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Open University Reseearch Law Degree

The Open University Law School is the largest provider of undergraduate law degrees within the United Kingdom.
Recent years have witnessed unprecedented growth within The Open University Law School – since 2012 we have more than doubled our central academic staff numbers.
Research is at the heart of our activities, underpinning all our teaching. It is also the case that our staff are increasingly in demand to talk about their research across the globe. In the last year Law School staff have given invited research papers around the world including in Australia, the United States and Brazil as well as across Europe and the United Kingdom.
We welcome PhD and MPhil proposals not just in those areas of specialism listed, but in all areas of law and legal education.
We hold regular research talks to which all staff and research students are invited. 

Qualifications available:

PhD or MPhil


For detailed information on current fees visit Fees and funding.

Entry requirements:

Minimum 2:1 (or equivalent) plus 120 credits in research methods training or, ideally, a masters degree in Research Methods (MRes), which is the usual precursor to PhD studies.

Potential research projects

Internally funded full-time research studentships are advertised in January (closing date end of March) and may include the areas given below.
We also welcome part- and full-time self-funded applications. Our research covers a wide range of areas but specialisms include:

  • Ethics
  • Human trafficking
  • Law and emotion
  • Law and religion
  • Legal biography
  • Legal education
  • Women in war zones

Acceptance will depend on the quality of the application, prior academic achievement and the capacity of the Law School to supervise the proposed research.

Current/recent research projects

  • The impact of neo-nationalism on Religious Freedoms in Europe
  • The right to die with dignity
  • Treatment and end of life decisions for patients who are not competent and/or cannot communicate their wishes
  • Drawing on scientific advances to develop a coercive persuasion defence for cases involving the murder of third parties - plugging the gap in the partial defences to murder
  • Early feminist pioneers in the law

Potential supervisors

These include:

Further information

If you have an enquiry specific to this research area please contact:

Lin Nilsen
+44 (0)1908 865365

For general enquiries please contact the Research Degrees Team via the link under 'Your Questions' on the right of the page.