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PhD in International Law

Application Deadline:  20th June for September intake, 25th December for February intake.

The PhD in International Law accepts research proposals in a variety of subject areas, including; international law, human rights law, commercial law, comparative law, world trade organization law, maritime law, international environmental law and many others.

There are two intakes each year, and students can apply to start in either the Fall Semester (starting in September) or the Spring Semester (starting in February.)

Application Deadline:
The application deadline is June 20th for the September intake, and December 25th for the February intake.

The goals of the PhD program is to provide advanced academic training to international candidates who feel more comfortable using English than Chinese as a medium of study. Another goal is to promote advanced and high level legal exchange and relationships between CUPL and foreign students and academics.

Admission Requirements:
The program is open to students from outside mainland China. The applicant must possess a master degree that is recognized by the Ministry of Education of China, and should demonstrate an ability to pursue independent academic research in the area of study as proposed. Due consideration will be given to the relevance between the applicant’s educational background and work experience on one hand, and the proposed research area on the other. Applicants need to have studied Law at Bachelor’s or Master’s degree level and have sufficient English level of 7 on IELTS or equivalent. Exceptional candidates who have not studied Law before may be considered.

Period of Study:
A PhD degree  normally takes three years to complete. An extension may be available upon request by the relevant candidate, and the maximum period of study is six years from the date of admission. In case of extension, an extension fee as determined by the program shall apply.

Cost of Study:
The total cost of the PhD is RMB 99,000 for a standard 3-year program. The payment schedule is that 10,000 RMB should be paid in advance, and then the remainder of the first year when you arrive to register – (23,000 RMB).
The second year tuition (33,000 RMB) is required at the start  of the following year, and the third year tuition (33,000 RMB) at the start of the third year.

Curriculum and Credits Awarded:

According to the new rule, the total credits of PhD is 19 including the compulsory courses\optional courses\papers and social activites. You can find the details below:

1\ Compulsory courses:

  • Legal Research and Writting 2 credits
  • Selected Issues of Public International Law 3 credits
  • Selected Issues of Private International Law 3 credits
  • Selected Issues of International Economic Law 3 credits

Remind:Some of the compulsory courses are scheduled on weekdays ,some are on weekends. You can find the detailed information on the course schedule .

2\ Optional Courses

  • All the courses except the compulsory courses are optional.

3\ Papers 4 credits

  • PhD students should write four papers for four credits during first two years.The exact requirement will be delivered during the course ‘ Legal Research and Writting ‘.

4\ Social Activity paper 2 credits

5\ PhD students should publish one paper before he or she applies for the oral defense.

Most of our courses( all of the Master courses and some of the PhD courses) are scheduled during weekdays(from Monday to Friday).

2013 Spring Schedule
2013 Fall Semester
2014 Spring Semester (General Classes) 
2014 Spring Semester (PhD Classes)
2014 Fall Semester
2015 Spring Semester – Schedule (1/3)
2015 Spring Semester – Public Optional Course (2/3)
2015 Spring Semester – PhD Courses (3/3)
2015 Fall Semester Schedule

Mode of Teaching for Taught Courses:
Intensive teaching on Saturday and Sunday (7 hours/per day) is the major mode of teaching for taught courses. Summer courses may also be available depending on the availability of the lecturer and the demand from students. The mode of teaching for the special course offered by each supervisor is determined by the supervisor.

Dissertation and Supervision:
A PhD candidate must submit a dissertation of about 120,000 words in length to fulfill the requirements for the degree. A supervisory panel consisting of 3 academic members of the Faculty of International Law, CUPL, will be appointed for each PhD candidate during the first academic year of his/her candidacy. An outside member may be invited to join the supervisory panel as the Dean of the Faculty of International Law deems necessary. A candidate must have obtained the minimum 11 credits for graduation and defended his/her dissertation successfully in front of a panel of 5 judges before the PhD can be awarded. There are some pictures of the dissertation defense below:

Internships and Training:
Legal services in China has been internationalized. There are opportunities for our students to take an internship in a number of law firms in China. The program will provide assistance to our students who wish to have an internship or receive some practical training in law firms in Beijing or other major cities in China. There are opportunities to work in Chinese law firms for those with a working level of Chinese and we are working to develop our relationships with firms for internships in English, or for those with only a limited knowledge of Chinese, although most students organise these themselves before or once they have arrived in Beijing

Mandarin Chinese Lessons:
Students can take Chinese languages classes at the University. The information on the Chinese language programs are here. Students would need to apply separately to the Chinese language program here.

Accommodation and Facilities:
There are new dormitories available for students. They are shared with two per room with shared bathroom. This is at a subsidised rate of 900 RMB per year, or 450 RMB per semester. The program will also help students to make private housing arrangements in a number of places near the University by introducing rental agencies. Please contact us for details.

Internet connection is available on campus. The CUPL library has a small collection of books in English. The program is also building up a small collection of English publications on Chinese law. Access to electronic databases including LexisNexis, Westlaw and Isinolaw (database in English on Chinese law) are available on campus.


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