Key Facts

Subject area: Ethics
Programme: PhD / MPhil
Duration: PhD – 3 years full-time, 6 years part-time
MPhil – 1 year full-time, 2 years part-time
Starting Date: Any time of the year
Entry Requirements: See here
International entry requirements We accept a range of qualifications from other institutions.
Standard English Language requirements apply. Details here.

The Centre for Law, Ethics & Society (CLES), part of the Research Institute for Law, Politics & Justice, brings together academics, researchers and postgraduate students with interests in ethics and law. Keele University has a strong tradition of working in the field of ethics and applied ethics that goes back over twenty years. Current research strengths include ethical issues relating to public health, medical technologies, the environment, risk and harm, policing and criminal justice, resource allocation, and global justice. A key strength of much recent work in the Centre is analysis and exploration of the contribution of ethics to public policy. Members of the Centre have strong interests in other areas of philosophy (e.g. metaphysics, political philosophy, philosophy of mind and psychology, economics and law) and bring these to bear on their research in ethics and applied ethics.


The University has invested significant funding in the new Claus Moser Building providing dedicated office space and research support for postgraduate students across the Humanities and Social Sciences. Students also have access to library, IT, and other learning resources appropriate to their research project. All members of CLES, including students, have free access to all workshops and seminars held at Keele, including the prestigious Royal Institute of Philosophy Seminar Series on Ethical and Legal Issues in Health Care. In addition students are encouraged to apply for support from the Research Institute to attend external research events relevant to their project and to present their work at national and international conferences.

One notable features of ethics research at Keele is the focus on research training in philosophical methods such as analysis of concepts and arguments, the role of empirical evidence in moral arguments, the use of examples, cases and thought experiments, as well as the role of normative theory in applied ethics. The Centre was recently the main organiser of a UK-wide collaborative doctoral research training grant funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) with a focus on methodology in applied ethics.

Research Staff and Students

Research within the Centre does not only include more theoretical work in ethics, but also interdisciplinary work with others at Keele and in relevant external organisations.

All members of the Centre working in the field of ethics are focused on producing excellent high-quality research outputs. To facilitate this end we seek to maintain a vibrant, friendly and interactive research culture. Present and past students have been funded by the AHRC, the Wellcome Trust and from external grants.

We also offer doctoral supervision on a wide range of topics in medical ethics.

  • Applied ethics
  • Bioethics
  • Medical ethics and Law
  • Professional Ethics

Contact Details

Administrator Helen Farrell
Tel : (+44) 01782 733641
E-Mail :