Programme overview PhD study is substantially different from other types of postgraduate work as each candidate devises their own independent research project. At the University of Bristol Law School, comprehensive research training is provided by expert academics, who also offer guidance and supervision of your research project. If you are undertaking socio-legal research, initial research training will take the form of the MSc Socio-Legal Studies programme, which is recognised by the Economic and Social Research Council.
As a PhD Law student you will become part of the school’s primary unit system, which provides support for research students, and you will be invited to participate in the Law School's staff seminar programme. There may also be opportunities to undertake some part-time teaching within the school. Travel and conference funding is available for research students. Careers The PhD offers useful preparation for several different careers. The first of these is academic work, particularly if the dissertation or parts of it are published in well-respected academic journals. The ability to plan, research and write a sophisticated dissertation, including an ability to conduct detailed doctrinal analysis, to think in broad theoretical terms and to engage in empirical research can provide a firm foundation for a career in the academy.
A second possible career is that of working for an NGO or policy organisation, drawing on skills in research and writing, which are invaluable for work of this kind. A third possibility is working within governments, again building on analytical, doctrinal or empirical research skills developed through the PhD, which incorporate both an ability to undertake rigorous research and to see the bigger picture. Finally, some students choose to enter the legal profession, carrying with them a rich understanding of legal principles and practice.