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Research Doctorate in Private Law, Roman law and European Legal Culture

The Ph.D. programme is designed for graduates who wish to situate their legal studies within a wider understanding of how law and legal thinking changes over time in response to socio–economic and cultural forces.
The activities are developed in consortium with Ludwig-Maximilian University of Munich (Germany) and the Universities of Parma, Perugia, Trento and IUSS Pavia (Italy); they are also supported by research-oriented cooperation with Italian and foreign Institutions and Universities, such as Cedant-IUSS (Pavia), Italian Institute of Human Sciences (Florence), Munich Centre for Ancient Worlds (Germany) and the Faculty of Law, Cambridge (UK).


The Ph.D. programme embraces two wide scientific areas: Private law in its broader social, technological and economic frame and Roman law in its historical context and as a foundation of European legal culture. While our programme rests on the contributions of scholars from a number of different disciplines, its aim is to add to these disciplinary approaches a greater attention to legal thinking and the adjustment of the legal system caused by the impact of new technologies and changing social relations.

Research Areas

The course covers six main research areas:
- Civil law;
- Intellectual Property Law and Unfair Competition: copyright law, designs rights, inventions, unfair competition and antitrust;
- Labour Law and Industrial Relations: Italian Law and foreign or international legal systems;
- Roman Law: Roman private, public and criminal law; history of legal thought;
- Italian and European Legal History (from the end of the Roman Empire to the legal Codes in XVIII-XX centuries in the wider context of Europe);
- Canon Law in the history of European legal culture.


Through a combination of classroom teaching and research apprenticeships, the programme offers a sound background in legal thinking and history, a thorough understanding of theoretical and empirical issues in the study of contemporary law, and a solid set of technical skills for conducting scholarly research. Study resources include classes on methodology, and regular research seminars, workshops and conferences. We offer financial assistance for attendance to training activities outside Pavia (if appropriate), an accurate monitoring of each student's yearly progress and a work-in-progress group. A period of study abroad is strongly encouraged.

Job Opportunities

The Ph.D. programme is the privileged channel to access the academic career in Italy and abroad. Other employment opportunities include law-related careers, in the private sector as lawyers and consultants for national and international firms, in the public sector as judges and wherever knowledge of law is recommended.

Coordinator: Prof. Dario Mantovani
Department of Law
Address: Corso Strada Nuova 65 - 27100 - Pavia
Tel.: + 39 0382-984592

For more information, see:

Research doctorate website: