PhD in Law

The distance learning PhD is ideal for those who are based away from Leicester or who want to combine working for a research degree with their professional and personal commitments.

Our distance learning PhDs offer a more flexible way to study for a research degree – allowing you to undertake a University of Leicester PhD wherever you are based in the world.

As with the campus based PhD, you will undertake a substantial research project that is written up as a thesis of 80,000 words and defended in an oral exam (the viva voce).

Course Description

Entry Requirements
Standard academic entry requirements and English language entry requirements apply.

This route is well-suited to those who have a research project associated with their work or particular interests and where resources are available locally to support your research.

Annual Course Fee 2019/20 Entry

UK/EU/ International- £24,240

Annual Course Fee 2020/21 Entry

UK/EU/International £25,340

Tuition Fees can be paid using any of the options below:

1. Total course fee paid in full before first registration.
2. Total course fee split into 4 annual payments with first annual payment made in full before first registration.
3. Total course fee split into 12 instalments paid over the first 4 years of study. The first instalment to be paid before first registration.

A payment schedule will be sent with the offer letter.

Distance Learning PhD Description

Research students on the distance learning programme are expected to be able to spend around 10-15 hours per week over the duration of their course (some research students use holiday periods for this).

There is no difference between the distance learning PhD qualification and the campus based equivalent and both degrees are recognised internationally.

If you have any questions about this course, contact us 0244565928 / 0244176389, or visit our resource centre at the Ashia Court, 7 Dr. Isert Road, North Ridge, Accra.

Key Facts


0244565928 / 0244176389

 visit our resource centre at the Ashia Court, 7 Dr. Isert Road, North Ridge, Accra.

Registration Period
Minimum- Four Years
Maximum – Seven Years

There is no difference between the distance learning PhD qualification and the campus based equivalent and both degrees are recognised internationally and no distinction of mode of study is made on the degree certificate.

Supervisory Support

All distance learning PhD research students are allocated two personal supervisors who will help you plan and manage your research and develop your understanding of relevant research methodology.

You’ll keep in touch with your supervisor through regular supervisory meetings provided online or by telephone.

Research Skills Training

We offer training in a range of skills which we consider that every Leicester PhD in the School of Law should have. You will be required to complete the following training during your probation period:

  • Participation in a training week in November on ‘The Foundations of a PhD in Law’. For distance learning students, we strongly recommend attendance at this training week in the first year of study.
  • Participation in a training week in January on ‘Approaches to Legal Research’. For part-time and distance-learning students, it is desirable that this is taken after the ‘Foundations’ training week, in the first or second year of study.
  • A presentation at the School’s Graduate Conference, which takes place between April and June each year. We recommend that PhD researchers attend the Graduate Conference each year, if possible.

During your training visits to the University, you will have face-to-face meetings with your supervisors. You will also meet other research students in the School, both campus-based and distance learners.

University Resources

Alongside this core training, distance learners have access to a range of online resources and materials to help you:

  • develop an effective working relationship with your supervisor
  • develop your broader academic writing skills including related concepts such as referencing and avoiding plagiarism
  • plan and manage the writing of your thesis and prepare for the viva exam

You’ll also have access to the University Library’s online resources for distance learning researchers including remote access to some 18,000 electronic journals, books, and databases.

Visiting Leicester

Distance learning PhD research students are registered on probation for the first twenty-four months of their degree. Over this period you will complete your research skills training and your overall suitability for a PhD programme will be monitored.

At the end of this period your progress will be assessed and, subject to this being satisfactory, you can then continue with your degree.

You will be required to visit Leicester both for your probation review and for your viva exam at the end of your degree. You are not required to visit Leicester at any other time, but distance learners are welcome to do so should they wish to:

  • meet their supervisor or fellow researchers
  • use facilities such as the University Library
  • attend training sessions or other University events for researchers

Applications and Further Details

Applications for the distance learning PhD can be submitted online and should include a full research proposal:

  1. Search our staff research interests to make sure we offer PhD supervision in the area you want to work in
  2. Draft a research proposal that tells us what you want to research, how you intend to do it, and why it is worth doing. We also require a sample of your writing. The writing sample can either be sent with the application or emailed in separately see link for further details.
  3. You might be interested in signing up for our 5 week online course ‘Discovering Your PhD Potential: Writing a Research Proposal. The course is offered through FutureLearn where you can register your interest for the next available course.
  4. Prepare your supporting documents
  5. Submit your online application

If you have any questions about the distance learning PhD or about PhD supervision in the School of Law, please contact us on 0244565928 / 0244176389, or visit our resource centre at the Ashia Court, 7 Dr. Isert Road, North Ridge, Accra.