CLRT Current Legal Research Topics Database

This database lists subjects of research in progress by students of law in the UK, and is presented for information only. The database aims to be a comprehensive listing of research for higher degrees in law, MPhil or PhD, currently underway in universities in the United Kingdom. Please note that the research listed is currently underway, and has not yet been completed. Therefore these dissertations are not yet available through libraries or other channels.

Search the Current Legal Research Topics database

Searching the database

Researchers can search this free web database by:

  • A word or words in the dissertation title
  • Subject keywords or the name of a jurisdiction
  • The Student's name
  • The name of the University

In addition, researchers can also browse the database by broad subject categories, e.g. administrative law, company law, intellectual property, etc.

Adding details of your own law thesis in progress

If you are a law PhD or MPhil research student and would like to have your details added to CLRT you can submit online or download and complete a submission form (docx) and email to If your research is already listed on the database, and you would like to update the entry in any way, please also get in touch - we would be glad to hear from you!

We would like to thank all the students, administrators and lecturers who submitted information to help compile the database.


For many years the Institute of Advanced Legal Studies Library produced an annual List of Current Legal Research Topics. The CLRT was first published in 1951 and listed the subjects of research currently being pursued (i.e. provisional thesis titles) by students registered for research degrees in law (e.g. PhD, MPhil) at higher education institutions in the UK.

The Institute Library transferred the database of Current Legal Research Topics to the IALS website in 2001 and updated this database annually.

The purpose of the database is to provide postgraduate students (who are undertaking or thinking of undertaking a PhD or MPhil) and their supervisors and law schools with a comprehensive listing of legal research currently undertaken in British law schools at MPhil or PhD level. The database is presented for information only, and is not intended as a communications or bibliographic tool. If you have any questions about Current Legal Research Topics, please contact

Privacy Notice – Current Legal Research Topics

The Institute of Advanced Legal Studies (IALS) is part of the University of London, which is a registered data controller. You can find out more at the University's Data Protection page, including the contact details for the Data Protection Officer, at the following link:

The data we collect

The University collects the following data from your legal department:

  • Student name 
  • University
  • Class of Degree (e.g. MPhil or PhD)
  • Year commenced
  • Research project title
  • From the title of the research we generate some general keywords for ease of searching topics (e.g. “contracts” or “human rights”) 

If you submit the information yourself you can provide us with an email address if you prefer and we can contact you to query or update information if required. 

What we do with your data

The University processes the information for the purpose of maintaining the list of current legal research topics and maintain a list of completed research.

The legal basis we use to process your data    

The University has to have a legal basis for processing your data and relies on the following grounds: 

  • Collecting the data is necessary for the performance of a task carried out in the public interest, that purpose being the IALS mission to “promote, facilitate and disseminate the results of advanced study and research in the discipline of law, for the benefit of persons and institutions in the UK and abroad”

How long we keep your data for

Your data will be stored for the duration of your research and will be kept on the searchable database for a year after you complete your research. When an individual has completed their research their record is transferred to the Completed Research Database, which is maintained by the Institute. This database is held permanently as part of the Institute’s archive and is not available or searchable on the internet.

Sharing your data with third parties

The data included on the Current Legal Research database is available for public searching on the internet. The database is held securely onsite and inside the University’s network. The Completed Research Database is held on the University’s network and is not searchable on the internet. Your personal data will not be passed to any other third party without your consent, except where the University is required to do so by law.

Removing your details and other data protection rights

If you would like to remove your record from the database please contact

You have a number of formal rights under the General Data Protection Regulation, such as the right of access to your data (the 'Subject Access Right'). For more information please see the University's Data Protection page at the following link:

Finding out more

You can find out more at the University's Data Protection page at the following link:

Download Privacy Notice – Current Legal Research Topics

Page last updated: 18th February 2021