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We look forward very much to welcoming new PhD and other research students in October 2020 and to welcoming current PhD students back to the Faculty. The following information is intended to provide guidance as to the intended shape of the academic year for PhD students given the changes that have had to be made in the light of the Covid-19 pandemic. We will continue to monitor and respond to the changing public health situation, and will be adding to or, if necessary, amending the information on this page as the summer progresses.

Access to the Faculty building and library facilities

Our intention is that the David Williams Building, in which the Faculty of Law and the Squire Law Library are accommodated, will be reopening on a phased basis during the summer and by the beginning of the new academic year with appropriate public health precautions, including social distancing measures, in place. The Squire Law Library’s phased reopening will begin with a ‘scan and deliver’ service and then a ‘click and collect’ service. It is hoped that by the beginning of Michaelmas Term there will be physical access to the library, including for PhD students; however, it is possible that access for PhD students may be restored as early as September. The Library team is currently working on plans to ensure that dedicated study space can be made available for PhDs within the Library in accordance with the social-distancing requirements. The Squire Law Library continues to offer an extensive range of online resources that can be accessed by PhD students.

Supervision and research training

PhD supervisions will take place in 2020–21 in much the same way as they usually do; they will take place in-person where this is safe and feasible, and will otherwise take place through online video conferencing. The Faculty is currently working on plans for delivering the Research Training and Development Programme that is undertaken by all new PhD students throughout their first year of study. The Programme will either be delivered in-person or online in real time, in order to ensure that the interactive elements of the Programme are fully retained.

Questions and concerns

If you have concerns about travel arrangements, or about increased susceptibility to infectious diseases, or disabilities impacted by COVID-19, please refer to the University’s advice on exceptional circumstances and its Covid-19-related information concerning disability and increased susceptibility to infectious diseases; if you have queries relating to such matters, please follow the contact routes set out on the relevant webpage. You may also find it useful to look at the University’s advice for prospective postgraduate students and offer holders. If you are a PhD offer-holder and have other queries relating to the PhD programme in 2020–21, please email