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Law theses: Finding law theses

A guide to finding law theses, both in print and online, in the IALS Library and further afield

Law theses

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Guide last updated by Alice Tyson, July 2018

About the author

This guide was created by Lisa Davies, former Access Librarian at the IALS Library.

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IALS and University of London PhD/MPhil law theses

IALS Library holds MPhil and PhD law theses from University of London colleges from 1945 to 2011. From 2011 onwards the IALS Library only collects theses from its own research students. Each college now keeps its own students' law theses with the expectation that they will also be available electronically through EThOS (see below). Contact the relevant college library for further information.

To search IALS Library's collection of law theses on the Library Catalogue:

1. Select the Classmark search option

2. Type in "thesis" as the search term and submit the search

3. Select the option "Limit/Sort Search" from the search results screen

4. Type in some appropriate search terms for your subject area into the "Words in Title" or "Words in Subject" fields

5. Submit the search.

Make a note of the numbers of any theses which you would like to look at. You will need to fill out a basement request form at the enquiry desk for each thesis you would like to view.

Theses are available for consultation in the library only.

Selected PhD theses written by IALS students are available online in the IALS section of the School of Advanced Study's E-repository, SAS-Space.


IALS Masters dissertations

Selected dissertations written by IALS Masters students are available online in the "thesis" section of the School of Advanced Study's E-repository, SAS-Space.


Online resources for law theses

DART Europe is a portal to online theses provided by a partnership of research libraries and library consortia who are working together to improve global access to European research theses.

EThOS is the British Library's Electronic Theses Online System. It aims to provide open access to UK theses in many disciplines including law. EThOS includes a record of approximately 90% of UK theses. Many of them are available to download for free. If the thesis is not available to download, you can make a request for it to be digitised (there may be a fee for this service).

Index to Theses is a subscription database that offers comprehensive listing of theses with abstracts accepted for higher degrees by universities in the United Kingdom and Ireland since 1716. IALS Library has a subscription to this service.

NDLTD (Networked Digital Library of Theses and Dissertations) is an international organisation dedicated to promoting the creation of electronic theses. The website provides a list of online repositories of theses from many countries around the word.

ProQuest Dissertations and Theses is a subscription database that provides access to theses and dissertations from the UK and overseas. Many university libraries will provide access to this database. Check with your institutional librarian if you are unsure.

Many universities maintain their own e-repositories, which provide online access to PhD theses.


Current legal research in the UK

Current Legal Rearch Topics (CLRT) is an open access database detailing the legal subjects of research in progress by MPhil or PhD students of law in the UK. It can be used to identification of topical gaps, collaborative opportunities and expertise in supervision. 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.


Historic legal research in the UK

Legal Research in the UK is an IALS open access database provides a list of legal theses and dissertations successfully completed for postgraduate degrees awarded by universities and polytechnics in the United Kingdom from 1905-1984.