Lancaster Castle

PhD Degrees

We offer MPhil and PhD programmes in Law and Criminology

Find a Supervisor

Read about the research interests of our experts in Law and Criminology

Funding Opportunities

How to Apply

Applications are welcomed from those holding a good second-class honours degree from a UK university, or an equivalent qualification. Lancaster's taught postgraduate degrees are designed to be suitable for non-law as well as law graduates, so it is not necessary to have a law degree.

To submit an application, simply create an account on the My Applications website and then select ‘Create a new application’ from your homepage once you are logged-in.

Using your account on the My Applications website, you are able to submit applications for the programme(s) which you wish to study, upload supporting documentation and provide us with information about referees.

Current Lancaster Students

If you are a current Lancaster student, or you have recently graduated from Lancaster, we can reduce the amount of information that you will need to provide as part of your application. You will need to provide only one reference and will not need to supply your Lancaster degree transcript. We will also pre-fill your personal details, ready for you to check.

Finding a supervisor

While it is not necessary to get in touch with potential supervisors before submitting your application, in some cases it can be useful to email staff whom you would be interested to work with before applying. This could be helpful for you in finding out whether you do share similar interests or theoretical orientations, and whether the member of staff is currently accepting new PhD students. You can get in touch with staff directly through the information on their profile pages.

If you use the My Applications website then you will be advised which documentation you need to upload or send to us. We can automatically contact your referees once you have submitted your application if you ask us to.

The supporting documentation screen will provide you with a list of required documents. These will usually include:

  • Degree certificates and transcripts of previous higher education (college/university) degrees or other courses that you have completed/for which you are currently studying. For transcripts in languages other than English, a certified English translation will be required.
  • A personal statement to help us understand why you wish to study your chosen degree.
  • You also need to complete a research proposal which should include the following:
    • the research area you are interested in
    • the research question(s) you are specifically interested in
    • who within our department appears best qualified to supervise you
    • the methods you envisage using in your studies
    • plus any other information which may be relevant
  • An example of postgraduate level written work (e.g. LLM/MA Coursework, article or research paper)
  • Two references
  • If English is not your first language, we require copies of English language test results. It is possible for us to consider your application before receiving these test results, and to then give you a conditional offer that will be dependent upon receiving test results at a later date.

You can apply at any time of the year for PhD study, but we encourage you to start at one of the predefined start dates of October, January or April. In some circumstances, a July start date can be considered. 

If you wish to be considered for funding, are applying from overseas or require on-campus accommodation, we recommend you apply as early as possible.

If you would like more information before applying, please contact us at pgadmissions@lancaster.ac.uk or + 44 (0)1524 593148. If you have any queries during the application process, please contact our Postgraduate Admissions Team.