Module Information

Module Identifier
LA30120
Module Title
Dissertation
Academic Year
2017/2018
Co-ordinator
Semester
Semester 2 (Taught over 2 semesters)
Pre-Requisite
LA13110 or LA33110
Reading List
Other Staff

Course Delivery

Delivery Type Delivery length / details
Lecture 1 x 1 Hour Lecture
Workshop 1 x 2 Hour Workshop
Lecture 5 x 1 Hour Lectures
 

Assessment

Assessment Type Assessment length / details Proportion
Semester Assessment Dissertation  8000-10000 word dissertation to be submitted at the end of semester 2. Poster Presentation during the workshop in Semester 2. Failure to attend the workshop may result in 5 marks being deducted from the final dissertation mark.   100%
Supplementary Assessment Dissertation  000-10000 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

On successful completion of this module students should be able to:

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 outcomes 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) Review, evaluate and prioritise the significance of the materials obtained and issues identified.
(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) Draw from a range of primary and secondary materials on the chosen topic to identify areas of the law/policy in need of clarification or further development and issues that give rise to debate
(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 8000 - 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 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.

Content

This is set by the student on advice and approval from staff

Module Skills

Skills Type Skills details
Application of Number
Communication Oral communication will be encouraged through a discussion of ideas and an articulation of problems associated with the research at meetings with the supervisor, as well as for the poster presentation which is required for the workshop during semester 2. Written communication will be enhanced through the need to articulate a readable account of the subject in question in a substantial written format.
Improving own Learning and Performance Through development of a substantial body of knowledge and a need to locate and organise relevant material the student will learn to develop more effective academic techniques.
Information Technology Location of relevant material, in particular through the use of bibliographical guides and subject databases; Preparation of the assignment electronically
Personal Development and Career planning Enhanced capacity for independent and critical thought. Good time-management skills in preparing for supervision meetings, the work shop and submission.
Problem solving To set a viable topic for research, set a research question and then work towards answering it involves problem solving skills and will both enhance and draw upon already developed skills.
Research skills 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 two semesters; (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 8000 - 10000 words.
Subject Specific Skills
Team work Students will have the opportunity to discuss and compare problems they have faced and possible solutions during lectures and the workshop in semester 2

Notes

This module is at CQFW Level 6