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Law & Government - Research

As well as educating students for careers in law, policy-making, public management and related areas, our faculty is engaged in cutting-edge research on national and international legal issues, and local, national and global political challenges. Our wide-ranging expertise is reflected in the extent of our publications. The School works closely with government agencies, industry and professional bodies, and civil society organisations, providing research and policy expertise to inform their decision-making.

With law, government and the reform of both now central concerns in developed and developing countries, we are ideally placed and often asked to provide expert advice on framing policy and law, delivery and performance in government, and broadening and deepening the engagement between citizen and state. We contribute frequently to national debates on legal, political and policy issues, and the voices and faces of some of our people are well known on radio and television.

Entry requirements

To register for a Postgraduate research programme, a candidate must normally have obtained a primary degree classification equivalent to Lower Second Class Honours or above, from an approved University or an approved equivalent degree-awarding body, or have an approved equivalent professional qualification in an area cognate to the proposed research topic. See

PhD: In order to gain direct access to the PhD register, candidates must hold a Master's by Research degree.

PhD-track: Candidates with a taught masters degree or an honours primary degree grade I or II.1 may gain direct access to the PhD-track. Students registered on the PhD-track will normally progress to the PhD register in Year 2 of their studies following successful completion of an oral examination and submission of a PGR3 PhD-track/PhD Confirmation Procedure report.

Master's by Research: To gain access to the Master's by Research register at DCU, candidates must normally hold an honours II.2 primary degree.


DCA19 PhD - Law & Government (Full-Time)
DCA20 PhD - Law & Government (Part-Time)
DCA21 Masters - Law & Government (Full-Time)
DCA22 Masters - Law & Government (Part-Time)
DCA23 PhD-track - Law & Government (Part-Time)
DCA24 PhD-track - Law & Government (Full-Time)
DCA36 MPhil Law & Government (Full-Time)
DCA37 MPhil Law & Government (Part-Time)
DCA74 Master of Laws (LLM) (Full-Time)
DCA75 Master of Laws (LLM) (Part-Time)

Research areas

Law - Areas of Research Expertise

Constitutional Law: constitutional law and political theory; role of judges in democratic societies; socio-economic rights in international perspective; environmental rights and constitutional law.

Criminal Justice: restorative justice; mental health and the criminal process; criminal procedure and the pre-trial process; European criminal law.

European Law: citizenship and the EU project; post-crisis social rights in Europe; environmental law in Europe.

Family and Child Law: same sex marriage and cohabitation; families created through assisted reproduction; domestic abuse

Healthcare Law: the right to care and care in the labour market; legal accountability of the medical profession; assisted reproduction and the law; decision-making in mental health tribunals.

Science, New Technologies and the Law: medical law and bioethics; genetic privacy and data protection

International Law: transitional justice; peace-building and economic development in international law.

Law and Discrimination: theoretical perspectives on discrimination; genetic discrimination and the law; disability law; law and religion in plural societies.

Law and Dispute Resolution: arbitration and mediation.

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