School of Law

School Description:

Trinity College Law School, founded in 1740, is Ireland’s oldest and most internationally renowned Law School. It has a distinguished team of professors and lecturers and, with the most academically demanding undergraduate admission requirements of any law school in the Republic of Ireland, a student population of over 510 undergraduates and approximately 200 postgraduates of the highest calibre.

The Law School is strongly committed to maintaining and further developing its reputation for rigorous legal scholarship and research, both in a national and international context. Vibrant research is at the heart of the Law School’s culture. Staff are engaged in scholarship that focuses on Irish, European, and International legal developments, as well as the relationship between law and society. This includes rigorous theoretical engagement and critical analysis leading to research outputs published by leading national and international academic presses. The Law School hosts a number of dedicated research groups: Constitutional Governance and Social Change; Corporate Law, Governance and Capital Markets; Crime and Punishment; Private Law; and Technologies and Society.

The School also values research that contributes to public policy debate and reform. This is an essential part of the Law School's engagement with the wider community. Staff at the Law School have research-based expertise in a wide range of areas, including: Constitutional Law, Criminal Law, Commercial Law, Corporate Law, Environmental Law, Financial Services Law, Intellectual Property Law, Equity, Torts, Contract Law, European Union Law, International Law, Human Rights and Technology Law. The Law School is responsible for the Dublin University Law Journal (DULJ), one of Ireland's leading peer-reviewed legal journals.

Research Programmes
The Law School offers two postgraduate research degrees, the Master in Letters (MLitt) and the Doctor in Philosophy (Ph.D). It has a vibrant population of postgraduate research students and currently has around 50 students registered for MLitt/Ph.D. degrees who are engaged in research across a wide range of law subjects. Each student is guided in his or her research by an academic supervisor who has expertise in the relevant research area. A central dedicated shared workspace is exclusively available for a limited full-time postgraduate research students which is adjoined by a seminar room.

Admission Process:
Students accepted for research degrees at the School of Law will have an excellent academic background and a strong research proposal.
The first step in the MLitt or Ph.D application process is to submit a complete research proposal, CV and academic writing sample to so that your documentation can be informally reviewed and it can be ascertained if a suitable supervisor is available. If a supervisor is available, you will then be invited to submit an official application to Trinity College via the application links below.

The School of Law’s guidelines on "Writing A Research Proposal For Legal Postgraduate Research At The School Of Law" and other useful admissions information is available at

Terms of Admission
Please note that the Law School’s preference is for research students to begin in September and on a full-time basis so that they can undertake the compulsory Postgraduate Legal Research module offered in the first semester. Permission for March and/or part-time registration is only permitted in exceptional circumstances. Advice on this should be sought by prospective applicants by emailing before a formal application is submitted.
In exceptional circumstances it may be possible to register retrospectively. Applicants wishing to be considered for retrospective admission should contact the Graduate Studies Office by emailing

The Ph.D./M.Litt Programme
It is required that students should complete an MLitt in two years and a Ph.D. in four years. Students intending to complete a Ph.D. thesis may apply for admission directly to the Ph.D. register, but must be confirmed on the register following a confirmation hearing and submission of a confirmation report typically in their second year on the register. Alternatively a student who is admitted onto the MLitt register may apply (typically in the second year of study) to be transferred to the Ph.D. register and may be transferred on foot of such application following a transfer hearing and submission of a transfer report.

Postgraduate Research Module - Students commencing the MLitt or Ph.D. programme undertake a 10 ECTS taught module on Postgraduate Legal Research provided by the Director of Postgraduate Teaching and Learning of the School in the first semester of their studies, This, in addition to direct supervision helps to provide a solid foundation and to introduce new students to one another.

Research Seminar Series - A series of seminars for postgraduate research students is organised each semester to enhance students academic and social experience at the Law School. The seminars cover a range of topics relating to research and scholarship and also provide a forum for students to present and discuss their work.

LERU European Exchange Programme - The School of Law, Trinity College Dublin has joined with a number of select partner universities and law faculties within the prestigious League of European Research Universities to offer an exchange scheme for doctoral students. The exchange scheme is aimed specifically at permitting PhD candidates to spend up to eight weeks abroad at certain partner LERU institutions within Europe. It enriches the doctoral studies experience and facilitates the international mobility of PhD candidates.

Brady Gordon - (Ph.D., & LL.M.)

"Choosing to do my LL.M. and my Ph.D. at Trinity College Dublin was the best choice I could have made for my career, my life and myself. It set me up as an expert in my field, and left me with lifelong friendships with colleagues at leading universities and companies all around the world. Coming from degrees in Canada and the U.K., I was struck to find that the culture at Trinity was very much one of friendliness and collaboration. I wasn't treated as ‘just another student’, but as a member of their scholarly community. I was asked what I needed to pursue my ideas and my research, and I was paired with experts in my area and professors who knew my name. Even just the experience of studying at Trinity was remarkable. Trinity is one of the seven ancient universities and comes with a worldwide academic reputation, but it is also sitting right in the middle of Dublin - a young, bustling city at the centre of the western commercial world. Walking through the gates of Trinity every morning, and passing from this modern city into the quiet of this ancient university, was an experience I will never forget."


In exceptional circumstances it may be possible to register retrospectively. Applicants wishing to be considered for retrospective admission should contact the Graduate Studies Office by emailing