Module Information

Module Identifier
Module Title
Dissertation 2 (sem 1)
Academic Year
Semester 1
Mutually Exclusive
GF37320, LA39620, GF39620
LA35220/GF35220 or LA39520/GF39520
Other Staff

Course Delivery

Delivery Type Delivery length / details
Lecture 6 Hours.
Seminars / Tutorials Seminar. Supervision arranged by supervisor


Assessment Type Assessment length / details Proportion
Semester Assessment Dissertation  : 6000 - 10000 words to be submitted in appropriate Semester. Submission of research report required in week 8 of the appropriate semester. Failure to submit a satisfactory research report will result in 5 marks being deducted from the final dissertation mark.  100%
Supplementary Assessment Dissertation  : 6000 - 10000 words. If a student fails the assessment and wishes to resubmit, they must submit an essay on a topic that is substantively the same as that which was originally presented. Feedback will be provided by the original supervisor, or where this is not possible, by the module co-ordinator. Further supervision will not be provided. There is no need to submit a further research plan or report. Students may attend any lectures on the dissertation if required, and may raise any general queries with the module co-ordinator.  100%

Learning Outcomes

To acquire the skills necessary in order to carry out research in a chosen field of law or area related to law and write up the results of this research in a clearly organised and comprehensible way so as to maximise the dissemination of knowledge and ideas contained in the research.

The objectives of the training involved in the module may be summarised as follows:

(a) to develop an appreciation of the research potential of subjects through the choice of a viable topic for research;

(b) to develop research skills as regards the location of relevant material, in particular through the use of bibliographical guides and subject databases;

(c) to develop the skills associated with the planning, organising and timetabling of a sustained piece of research over a period of some months;

(d) to develop the ability to organise ideas and order material for the effective presentation of argument and data;

(e) to develop academic writing skills for purposes of presenting a clear, articulate and readable account of the subject in question in a substantial written format of 6000 - 10,000 words.

Brief description

This module differs from other courses in Law in that it comprises an exercise in sustained legal research and writing in relation to a special topic rather than being based on a prescribed course of study. It is for the student to select a subject for detailed research with the approval of the Department and then to proceed to the research and writing stages of the exercise under the supervision of a member of staff with knowledge of the field in which the subject of the dissertation is located. The overall exercise involved in researching and writing the dissertation builds upon a knowledge, and training in the use, of library resources provided in the Legal Skills module. Successful research presupposes the ability to use a range of library materials and to trace sources through databases and bibliographical aids. Guidance is provided by the designated supervisor through a series of meetings at which the student reports on progress and submits a written draft or drafts for comment. The supervisor's role is to advise about both research methodology and the presentation of the research in the dissertation itself.

The assessment of the research report is designed to support students in their research and to enable them to improve their overall performance. The module is assessed by a reading of the dissertation by the supervisor as a first marker, by another member of staff as second marker, and by an external examiner where appropriate. The dissertation is assessed applying criteria relating to the effectiveness and adequacy of the research and the written presentation of material and argument. The assessment is therefore especially concerned with the ability to work relatively independently, to locate and organise relevant research material, and to communicate effectively via written media.


To develop the skills associated with a substantial piece of research work, especially in so far as such skills and ability may be seen as distinct from those inculcated by the learning process as tested by conventional written examinations.

Reading List

Recommended Text
Foster, Steve (2009) How to write better law essays 2nd ed. Pearson Education Ltd Primo search Hutchinson, Terry C. M. (2006) Researching and writing in law 2nd ed. Lawbook Co. Primo search Huxley-Binns, Rebecca (2008) Unlock legal learning 2nd ed. Hodder Arnold Primo search Robson, Colin (2007) How to do a research project Blackwell Pub. Primo search Salter, Michael and Mason, Julie (2007) Writing law dissertations Longman Primo search Strong, Stacie I. (2006) How to write law essays and exams 2nd ed. Oxford University Press Primo search Swetnam, Derek (2010) Writing your dissertation 3rd ed. How to Books Primo search Walliman, Nicholas S. R. (2004) Your undergraduate dissertation: the essential guide for success SAGE Primo search Webley, Lisa (2005) Legal writing Cavendish Primo search


This module is at CQFW Level 6