Research ( full-time, part-time)
January, April, September
Distance learning supervision is available on this course.
For application deadlines visit our how to apply page.
Join an international group of researchers and practitioners with expertise in the areas of Law and Society, Digital Economy and Arbitration Law, and Criminal Justice. Our PhD research programme will allow you to explore your own interests in law, supported by the expertise of our staff. As a PhD research student here, you will be affiliated with the Centre for Access to Justice and Inclusion and you'll be supported to undertake research that makes an independent and original contribution to knowledge and to progress into your future career.
Here at the Faculty of Business and Law, the goal of our research is to develop a better understanding of the challenges arising from the role and application of law in the community, especially challenges around access to justice and inclusion. You’ll find staff with expertise in three broad areas: Law and Society, Digital Economy and Arbitration Law, and Criminal Justice.
Our Law and Society researchers have addressed a range of contemporary social issues in the areas of human rights and vulnerable communities, family law, Sharia law and the regulation of sports. This research ranges from the impact of Brexit on the welfare rights EU Roma migrants in the United Kingdom to parents’ rights over their children’s religious upbringing in the context of the government’s PREVENT strategy, and issues of family law and the legal regulation of intimate relationships.
Our Digital Economy and Arbitration Law researchers have engaged with the pressing legal and regulatory implications of developments in the areas of International Arbitration, as well as Information and Communication Technologies, including strategies for bridging the digital divide, the regulation of online behavioural advertising on Facebook and other social networking sites, copyright reform, sports law, and foundational questions relating to authority and authorisation in international investment dispute settlement.
Our Criminal Justice researchers have engaged with the global challenges of international counter-terrorism and, in particular, the prosecution of members of Islamic State for international crimes against the Yazidis. This research strand has also focused on issues of criminal procedure, such as the role of precedent in international criminal courts and tribunals and the impact of scientific evidence, such as DNA evidence, on the criminal trial. Many of the research projects undertaken by our researchers have strongly interdisciplinary theoretical and methodological design.
We’ll allocate you two supervisors suited to your area of research, with additional staff members available if necessary, and provide you with a rich and stimulating environment in which to conduct your research.
As a PhD student here, you'll be affiliated with the Centre for Access to Justice and Inclusion, which engages in research, dialogue and policy initiatives to promote the important values of access to justice and inclusion. We also host and take part in many other research events, including regular Faculty and departmental research seminars, which will allow you to present your research in a safe and supportive setting. These events, along with our online environment, will help you connect with other research students from a range of disciplines.
All your subject-specific studies will be enhanced and supported by our university-wide training sessions, where you’ll gain important research expertise in areas like ethics, presentations, intellectual property and digital scholarship.
MPhil: full-time 1-3 years, part-time 2-4 years.
PhD via progression from MPhil, including that period: full-time 2.5-5 years, part-time 3.5-6 years.
PhD: full-time 2-4 years, part-time 3-6 years.
For further guidance on the duration of research degrees please refer to the Research Degrees Regulations.
Our permanent supervisory staff are recognised as experts in their fields, and have produced a large number of influential books, journal articles and edited collections. Our expertise in law includes:
Dr Ana Keglević Steffek: European contract law; Insurance contract law; Consumer law; Commercial arbitration
Dr Andrew Gilbert: Family law; Policy
Dr Egle Dagilyte: European Union law; Human rights law; Social security; Employment law
Dr Elina Konstantinidou: Criminal law; Criminal litigation; Corporate law; English legal system
Dr Helga Hejny: Discrimination law; European Union law, Transnational corporations; Human rights; Public law; Comparative studies
Dr Imranali Panjwani: Commercial Law; Human rights; Jurisprudence; Islamic Law
Dr Katerina Sidiropoulou: Employment law; Commercial law; Access to justice; Alternative/online dispute resolution; comparative studies
Professor Rohan Kariyawasam: Digital economy; Internet law; IP law; Competition law; Communications law; International development; the 'open society'; International trade and world trade law
Dr Ryan Hill: International human rights law; Theory and practice; The intersection between philosophy and law; Constitutional law and constitutionalism; Freedom of religion
Tom Serby: Sports law; Legal education; Business; Employment; Criminal law.
You want the benefit of a thriving and highly regarded school where you can develop your skills and confidence for a potentially complex and competitive career. Graduating with this kind of specialist knowledge makes you valuable to employers, confident that you’ve learnt the tools to do the job. You know what it takes to be a professional in your field and we design our courses to get you on the right track, and to get you practicing in a safe environment as soon as possible. With professional accreditation to back up the theory of your degree, you’ll stand out from the crowd of other applicants and be ready for your first graduate job.
Our campus is close to the centre of Cambridge, often described as the perfect student city.
In some cases extra costs known as bench fees will be charged for a postgraduate research degree. These are to cover additional/exceptional costs directly related to a specific research project.
Some examples of these costs are (the list is not exhaustive): equipment hire, access costs to specialist equipment/workshops, volunteer expenses, specialist tissue/cell culture, specialist reagents or materials, specialist software, access to specialist databases, data collection costs, specialist media, recording or digital storage needs.
We charge bench fees in bands. They may apply for every year of your course. These bands are the same for full- and part-time students.
If you have to pay bench fees this will be made clear at your interview, and stated in your offer letter.
For 2021/22 the bench fee bands are:
Initial registration: £1,300
Full registration: £4,000
Part time: £1,000
Full time: £1,800
You can pay your fees upfront, in full or in instalments – though you won't need to pay until you've accepted an offer to study with us. Find out more about paying your fees.
For advice on the doctoral loan and other sources of funding, including ARU scholarships, visit our finance guide for postgraduate researchers.
You might also find The Alternative Guide to Postgraduate Funding helpful.
ARU's academic excellence was recognised in 2021, as part of the Research Excellence Framework (REF), an exercise which assesses the quality of academic research. Sixteen areas of our work were classed as generating world-leading research. The results showed that we're making a significant impact on the societies we live in.
We’ll provide you with many opportunities for career development and training, in areas like writing up a paper for publication, placing an academic article, giving a conference paper, the doctoral writing style, updates on research methods and literature searches, internet training, editing skills for doctoral research, subsequent monograph publication and working with agents and publishers. You might also be able to take on teaching responsibilities, or organise research events.
In conjunction with the University’s research support, you can request specific support for writing-up, conference papers, general research methods and other research skills if you need it.
If you're interested in finding out more about research study opportunities in this area, please email [email protected]
MPhil or PhD with progression from MPhil: You’ll need a Bachelors degree or equivalent with first or upper second class honours, in a related subject area.
PhD: You’ll need a Masters degree or equivalent in a related subject area.
Please note we consider candidates for PhD with progression from MPhil in the first instance. If you want to be considered for direct entry to the PhD route then this can be discussed at interview if you are shortlisted. Please note you’ll also need to provide academic justification for this request.
If English is not your first language, you'll require a minimum IELTS score of 6.5, with a minimum of 5.5 in each component (or equivalent test). If you don't meet our English language requirements, we offer a range of courses which could help you achieve the level required for entry.
Our published entry requirements are a guide only and our decision will be based on your overall suitability for the programme as well as whether you meet the minimum entry requirements. Contact our postgraduate research degree team for more information about studying a PhD, MPhil or Professional Doctorate at ARU.
You'll need a computer and reliable internet access to successfully engage with your research programme. Before starting, we recommend that you check our technical requirements for online learning.
Studying during COVID-19
Due to national restrictions all universities in England, including ARU, are only able to provide face to face access to research resources in limited circumstances where access can be justified under movement restrictions. Visit our restrictions page for details. All assessments and supervision are currently conducted online.
In response to the COVID-19 global pandemic and related Government guidance, your research programme will be framed, wherever possible, to be conducted away from campus and in line with movement restrictions. For some types of research attendance on campus will be essential for some activities, and these activities will need to be undertaken in a COVID-19 safe manner in line with our risk management procedures.
In the event that there are further changes to the current restrictions that are in place within the UK due to the pandemic, we may need all of our researchers to work online only at short notice to remain in line with Government guidelines and ensure the continued safety of our students and staff.
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