of Advanced Study will offer students with an appropriate topic and level of local resource the opportunity to undertake a PhD by distance learning. These students are required to attend our London campus at set intervals to complete an intensive research training module, for upgrade, and for the viva but will otherwise study at their own location. This option is available to UK, EU and international students on the same basis as our on-campus PhD programmes (three years full time, six years part time). Fees are the same as for our on-campus PhD programmes. Please note that not all institutes and supervisors offer this option, and that some topics are not appropriate to be studied this way.

If you would like to be considered for our Research Degree programme via Distance Learning, please download and fill out the Research Degrees by Distance Learning form, to attach to your online application.

Opportunities and Facilities

The Institute of Advanced Legal Studies is a unique institution, which has as its mission the promotion and support of legal research in its widest sense.

At the heart of the Institute is the IALS Library – the national research library for law and one of the largest law research libraries in Europe. Doctoral researchers will therefore benefit from a rich collection of materials on the law of the UK, Commonwealth and European countries, the USA and EU, as well as other national jurisdictions, international and comparative law. The IALS Library also manages several legal archive collections, and is at the forefront of providing digital resources and online legal research tools.

More broadly, the School of Advanced Study itself offers excellent resources for inter-disciplinary research by bringing together nine internationally renowned research institutes that support the promotion of research in the humanities.

The School of Advanced Study is also home to Senate House Library, the central library for the University of London. The art deco building, which the School and Senate House Library are part of, is a literary landmark in the heart of Bloomsbury, located next to the British Museum. The Library occupies the fourth to the nineteenth floors of the building,  with a range of historic library reading rooms and collections. 

Much like the Institute itself, the School offers a broad range of events, seminars and conferences that we encourage our research students to engage with.

Our research students can also take advantage of a varied and challenging research training programme, with general research skills training and research methodologies courses provided through the School and subject-specific training provided within the institutes.

How to Apply

Before submitting an application you are advised to contact a member of the academic staff who has interests in your proposed field of study to discuss your proposal. A list of academic staff and their interests can be found here.

Before agreeing to accept you, the School will require you to submit a research proposal, so it is worthwhile having this drafted ahead of a formal application. Guidelines on drafting your research proposal.

Please note that our applications for October 2021 will soon open, please register your interest in the meantime.

Location Mode Duration Apply
London Full Time 3 years Apply Now
London Part Time 6 years Apply Now
Distance Learning Full Time 3 years Apply Now
Distance Learning Part Time 6 years Apply Now

Candidates will normally receive an initial response to their application within 28 working days. Those who have been formally interviewed will normally be informed within one week as to whether they are to be offered a place.

Note: in accordance with regulations research students will be registered for the MPhil degree in the first instance. Upgrading to PhD will be considered in the second year for full-time students and in the third or fourth year for part-time students.

Fees and Funding

Fees

We offer online guidance and information regarding our tuition fees, payment and fee status.

Funding

Our students fund their studies in a variety of ways including scholarships, bursaries and fellowships, as well as government loans and postgraduate loans.

We offer a range of bursaries and studentships for applicants on our programmes, including Institute and course specific scholarships.

The School is part of the London Arts and Humanities Partnership (LAHP), through which we are able to offer a number of studentships in humanities disciplines.

Supervisors

Professor Alexandra Xanthaki

Senior Associate Research Fellow at IALS

Supervisor Image

Email | Research Profile

Topics:

  • International human rights law
  • Minority and indigenous rights 
  • Cultural rights 

See more... 

Bio

Dr Xanthaki is Reader in Law at Brunel Law School, Brunel University, London.

Alexandra is a leading expert on minority and indigenous rights as well as cultural rights in international law. She works at brunel University London and is also member of the Human Rights faculty of Oxford University. Her monograph Indigenous Rights and United Nations Standards: Self-determination, Culture and Land (Cambridge University Press) is considered a reference source on the topic, while her co-edited Reflections on the Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (Hart) and the 2017 Indigenous Peoples' Cultural Heritage (Martinus Nijhoff/ Brill) are cited widely. Her work has been cited repeatedly in United Nations documents and she has given keynote speeches around the world, including the Arctic Centre, Rovaniemi; the KL Bar, Malaysia; Trento, Italy; and London. She has worked closely with the UN Expert Mechanism on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, the UN Special Rapporteur on Indigenous Issues, and the ILO. Currently she is working with the local Latin traders and Minority Rights Group International on the rights of the Latin American community in the 7sisters re-development in Haringey, London. She has taught civil servants, indigenous leaders and activities in Vietnam, Pretoria, Kyiv, and London.  

Since October 2015, Alexandra leads the Athens Refugee Project, where she takes Brunel law students to Athens to volunteer in migrant and refugee sites, provide assistance and learn more on the refugee crisis in Europe from discussions with state authorities, NGOs and IGOs. She has been the recipient of the 2018 Darby-Dowman Award for exceptional teaching and students support. 

Currently Alexandra is involved in several projects involving minorities, migrant and refugee rights, while supervising PhD candidates on aspects of indigenous and cultural rights in international law. 

View Dr Xanthaki's profile at at Brunel University.

 

Professor Avrom Sherr

Emeritus Professor

Avrom Sherr

Email | Research Profile

Topics:

  • Development of legal education
  • Sociology of the legal profession
  • Ethics in professional work 
  • Provision of legal services
  • Human rights law

Bio

Professor Sherr graduated in Law from the London School of Economics in 1971 and qualified as a solicitor in commercial litigation with the then firm of Coward (now Clifford) Chance. From 1974 to 1990 he taught at Warwick University where he was a pioneer

Professor Sherr's main areas of interest have been the development of legal education, the sociology of the legal profession, ethics in professional work and the provision of legal services. He has also been involved in human rights generally and has written in the area of freedom of protest. Work on discrimination relating to AIDS/HIV and the issues of welfare rights provision within health care.

Avrom Sherr has been the principal architect of the concept and system of competence assessment in publicly funded legal aid work. He is the founding editor of the International Journal of the Legal Profession, was the project leader producing the seminal report "Willing Blindness" on regulation of the legal profession, and has coordinated a number of trans-European projects on legal ethics, money laundering, legal and accountancy practitioner defaults and discrimination.

He also acts as a consultant to government and professional bodies in relation to access to justice and professional training and discipline and is a member of Legal Services Complaints Commissioner's Legal Services Consumer Board.

 

Dr Constantin Stefanou

Director of Taught Programmes

Constantin Stefanou

Email | Research Profile

Topics:

  • Legislative drafting
  • Legislative drafting and the policy process
  • EU politics & law
  • EU criminal law
  • EU enlargement
  • International relations theory

Bio

BA (NEC) (Summa Cum Laude), MA (Essex), MPhil. (Essex), PhD (Kent).

Summary of research interests and expertise:

Legislative Drafting; Legislative Drafting and the Policy Process; EU Politics & Law; EU Criminal Law; EU Enlargement; International Relations Theory. 

 

Professor Ilias Bantekas

Senior Associate Research Fellow

Dr Ilias Bantekas

Email | Research Profile

Topics:

  • Sovereign debt law and finance

  • Transnational law as an alternative to international and private law

  • International development law and finance

  • International commercial and investment arbitration
     

Bio

LLB (Athens); LLM, PhD (Liverpool); Dip Theology (Cantab)

Ilias was a Reader at Westminster Law School from 1998-2006, at which time he took up a Chair in International Law at Brunel University. He has held visiting positions at Harvard, Miami, Cleveland-State, SOAS, Yeditepe, Kadir Has (both in Istanbul), Rosario (Bogota), Trier and elsewhere. He is an active member of the Athens Bar and is currently Off-Counsel to Mourgelas and Associates Law Firm in Athens, having advised widely on international law and foreign investment.

 

Dr Mahmood Bagheri

Course Director: LLM In International Corporate Governance, Financial Regulation And Economic Law And Senior Associate Research Fellow

Mahmood Bagheri

Email | Research Profile

Topics:

  • International financial law
  • Internationalisation of securities markets and regulatory challenges
  • Private international law of securities transactions
  • Competition and integration among stock exchanges
  • Role of informational intermediaries in financial regulation

Bio

Dr. Bagheri is currently a Senior Associate Research Fellow and teaches the International Trade and Finance module on the LLM programme.  His previous academic appointments include Lecturer in International Trade and Finance Law, School of Law, Brunel University; Research Fellow, Centre for Financial regulation, Cass Business School, City University; Visiting Senior Fellow and Lecturer in Banking and Finance Law, Centre for Commercial Law Studies, Queen Mary College; Visiting Professor of law at the National University of Malaysia; Visiting Lecturer in Commercial Law, Birkbeck College School of Law, University of London; Visiting Lecturer in Contract Law, Open University; Visiting academic, School of Law, Doshisha University, Japan; Visiting scholar, Max Planck Institute, Germany.  Dr. Bagheri is also an assistant Professor of Banking and Financial Regulation at the University of Tehran.

 

Professor Philip Baker

Senior Associate Research Fellow

Supervisor Image

Email | Research Profile

Topics:

  • International aspects of taxation 
  • European convention on human rights 

Bio

 

Professor Terence Daintith

Professorial Fellow

Terence Daintith

Email | Research Profile

Topics:

  • Constitutional law (UK and comparative)

  • Regulation: law, policy and practice

  • History of resources law

  • Energy, petroleum and mineral law and policy

Bio

Terence Daintith is a Professorial Fellow at the Institute of Advanced Legal Studies, University of London, where he was Director from 1988 to 1995.  Before that he taught at the Universities of California (Berkeley), Edinburgh and Dundee, and was a research professor at the European University Institute in Florence, Italy.   His main research interests are in the fields of oil and gas law, energy law, regulation, and constitutional law.  He is co-editor of Daintith, Willoughby and Hill’s multi-volume United Kingdom Oil and Gas Law, the basic reference in the field, and was founding editor of the Journal of Energy and Natural Resources Law.  His most recent book is Finders Keepers? How the Law of Capture Shaped the World Oil Industry (2010).  He is currently working on the use of government-owned companies as a vehicle for policy implementation.  From 1994 until 2002 he was Dean of the University of London’s School of Advanced Study, grouping its research institutes in the humanities and social sciences, and he now teaches oil and gas law, and energy law, in several Australian universities.  He holds honorary doctorates in law from De Montfort University and the University of Aberdeen.   

Dr Maria Mousmouti

Lecturer in Law

Supervisor Image

Email | Research Profile

Topics:

  • Legislative effectiveness
  • Legislative quality and legislative drafting
  • Better Regulation policies
  • Legislative evaluation
  • Equality and non-discrimination Law

Bio

Maria's work throughout the years essentially consists in supporting, documenting and assisting reform initiatives through research and capacity-building in areas related to judicial independence, public administration reform, constitutional reform, human rights, quality of regulatory systems and legislation and facilitating of access to justice.

She has actively worked in more than 20 countries in Southern Europe, the Middle East, Africa and Central Asia. Her most recent projects include identifying obstacles to the exercise of the rights of people with disabilities (Greece, 2014), coordinating data collection for monitoring the respect of fundamental rights (FRA, since 2007), providing assistance to the Serbian Parliament (EU, ongoing), assessing the effectiveness of the Victims Directive (EU, ongoing), consolidating the legislation on gender equality in Greece (Greece 2012-2013), designing a system for assessing the impacts of legislation on gender (Greece 2013), reducing bureaucracy and measuring administrative burdens to the Greek legal order (Greece, 2010), drafting legislation to support the education reforms of the Ministry of Education (Greece, 2011), mapping the legislative drafting process in Syria (Damascus, 2010), conducting research to document reforms to enhance judicial independence in Azerbaijan (Baku, 2011), assessing the compliance of Greek legislation with the UN Convention on the Rights of People with Disabilities and drafting a bill to ensure its effective transposition (Greece, 2012).

Maria is fluent in Greek, English, French, Spanish and has basic knowledge of German.

Helen Xanthaki

Senior Associate Research Fellow

Helen Xanthaki

Email | Research Profile

Topics:

  • Legislative drafting, especially in the common law, civil law, and the EU
  • Comparative Law and Research Methods, especially legal transplants in the legislative process
  • EU law, especially legislation and legislative process

Bio

LLB (Athens), MJur (Dunelm), PhD (Dunelm), DipComLaw (UoL), SFHEA

Summary of research interests and expertise:

Legislative drafting, especially drafting in the common law, drafting in the civil law and drafting in the EU focusing on transposition, harmonisation and approximation; Law reform and law reform agencies; Comparative Law and Research Methods, especially legal transplants in the legislative process; EU law, especially legislation and legislative process.

Recent books include Legislation in Europe: A Country by Country Handbook for Scholars and Practitioners (forthcoming, Hart and Nomos, Oxford); Better Legislation and the EU (forthcoming, Elgar Publishers, London); and Legislation in Europe: A Handbook for Scholars and Practitioners, 2017, Hart Publishers, Oxford). Her book Drafting Legislation: Art and Technology of Rules for Regulation (2014, Hart Publishers, Oxford) is a reference book in legislative drafting and has been reviewed in Public Law, Legal Studies, The Loophole, the Statute Law Review, Theory and Practice of Legislation, European Journal of Law Reform, Rassegna Parlamentare, Zeitschift fur Gesetzgeburg, LesGez: Legislation and Evaluation; and the European Journal of Risk Regulation. Helen is the editor of the last edition of Thornton's Legislative Drafting (2013). Her publications include chapters in books and articles published in The Theory and Practice of Legislation, the Statute Law Review, and the European Journal of Law Reform.

Helen offers consultancy services in the field of legislative drafting; law reform; approximation, harmonisation, transposition; EU criminal law. Recent research projects include the AHRC funded project on big data in legislation; and the evaluation of the Victims' Rights Directive and its transposition. Recent consultancies include services in Vietnam, Myanmar, Ethiopia, Rwanda.

Helen is a member of the editorial board of Theory and Practice of Legislation, the European Journal of Law Reform, NovaLogos. She is the President of the International Association for Legislation. She is based in UCL where she directs the PGLaws programmes of the University of London. She is also a Visiting Professor at QMUL.

 

Dr Nóra Ni Loideain

Carl Stychin

Email | Research Profile

Bio

Nóra’s research interests focus on governance, human rights, and technology, particularly in the fields of digital privacy, data protection, and state surveillance. 

Her forthcoming publications include her PhD from the University of Cambridge on the mass surveillance of citizens’ communications metadata for national security and law enforcement purposes under European human rights law. This is the focus of her forthcoming monograph - EU Data Privacy Law and Serious Crime: Data Retention and Policymaking (Oxford University Press). 

She is also co-author of the forthcoming textbook: Lynskey & Ní Loideáin, Data Protection Law and Policy (Oxford University Press) and an editor of the leading peer-review journal International Data Privacy Law (Oxford University Press).

 

Professor Carl Stychin

 

Carl Stychin

Email | Research Profile

Bio

Professor Stychin is best known for his research on law, gender and sexuality, and he has published three monographs, co-edited three collections, and published numerous articles in the field. In addition, he has longstanding interests in tort law and in law and popular culture. He edited a student 'text and materials' collection (four editions, the last three of which were co-edited with Professor Linda Mulcahy) on Legal Methods and Systems. He remains the editor of Social & Legal Studies: An International Journal, a position which he has held for many years. 

In 2014, Professor Stychin was made a Fellow of the Academy of Social Sciences in recognition of his contribution to the socio-legal study of gender and sexuality. In 2015, he was elected to the Executive of the Committee of Heads of UK Law Schools (CHULS), the representative body for UK law schools and their management. In 2017, he was appointed Vice-Chair and, in 2018, he became the Chair of CHULS. 

 

Professor Michael Palmer

 

Carl Stychin

Email | Research Profile

Bio

Qualifications: 

LLB (Cantab.); BSc, MA, LLD (London); Barrister (Lincoln's Inn)

Special Interests: 

Michael Palmer is a Senior Associate Fellow of the Institute of Advanced Legal Studies.

 

Dr Colin King

Senior Associate Research Fellow

Helen Xanthaki

Email | Research Profile

Bio

Dr Colin King is Reader in Law and Director of Postgraduate Research Studies. He previously worked at the Universities of Sussex; Manchester; and Leeds. He was an Academic Fellow at the Honourable Society of the Inner Temple from 2014-2017. 

Colin’s research primarily focuses on proceeds of crime and anti-money laundering law and practice. He also has research interests in financial crime more generally, particularly corporate crime and the use of deferred prosecution agreements. He has published widely in these areas, including Negotiated Justice and Corporate Crime: The Legitimacy of Civil Recovery and Deferred Prosecution Agreements (King and Lord, Palgrave, 2018) and The Handbook of Criminal and Terrorism Financing Law (King, Walker, and Gurulé, eds, Palgrave, 2018). His current research examines anti-money laundering law and practice in the UK property market.

Colin also conducts research in criminal evidence and criminal justice, particularly in relation to legal responses to organised crime and terrorism.  

He has received a number of funding awards to support his research, including from the AHRC Leadership Fellowship scheme; the British Academy Tackling the UK’s International Challenges scheme; the Modern Law Review Seminar Series; the AHRC Network scheme; the Worldwide Universities Network Research Mobility Programme; and the Irish Research Council.