The School of Law has a multi-faceted approach to supporting students within the department.
All postgraduate research students are allocated a Postgraduate Student Advisor (PSA), who will be a member of academic staff with detailed knowledge of the doctoral programme and supervision process. Students will meet with their PSA regularly throughout their study period, with the purpose of the PSA acting as a source of confidential support for any problems you may be experiencing throughout your studies.
In addition to the PSA, students are welcome to contact either of the Co-Directors of the Research Degrees Programme for support at any point. The Postgraduate Programmes Manager for the School of Law is also a point of contact for students experiencing difficulties, and is responsible for providing all students with pastoral care during their studies.
More generally, day-to-day administrative and procedural queries can be directed to either the Postgraduate Programmes Administrator or the Postgraduate Programmes Manager, who provide constant support to students with all non-academic matters.
Supervisors also act as an important source of support. Throughout the duration of your studies you will develop a strong working relationship with your supervisors, and they will provide you with the assistance and support needed to ensure that you succeed in achieving the doctorate.
The school has a generous fund to assist research students with expenses incurred in connection with their research work, such as attendance at conferences and workshops, and field trips for data collection or to access specific resources. Each research student has their own allocated fund to support them for the duration of their registered studies.
In addition to the allocated funding, our postgraduate research students have the opportunity to apply for other school funding, such as the JC Smith and Reuben Lipmann Travelling Scholarships, and our Postgraduate Fund For Short Courses in Europe which offers financial support for attendance at a range of different summer schools.
The School of Law provides a one-semester module in Legal Research Methods, which is compulsory for all PhD students in the autumn term of their first year. This module considers the diverse spectrum of legal scholarship and methodologies. Students will refresh or enhance their legal research skills and receive training in a range of research methods and techniques. On completion it is expected that students should be able to:
- identify various approaches to legal scholarship and characterise their own research interests and scholarship
- apply research skills and methods, including being able to use, interpret and locate legal sources, as is necessary to address a research topic
- design and write a research proposal and evaluate it
Postgraduate research students are also encouraged, where appropriate, to undertake any of the modules offered as part of the school's thriving LLM programme, which is one of the most extensive LLM Programmes in the UK.
The University is an advocate of Vitae's Researcher Development Framework, and as such, we provide a significant amount of opportunities for students to develop on both a personal and professional level. Students are able to subscribe to the Researcher Development Framework Planner which allows them to map the training they have undertaken against the core competencies and behaviours needed in order to be a successful career researcher, so that they can take ownership of their own developmental needs and identify areas in which further training may be required.
Bespoke courses (both online and face-to-face) are offered to target areas such as methodological training, presentation skills, understanding the doctorate process, preparing for the viva and much more.
All students will undertake a Training Needs Analysis with their supervisors upon commencing the programme, so that relevant opportunities for development can be identified.
Research students in their second and third year of study are given the opportunity to apply to undertake paid undergraduate tutorial teaching. The Graduate School provides training courses on teaching methods for research students involved in teaching.
The availability of teaching opportunities does depend on the subjects for which teaching is needed in any particular year, as well as the student's academic background. Because of this teaching opportunities cannot be guaranteed.
Student Services provide a range of support, information and specialist services to enhance your student experience and form part of a comprehensive network of services at the University designed to support you throughout your studies, including academic and disability support, counselling, financial support, and childcare services.
Our International Office is dedicated to the needs of our international and EU students. The International Office will ensure you have all the information you need to live and study at Nottingham and offers a Welcome Programme just before the start of the academic year.
Centre for English Language Education
The University's Centre for English Language Education (CELE) provides high-quality preparation and English language support before and during your studies, as well as providing a social programme for its students.
The Students' Union is an important source of support with their own Student Advice Centre.
Researcher Development Programme
Working closely with academic schools, the Graduate School's dedicated training team contribute to faculty specific and doctoral training programmes. They also deliver core training in line with the standards set out by the UK's major research funders through their Researcher Development Programme. This means that as well as helping you to develop your research skills, you will have opportunities spanning communication skills, careers, time management, and entrepreneurship - and the chance to meet and work alongside researchers from other disciplines.