University of Exeter

University of Exeter


The subject-matter of your research is of course chosen by you, although we will give you advice and guidance in formulating an appropriate research proposal. Please feel free to contact staff directly if you have any questions as to the viability of your research ideas.

Family law and policy

The Law School's Network on Family Regulation and Society brings together University of Exeter Law staff leading a network in collaboration with the Universities of Bath, Bristol and Cardiff. Research themes of the network cover:

  • Children's voices
  • Family justice
  • Money/property
  • Parenting
  • Protection
  • Relationships

Legal history

Our legal history research spans the Middle Ages to the modern period, encompassing many areas of specialist expertise. Our projects shed light on the legal past, from the lives of Tudor lawyers, to the foundations of legal protection for the property of the mentally ill.

Areas of expertise include:

  • Administration of justice
  • Business association
  • Comparative legal history
  • Criminal justice
  • European courts and legal system
  • Legal profession
  • Legal methodologies
  • Medico-legal history
  • Property and trusts
  • Social history of the law
  • Tax
  • Tribunals and arbitration
  • Visual representations of justice

European law

The Centre for European Legal Studies is one of the UK’s earliest and most influential centres of its kind.

Our research covers:

  • European human rights law
  • EU security and defence 
  • European constitutionalism
  • EU competition, commercial and corporate law
  • Cyber security law
  • European aspects of immigration and asylum law 

International law

We have particular expertise in the fields of:

  • International criminal law
  • Democracy and human rights law
  • Public international law: humanitarian law and the law of armed conflict
  • International security law
  • Immigration and asylum law
  • Feminist legal theory
  • Labour/employment law
  • Migration and multiculturalism

Commercial and corporate law

We have strong expertise in all aspects of commercial law, including:

  • Corporate governance and social responsibility
  • Energy and environmental law
  • Charity law
  • Insolvency law
  • Competition law
  • Consumer protection
  • Contract law
  • Insurance and reinsurance law
  • International arbitration
  • Finance, banking and credit law
  • International trade
  • Maritime law
  • Business structures
  • Investment law
  • Intellectual property, copyright & cultural heritage, and patent law

Science, culture and the law

This multidisciplinary research group provides leading contributions to discourse on matters of policy, governance, regulation and culture in:

  • Intellectual property law
  • Technologies
  • Information law
  • Human rights
  • Legal personhood
  • Bioethics
  • Psychoanalysis

Entry requirements

MA by Research in Law

You should have a good first degree either in Law or another subject that could prepare you for a research project within the School of Law.

MPhil/PhD Law

Normally students will have a good undergraduate Honours degree (UK Upper Second Class Honours or equivalent) and a Masters degree with a dissertation component. If you are seeking funding through one of the Research Councils (UK/EU students only), you will need to hold a minimum Upper Second Class Honours degree, although often these awards are won by those with First Class Honours due to high levels of competition.

As part of your application you will need to be able to prove that you have the research skills, vision and motivation to make your research project a success.

MPhil/PhD Legal Practice

We require you to have a first degree in Law, or a first degree in another discipline and have passed the Common Professional Examination/Diploma in Law, and have held a professional qualification for at least five years.

You will be required to submit a summary of your proposed portfolio of legal practice and provide confirmation of the nature and extent of your personal professional involvement in the case-work outlined. The research subject may be drawn from any area of legal practice within which you have worked and may reflect an interest in any aspect of substantive law, legal process, legal policy, or legal scholarship. Please contact the Law School in advance to discuss any ethical issues or legal constraints that may arise from the choice of case-study and potentially that would potentially affect the submission of a portfolio. Applicants are normally interviewed as part of the admissions process.

Requirements for international students

If you are an international student, please visit our international equivalency pages to enable you to see if your existing academic qualifications meet our entry requirements.


Qualification Study mode Start month Fee Course duration
PhD Part-time - Years
PhD Full-time September 2019 - 4 Years
MA (Research) Part-time - Years
MA (Research) Full-time September 2019 - 2 Years
MPhil Part-time - Years
MPhil Full-time September 2019 - 3 Years

Campus details

Campus name Town Postcode Region Main campus Campus Partner
Streatham Campus Exeter EX4 4QJ South West

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