Degree of Doctor of Laws


The Degree of Doctor of Laws is awarded under The Scottish Universities Ordinance No. 1. The following are the relevant provisions of that Ordinance.

1.   a)   Graduates who have taken a Degree in a Scottish University may offer themselves for the Degree of Doctor of Laws (LLD) in that University after the expiry of seven years from the date of such graduation.

b)   It shall be open to the Senate of each University with the approval of the University Court, to exempt from the requirement in the foregoing sub-section respecting previous graduation in that University any person who for a continuous period of not less than four academic years has held such office or offices in that University as the Senate may approve, provided that not less than seven years shall have elapsed from the date of their first graduation in any University.

2.   All candidates for the Degree of Doctor of Laws shall present written work not previously submitted for any Degree of any University which shall be approved for the award of the Degree only if the Senate deems the work to be of sufficient merit as constituting an original and substantial contribution to the study of Law. The work shall be accompanied by a declaration signed by the candidate that it has been composed by themself. If the work has not been published in full, then, before being submitted, it shall have been published so far and in such manner as the Senate accepts as reasonable in the circumstances. Two copies of the work, if approved for the Degree, shall be deposited by the candidate in the University Library.

3.   The Senate of each University shall appoint such Professors, Readers or Lecturers as it may think suitable to examine the work submitted by candidates who may offer themselves for the Degree of Doctor of Laws and the University Court shall, after consultation with the Senate, appoint one or more additional examiners to act along with them in adjudicating on the merits of the work submitted by the candidates. Every such additional examiner shall be a person of recog­nised eminence in the subject of the work presented by the candidate.

4.   The fee to be paid by a candidate for the Degree of Doctor of Laws shall be fixed from time to time by the University Courts of the four Universities. The said fee shall be payable on each occasion on which the candidate offers themself for the Degree.

5.   The Degree of Doctor of Laws shall not in any case be conferred upon any person who has not satisfied the conditions hereinbefore set forth, provided that nothing in this Ordinance shall be held to restrict or govern the conferment of that Degree as an Honorary Degree according to the terms of Ordinances by which the conferment of the Degree of Doctor of Laws as an Honorary Degree is now or may hereafter be regulated.

6.   The Senate of each University shall have power to make such additional regulations governing the conferment of the Degree as may be approved by the University Court.


1.   Application for the Degree shall be made by letter addressed to the Clerk of Senate, which shall be accompanied by an electronic copy of each item of the written work submitted in support of the application and of any connec­tive statement required under Regulation (2) hereof, and also by a declaration signed by the applicant certifying that all the written work submitted has been composed by themself, that it has not been previously submitted either successfully or unsuccessfully for the award of any Degree of any University, and stating, in the case where the applicant is submitting work not completely published, the extent to which it has been published and what efforts have been made to have the work published in full. The applicant must furnish any further information on these matters which may be requested by the Senate. In the event that an electronic copy of any of the written works is not available the applicant should contact their Graduate School.

2.   Before acceptance of candidature for the degree applicants must supply to the College Graduate School an adequate and informative abstract of the work of approximately 1,000 words along with a list of the publications that will support the work. The College of Social Sciences may decline to proceed to examine the work if the summary and list of supporting publications does not in its opinion show evidence of sufficient standard or originality.

3.   The written work submitted in support of an application may have been published in full, or be partly published and partly unpublished. It should preferably take the form of one or more books or other substantial and independent pieces of writing. Papers published in periodicals of recog­nised standing under various titles may be submitted, either alone or in conjunction with other work, published or unpublished, only if all the papers and other items of work which are not by themselves substantial and independent pieces of writing form parts of a larger unity or unities, and are accompanied by a separate statement extending to about 500-1,000 words composed by the applicant showing the connection between the various writings, their relation to the theme of the whole work, and the results and conclusions of the whole body or bodies of writings on which the application is based.

4.   The Senate shall consider the application and declaration and shall remit the works submitted in support thereof to the Committee of Examiners provided for in Section III of the Ordinance only if satisfied in all respects with the candidate’s declaration and, in particular, that publication has been made so far and in such manner as is reasonable in the circumstances. If the Senate rejects the application on the ground that in any respect it has not been satisfied by the candidate’s declaration, the works shall be returned to the applicant without prejudice to their resubmission at a later date in changed circumstances. If the Senate accepts the application, admits the applicant to candidature for the Degree, and remits the works to the Examiner, any hard copies of the works submitted shall become the property of the University, whether they are ultimately approved for the award of the Degree or not, and the candidate shall be then liable to pay the fee fixed for the Degree.

5.   If approved for the Degree, the works and all supporting materials shall be submitted electronically to the relevant Graduate School as directed by the Graduate School and must conform to University Library specifications published at: https://www.gla.ac.uk/myglasgow/research/enlighten/theses/formattingyourthesis/. This regulation replaces the requirement in Section II of the Ordinance for submission of hard copies.

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