Module Information

Module Identifier
Module Title
Academic Year
Semester 3 (Dissertation)

Course Delivery



Assessment Type Assessment length / details Proportion
Semester Assessment Written Assigment  Dissertation of no more than 20,000 words 

Brief description

Choice of topic

1. The dissertation may be on any topic relating to the choice of a LLM for which supervision is available within the Department of Law. It may relate to one of the areas covered in the modules studied - in practice, most students choose a subject relating to one of these areas - but this is not a requirement. Although students are welcome to seek advice on whether their proposed topic is appropriate (see further below) the topic must be chosen by students themselves: staff will not suggest topics to them.

The dissertation must contain a significant legal content, but need not be confined to traditional legal issues or methods of analysis. It may, for example, involve a socio-legal approach, a mixture of law and economics, or legal/scientific analysis. It ay focus on the law of the United Kingdom or the law of another jurisdiction or jurisdictions; it may involve a comparative analysis of different jurisdictions; or may focus on international law. These statements are all subject to the general principle that adequate supervision must be available for the chosen topic. If at any time students are in doubt as to whether their chosen topic will have or has a sufficiently high legal content they should consult an appropriate member of staff, or, where they have already been allocated a supervisor, their supervisor.

2. Registration and commencement

Students may normally register for the dissertation and commence work only when they have passed assessments for the coursework modules. Registration by students who have not passed the assessment requiried is permitted only with the written permission of the Director of the Law Examination Board. Permission will be given only in exceptional circumstances. Advice on the choice of topic and initial planning of research for the dissertation will be provided near the start of semester 2, for students who may wish to think about the choice of topic during semester 2 and ahead of registration.

3. Supervision procedure

Once the student has contacted their supervisor, they should work out a plan for proceeding with the dissertation. It is expected that normally students will provide a detailed synopsis and/or research plan within a few weeks of registration, but this is a matter for students to decide in conjunction with their supervisor. The supervisor will then consider the synopsis/plan and either give approval or suggest any appropriate modifications. Students are advised not to begin further work on the project until this approval has been obtained.

General guidance relating to the design of the research project and research strategy (how to collect and analyse materials etc) will be given as part of the Induction and Advanced Legal Skills course. In addition, students can expect that their supervisor will provide them, on request, with advice relating to strategy for their own specific dissertation. However, the responsibility for designing that strategy rests with the student, since part of the purpose of the dissertation exercise is to test their research skills. The supervisor's role in this matter is therefore limited to providing advice in response to own suggestions as to how to proceed.

Students can expect their supervisors to read a draft of their work before it is submitted, and to give suggestions about how the work could usefully be improved. Students may submit their draft in parts - for example - on a chapter by chapter basis, or as a whole. It is likely that the supervisor will have some suggestions to make, since there is usually room for improvement. Students are advised very strongly to follow the advice given. The supervisors may not, however, give students any specific indication of the grade they are likely to receive.


This module is at CQFW Level 7