Research Degrees

PhD, MPhil, MA (Research) in Law

York Law School was ranked joint first for the excellence of its research outputs in Times Higher Education's ranking of the 2014 Research Excellence Framework. 46 per cent of our publications were classed as ‘world leading’ (4*) and 34 per cent ‘internationally excellent’ (3*). We encourage PhD, MPhil and MA (Research) applicants from all over the world to join us in one of the best Schools in the UK for legal and socio-legal research.

MA in Law by Research

MPhil and PhD Programmes


Tuition fees and expenses: research degrees


Looking for PhD funding? WRoCAH competition for PhD studentships starting in October 2020 is now open!


The White Rose College of the Arts & Humanities (WRoCAH) is a Doctoral Training Partnership of the Universities of Leeds, Sheffield and York. It is responsible for the distribution of AHRC-funded doctoral studentships for these universities and for the coordination of a doctoral training programme.  


WRoCAH has around 50 AHRC studentships that will be awarded through open competition.  

  • Of these we expect the majority to be student-led project applications
  • At least 15% of the awards made will be Collaborative Doctoral Awards (CDAs) where a student works closely with a non-academic partner organisation throughout their PhD. Project areas are already defined for these, and are advertised here.

Students can make only one application for funding through the open competition for either a student-led or a collaborative project. Projects are welcome from all departments, not just Arts & Humanities, so long as the research falls within the remit of the AHRC.


The studentship application form and details of how to apply for each type of studentship are only available from the WRoCAH website. Please read the details very carefully as the application process may vary for the Collaborative Doctoral Awards with an earlier deadline for expressions of interest. 


To be eligible for funding, applicants for all types of WRoCAH AHRC Studentships must have applied for a PhD programme at one of Leeds, Sheffield or York.


The final closing deadline for ALL funding applications is 5pm GMT on Wednesday, 29th January 2020


PhD Application Workshop

York Law School: 4th December 2019

  • Are you thinking about applying to do a PhD? 
  • Would you like some help in developing a strong application for a studentship at York Law School?

We invite applications for attendance at a free workshop for students considering applying for a studentship in 2020 at York Law School. Up to ten travel bursaries of up to £50 are being offered for attendance at the workshop.

What PGR funding is available?

  • UK & EU students can apply to ESRC and AHRC for funding to undertake postgraduate research at York Law School
    • York Law School also underwrites the ESRC/AHRC competitions by offering one comparable studentship to the strongest ESRC/AHRC applicant in the event that no YLS applicant wins an ESRC/AHRC award
  • Various competitive schemes are available to non-EU applicants (see:

What are the aims of the workshop?

  • to help you draft a strong application for entry to the programme and for funding
  • to offer support and feedback from senior members of YLS with experience of assessing PhD funding applications

Where will it take place? When does it start? When does it finish?  Will there be a free lunch?

  • York Law School, University of York
  • Wednesday 4th December 2019, 11am to 3pm
  • There will be a free lunch

Who should attend?

  • you should have a 1st or strong 2:1 degree in law or a related discipline,
  • preferably, you’ll also have a Masters degree (though applicants undertaking Masters study in 2019-20 will be considered too)
  • you will be considering applying to YLS to do a PhD

How do I apply?

  • To apply, you must send an email to the following:
    • A short curriculum vitae
    • A short statement of your proposed doctoral topic (250 - 500 words)
    • A short statement on how your proposed doctoral research fits with one of YLS’ research cluster themes and identify any members of staff you think may be appropriate supervisors (100 words max)
  • The deadline for applications is 5pm, Friday 15st November, 2019 but we welcome early applications.
  • We will let you know promptly (usually within 10 days) whether your application for the workshop has been successful.

YGRS Overseas Research Scholarships

This is an opportunity for overseas students wishing to apply for a PhD here at York Law School.

We are a lively and vibrant department within the University of York. The university is a modern university settled close to the heart of an historic city.

Applications are now open for 2020 entry. Please see the instructions YGRS ORS 2020/21 (PDF , 506kb)

The closing date for applications is the 31 January 2020.

2020 Commonwealth Master's and PhD Scholarships

Applications are now open for 2020 Commonwealth Master’s & PhD Scholarships

Funded by the UK Department for International Development (DFID), these Scholarships enable talented and motivated individuals to gain the knowledge and skills required for sustainable development, and are aimed at those who could not otherwise afford to study in the UK. 

Commonwealth Master’s Scholarships are for candidates from low and middle income Commonwealth countries, to undertake full-time taught Master’s study at a UK university.

Commonwealth PhD Scholarships are for candidates from least developed countries and fragile states in the Commonwealth, for full-time doctoral study at a UK university. 

Candidates are advised to read the terms and conditions carefully and to ensure they meet the full eligibility criteria as stated in the terms and conditions.

For full details, including eligibility criteria and how to apply, visit: 

The deadline for applications to be submitted is 30 October 2019. Now closed