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 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.
At York Law School you will be allocated a supervisor at the beginning of your first academic year (you should already have met or engaged with your supervisor before being offered a place – see further below). Where relevant to the your research interest, a second supervisor from the School or another Department may be appointed.
You will meet with your supervisor at least once every six weeks, often more frequently, especially in the first year. This relationship will have a major influence on the progress of your research. The learning process should be two-way, from which you both should benefit. However, a supervisor will help to maintain and develop your intellectual interests, offering new perspectives on your research topic, drawing attention to new work in the area, providing appropriate academic contacts, giving notice of useful conferences and seminars, and advice on publication. The supervisor will also direct you to relevant short courses offered in other departments or in the university’s service departments.
As well as the main supervisor(s), a Thesis Advisory Panel (TAP) will be appointed to each student. The TAP meets with you and your supervisor twice a year. It monitors progress, checks directly with you about whether the supervisory relationship is working well, and offers advice where necessary.
The Law School offers a programme of research skills workshops for 1st year research students, spread across the three main terms of the academic year. As well as offering support in designing your research project, refining your research question, and in critical reading and thinking, it offers a forum for research students to meet together as a cohort, to learn together and support each other.
At faculty level, the Research School of Social Sciences permits student to audit certain modules (subject to availability) on its MA in Social Research. YLS students, where appropriate, may gain training in quantitative and qualitative research methods.
At University level, all research students take part in transferable skills training, which develops competence in communication skills, career management, networking and team building and personal effectiveness. Students undertake six days of training per year, which will be selected from the generic transferable skills courses offered by the University’s Graduate Training Office.
Additionally, the University’s Researcher Development Team provides a central suite of training opportunities for all researchers (research students, research associates, research assistants and research fellows) and works with departments to provide subject specific training.
You would normally have a good undergraduate degree in Law or in a discipline related to the research area in which you intend to work. We would normally expect you have obtained an average of at least 65% overall and a minimum of 65% in your undergraduate dissertation. In addition, you would have a Masters degree in Law or another discipline relevant to your research topic. We would normally expect you have obtained an average of at least 65% in the Masters degree overall and a minimum of 65% in the dissertation module.
If English is not your first language and you have not completed an undergraduate degree in English we will need evidence of your English language ability to the required level, in addition to any academic entry requirements.
You should not submit a formal application until you’ve informally discussed your research proposal with the member(s) of staff that you have identified as the most appropriate supervisor. For more information about research interests please see: Staff Research Areas
Supervisors may be contacted by email. You should only submit a formal application if your supervisor provisionally supports it.
Application for Research degrees are made online:
As part of the application process, you must include:
The proposal should be around 1,500-2,000 words (excluding bibliography). It should be structured as follows:
The Chair of the Graduate School Board will review your formal application with the proposed supervisor. If both agree that your proposed field of research is one in which the School is able to offer appropriate supervision, then you will be offered an interview to discuss your application further. After the interview, a decision on your application will be made and communicated to you.
The University pursues a policy of equal opportunities in offering places on postgraduate degrees, as in all appointments.