Visiting PhD Students

Please note: our Visiting PhD Students scheme is temporarily suspended due to the COVID-19 situation. Please check this page again for updates after 1 August 2020.

The Law School’s Visiting PhD Students scheme enables national and international PhD students to come to Bristol and spend a period of time conducting research and participating in the school’s collegiate and diverse research community. 


PhD students who wish to apply to the Visiting PhD Students Scheme should be current PhD students at another institution either in the UK or internationally. Applicants will need to demonstrate a strong academic record and a viable programme of research to be followed during their visit.

Applicants should identify a sponsor who is an academic member of staff at Bristol University Law School and will personally support their application. 

Applications will only be accepted from students who have the support of their prospective visit with the identified sponsor at the University of Bristol Law School.

If English is not your first language, you need to meet profile level 'B'. Further information about English language requirements and profile levels.

Fee Structure

Fee of £300 for a 3-month period (pro rata fees apply for any period less than 3 months). A waiver of the fees may apply and a case should be made in this respect in the application form. The waiver will be assessed on grounds of academic merit of the applicant or the applicant’s personal circumstances.


Scholars may apply for visiting periods of between 4 weeks to 3 months.  

Scheme Objectives

The Visiting PhD Students scheme at Bristol Law School seeks to enhance the already vibrant research culture and learning environment of the school.  With this in mind, the aims of the scheme are to: 

  • offer external to the University PhD Candidates the opportunity to carry out research with a view to presenting or publishing their work.
  • enhance the research community at Bristol Law School through their active participation in the academic life at Bristol.
  • further develop and promote external research links with other universities, institutions and practitioners in the United Kingdom and overseas;
  • provide the Law School staff and research students with the opportunity to work with and learn from PhD students from outside Bristol.

Relationship with the Law School

Depending on the length of their visit and the nature of their research, visitors are welcomed to contribute actively to academic life in the School. Depending on the applicant’s qualifications, the school may provide you with the opportunity to:

  • deliver a staff seminar
  • deliver a guest lecture to undergraduates/postgraduates in relevant module(s)
  • commit to reasonable attendance at the staff seminar series and Primary Units 

Provision of resources

Visiting PhD Students will receive/be provided with:

  • a University Card
  • the sponsorship of a Bristol Law School staff member, who will meet with the visitor and provide guidance and advice when the visitor first arrives in Bristol. It should be noted that it is up to the individual visitor to arrange this initial meeting with their sponsor
  • full access to the Bristol University Library and all other University Library Services
  • access to electronic holdings, databases and journals
  • the visitor's email address will be added to the graduate mailing list, so that he or she is notified of any Law School events that may be of interest or relevance

End of visit report

At the end of the visiting term, scholars are asked to submit a brief written report summarising their contribution to the school research committee.  This report may be excerpted and published by the school.

How to Apply

  • A letter confirming that you are currently studying a PhD. This will need to be on official headed paper and signed or stamped by your university. If the original letter is not in English we will also need to see an official translation
  • Complete the Visiting PhD Students Application Form
  • Reference from your primary or secondary PhD supervisor at your home institution. It is your responsibility to ensure that the reference letter from your supervisor is sent in before the designated deadline
  • Statement of support from the academic member of staff at University of Bristol who will sponsor your visit
  • CV (2 x A4 pages maximum length)

Application Review

Applications are reviewed by the Schools Postgraduate Research Director, School Manager, Postgraduate Senior Admissions Administrator and proposed academic sponsor.

Applications should be submitted electronically to the scheme lead Joanna McCunn

You will be advised, in writing, of the outcome of your application within four weeks on submission. 





To apply to become a visiting PhD student please refer to our application form:

Visiting Scholars Application.docx (Office document, 22kB) 

Contact us

All enquires and completed forms should be directed to Joanna McCunn.

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