- Research Culture
- Visiting Research Students
The minimum entry requirement for graduate research at UCL Laws is a UK bachelor’s degree in an appropriate subject, awarded with First or good Upper Second-class Honours (2:1). If you have not previously studied in the UK, we will accept overseas qualifications of an equivalent standard from a university or other educational institution of university rank. See here for UCL accepted equivalencies.
It is not strictly essential to have a master’s degree to apply but this is strongly preferred (LLM or MA/MSc relevant to your proposed reseach) and we would normally expect a distinction overall. Entry to the programme is extremely competitive and the majority of students admitted onto the programme do have a master’s degree. This is because a master’s degree helps to develop your academic ability and foster research skills necessary to undertake the extended research in the PhD.
If you do not have a master’s/LLM, you must be able to demonstrate your research ability, usually through evidence of extended written work, to a first class standard. Note that an undergraduate dissertation would not usually be sufficient proof of this.
We welcome applications from candidates whose previous academic study has been in a relevant discipline other than law. In addition to the above formal academic qualifications, you must demonstrate a sufficiently deep and detailed understanding of the most closely relevant areas of law or legal thought, and explain in your application why your proposed research is best conducted at UCL Laws.
English language requirements
If English is not your first language, you are required to show that your command of the English language, both spoken and written, is adequate to meet the demands of the degree programme. UCL demands that applicants should be able to demonstrate an ‘Advanced’ level of English.
UCL Laws reserves the right, in individual circumstances, to specify an additional language requirement for an applicant.
We accept the following English language proficiency tests:
- IELTS: overall grade of 7.5 with a minimum of 6.5 in each of the subtests
- Pearson Test of English (PTE): 75 overall, with a minimum of 62 in each component
- TOEFL: Score of 109 overall 24/30 in reading and writing and 20/30 in speaking and listening
- UCL Pre-Sessional English Course: 75% overall, with a minimum of 65% in each of the subtests
- UCL Diploma in English for Academic Purposes (DEAP): 75% overall, with a minimum of 65% in each of the subtests
- Cambridge Proficiency in English (CPE): CPE Grade B, an overall minimum score of 56, and at least a ‘good’ pass in each skill
- Cambridge Advanced English (CAE): CAE pass of 74 points, with a minimum of 58 point in each subject
In accordance with UK Visas and Immigration requirements, students who require a Tier 4 (General) Student Visa to enter the UK must meet these English language requirements. The language qualification must have been taken within two years of any issuance of a Confirmation of Acceptance of Studies (CAS) from UCL.
UCL Laws may also accept evidence of recent substantial education (minimum 12 months) or work experience (minimum 18 months) in the UK or a majority English speaking country undertaken no more than two years prior to the proposed date of enrolment.
UCL Pre-Sessional English Courses
We would urge you to take a language test in your own country in order to meet the English language condition. If it is not possible for you to complete a language test in your country, you may be able to take a pre-sessional English course at the UCL Language Centre. These courses are very popular, so please check availability and your eligibility for the programmes in advance.
We do not normally accept results from any language centre other than UCL. If you do take a pre-sessional English language course elsewhere, you will need to sit/resit IELTS/PTE in order to meet the English language requirement for the MPhil/PhD programme.
Visit the UCL Centre for Languages and International Education website for further details of courses, tuition fees, and how to apply.