The Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) at UNSW Law & Justice can accelerate your career, whether you’re planning to move into advanced research, academia, practice or policy development.

Our research degree will equip you with skills and knowledge to help you thrive across a broad range of organisations, including academia, the legal profession, government, NGOs or inter-governmental agencies.

As part of this postgraduate research degree, you will study research methods and complete a research thesis that makes a substantial and original contribution to knowledge in your chosen area of law, criminology or related discipline. You’ll enjoy a collegiate and dynamic research culture at UNSW Law & Justice, an internationally renowned faculty.

Degree code
Maximum 4 years full-time or 8 years part-time
Scholarships available
Delivery mode
On campus

Applicants for this doctoral program must have either completed a recognised Masters degree (including a substantial research component) with a minimum distinction average (75 per cent), or a recognised four-year Bachelor's degree with Honours Class II, Division (I) that included a substantial research component, or the equivalent. 

You must also submit a research proposal to be considered for this program. Admission to the PhD program is subject to appropriate supervision being available.

The PhD requires a minimum of three and a maximum of four years full-time study and submission of a research thesis, usually not exceeding 100,000 words. You'll be supervised by experts in your chosen area, who will help you develop insights and critical legal research skills in a supportive and stimulating environment. 

Compulsory coursework includes research ethics, research methods and data management. Ongoing enrolment in the doctoral program requires confirmation of candidature at between nine to 12 months full-time equivalent. 

Confirmed candidates will then have annual progress reviews to help track their research project's achievements and milestones.

Indigenous PhD scholarships in law

UNSW aims to increase opportunities for Indigenous research degree candidates to join our research community through a funded, pathways program.

How to apply

You've decided on a research degree and now you're ready to apply. Let's get into the details.