From autumn 2017, the School of Advanced Study will offer students with an appropriate topic and level of local resource the opportunity to undertake a PhD by distance learning.

These students are required to attend our London campus at set intervals to complete an intensive research training module, for upgrade, and for the viva but will otherwise study at their own location. This option is available to UK, EU and international students on the same basis as our on-campus PhD programmes (three years full time, six years part time).

If you would like to be considered for our Research Degree programme via Distance Learning, please download and fill out the Research Degrees by Distance Learning form, to attach to your online application.

Mode of Study

Full time: 3 years with one year writing up

Part time: 6 years of study with one year writing up

Course structure

Compulsory attendance is required for

The first week of the first term (October 2018) to meet supervisors and to undertake an intensive research training course.  An optional second week of research training is offered that can be completed in the week after the initial compulsory induction week, or online during the first term. Dates will be released nearer the time.  Further attendance is required at the point of upgrade to PhD (usually between years 1 and 2 for full time students and between years 3 and 4 for part-time students) and for the final viva.

NB: The Institute of Advanced Legal Studies week-long induction/research training for research students (whether on campus or distance learning) will not be held until January

The induction week will provide guidance in the following areas:

  • Research ethics
  • Academic writing
  • Working with their supervisor
  • Planning the thesis
  • Building a bibliography
  • Working in archives
  • Plus lots more

The programme will begin running at the end of September. Further details will be released in September.  Students are required to engage with further research training online as their programme commences.

The programme is run on the same basis as campus-based programmes.  Regular contact with the supervisor is required via video conferencing software.  Students will meet with their supervisor in the induction week where future arrangements will be made for the occurrence and means in which meetings will take place.  Students will need to demonstrate that they have the appropriate local resources, IT equipment and infrastructure before they can commence study.

Students will benefit from the School’s extensive research training portfolio, online e-resources, podcasting, video recordings, transcriptions and live streaming of research seminars on a wide range of topics to help them complete their research degree. 

Research modules will include, but are not limited to, Organising Successful Academic Events, Getting Research Published, Public Speaking, Research Data and Ethics.

Distance students will be supported in the same way that the on-campus students are with the use of video conferencing to supplement face-to-face interaction. Within the induction week distance students will be given the opportunity to meet their student representatives and other students beginning their PhD.

To ensure that the students are fully supported and provided with the best tools and guidance throughout their PhD, applications will be considered on an individual basis. As not all Institutes offer the distance program, each student’s needs will be considered individually and an appropriate Institute and supervisory team recommended.


Tuition fees


Up to £6,240 (FT)
Up to £3,255 (PT)


Up to £15,090 (FT)
​Up to £7,045 (PT)

To see specific fees for each research area, please visit the relevant course page 

Application Deadline

31 August 2018 for October 2018 entry
31 October 2018 for January 2019 entry

Applications for entries in 2019-20 open 1 November 2018.

31 August 2019 for October 2019 entry
31 October 2019 for January 2020 entry


Distance Learning Subject Areas



English and American literature and culture; gender and sexuality



British, Commonwealth, Latin American, political, metropolitan, historical geography, cultural and intellectual history

Human Rights 

Human Rights

Refugee and development studies


Modern Languages

Gender and sexuality, cultural studies (French, Spanish, Latin American, German, Italian), cultural memory, and film

Latin American Studies 

Latin American Studies

History, geography, anthropology, human rights and memory


Digital Humanities

Digital humanities, with a focus on classics, art history and history​




International economic law (IMF and WTO), as well as law and EU reform