Module code: LAWM010

Module Overview

The LLM dissertation, as a Masters level piece of research, should embody critical insights and evaluation, together with the manipulation and application of information so as to marshal an argument to logically defensible conclusions.

Module provider

School of Law

Module Leader

EHRENBERG Kenneth (Schl of Law)

Number of Credits: 60

ECTS Credits: 30

Framework: FHEQ Level 7

JACs code: M200

Module cap (Maximum number of students): N/A

Module Availability

Year long

Module content

Any legal topic relevant to the field of study on the LLM Programme pathway.

The process is student-led. Indicative stages include:

  • A research proposal designed to provide students with an opportunity to convince their supervisor that the research falls within the domain of one of the LLM programmes and that the project is viable and has potential to meet the criteria for a masters’ programme dissertation

  • Attend the Dissertation Training Week regarding dissertation research and writing.

  • Arrange to meet with allocated supervisor to complete Supervision Agreement and develop a clear plan for the dissertation including agreeing a timetable for the dissertation work and periodic supervision meetings.

  • Setting deadlines for the submission of outline structure, draft chapter(s) and literature review.

  • Submit full draft dissertation to the supervisor for feedback.

  • Submit the dissertation in accordance with the School requirements (presentation, binding etc) and by the designated submission deadline.

Assessment pattern

Assessment type Unit of assessment Weighting
Project (Group/Individual/Dissertation) 15,000 WORD DISSERTATION 100

Alternative Assessment


Assessment Strategy

The assessment strategy is designed to provide students with the opportunity to demonstrate:

That they have received sufficient supervision, with the amount of contact agreed between the student and the supervisor as part of the research plan; and the return of draft work within a reasonable length of time from its submission, at intervals agreed between supervisor and supervisee.

Thus, the summative assessment for this module consists of:

A dissertation up to 15.000 words.

Formative assessment and feedback

The supervisor will give constructive criticism and advice to the student on the progress of the work. The supervisor is the first reader of a dissertation and the one who will advise the student, from reading a chapter outline, draft chapters and a full draft, on how clearly the argument is being expressed. After discussion, the student should make corrections s/he considers necessary and work on the feedback provided.

There is a minimum of three meetings:




Introduction Meeting after supervisor allocation (week 1 or 2)

discuss dissertation topic, discuss supervision form, set timetable for draft submissions, agree on meetings, Complete Supervision Agreement (Appendix 2)

Progress Review Meeting (week 11)

discuss progress and any problems so far, discuss outline structure of chapters, fine tune timetable for rest of supervision, finalise submission dates with supervisor

Final Meeting (after return of final draft)

discuss main strengths and weaknesses of the draft, discuss final amendments


Students have in principle a right to have two draft chapters or two drafts of the same chapter read and commented on by the supervisor, the regular reading and commenting upon structural outlines as they are amended, and the reading and commenting upon one final version of the dissertation:


Student work


2 draft chapters (up to 3.000 words each)OR 2 drafts of the same chapter

read and comment on

one final version of the dissertation (up to 15.000 words)

read and comment on

structural outlines (bullet points)

regular reading and commenting upon


Module aims

  • Provide students with an opportunity to study in-depth an aspect of the law of personal interest, and to hone skills as a legal researcher.
  • Critically evaluate and use relevant legal primary and secondary sources (statutes, case law, and legal academic commentary)
  • Develop research skills, such as compiling a bibliography, speed-reading, searching legal data bases, and developing means of creating or ordering empirical data.
  • Advance their practical skills such as word-processing, insertion of quotations, production of footnotes, appendices and a bibliography detailing all sources cited.
  • Produce a logically argued, well-structured and somewhat original piece of research.
  • Learn to effectively work with their supervisor and use constructive feedback on their work.
  • Plan their work effectively and meet deadlines.

Learning outcomes

Attributes Developed
001 Critical awareness of contemporary debates in the study of one or more particular areas of law K
002 In-depth understanding of relevant theoretical perspectives K
003 Understanding of processes of knowledge creation and contestation within law K
004 Understanding of techniques of research and enquiry and their application to the study of law K
005 Gather, organise and deploy evidence and information from a range of different sources C
006 Analyse and synthesise a wide range of material in verbal and numerical formats C
007 Deal with complex issues systematically and creatively C
008 Make sound judgements on basis of incomplete evidence C
009 Demonstrate self-direction and originality in solving problems and analysing evidence C
010 Construct reasoned arguments C
011 Apply theoretical frameworks to empirical analysis C
012 Carry out an advanced literature search P
013 Form effective arguments P
014 Organise workload to meet deadlines P
015 Formulate research questions P
016 Present research findings in writing P
017 Communicate and present ideas effectively T
018 Reason critically T
019 Organise and plan own work T
020 Adopt a proactive approach to problem-solving T
021 Deploy a range of relevant research skills T
022 Make decisions in complex situations T
023 Take responsibility for own learning T

Attributes Developed

C - Cognitive/analytical

K - Subject knowledge

T - Transferable skills

P - Professional/Practical skills

Overall student workload

Methods of Teaching / Learning

The learning and supervision strategy is designed to:

Help students research and write their dissertations with the guidance of a supervisor. Each student is assigned a supervisor with whom the student is expected to consult during the research for and drafting of the dissertation.

The dissertation is ultimately the student’s own work for which the student takes responsibility.


The learning and teaching methods include:


  • Periodic supervision meetings (there is a minimum of 2 contact hours with the supervisor, with the rest being at the supervisor’s discretion).

Indicated Lecture Hours (which may also include seminars, tutorials, workshops and other contact time) are approximate and may include in-class tests where one or more of these are an assessment on the module. In-class tests are scheduled/organised separately to taught content and will be published on to student personal timetables, where they apply to taken modules, as soon as they are finalised by central administration. This will usually be after the initial publication of the teaching timetable for the relevant semester.

Reading list


Programmes this module appears in

Programme Semester Classification Qualifying conditions
International Commercial Law LLM(YEAR LONG) Year-long Compulsory A weighted aggregate mark of 50% is required to pass the module

Please note that the information detailed within this record is accurate at the time of publishing and may be subject to change. This record contains information for the most up to date version of the programme / module for the 2018/9 academic year.