Module code: LAW3005

Module Overview

The module provides the students who opt for the dissertation option to engage with independent research and critical writing, under the supervision of a member of staff. The module differs markedly from class-based teaching and learning and allows students to choose a topic of particular interest to them. Their work shall take place over an arch of approximately 4 months, therefore requiring good organisation skills and time-management.

Module provider

School of Law

Module Leader

TAGGART Christopher (Schl of Law)

Number of Credits: 30

ECTS Credits: 15

Framework: FHEQ Level 6

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

Overall student workload

Module Availability

Year long

Prerequisites / Co-requisites


Module content

The Module has no fixed content, as the substantive topic of the dissertation will vary from student to student, according to their initial proposal, as moderated by the members of staff acting as supervisors. The subject must relate to a law module and must be approved by the School of Law.  The topic may deal with an aspect of the law of the UK, or other jurisdictions, could relate to EU or international law, or could consist in a comparative study of an aspect of law across relevant jurisdictions. The student should then produce a 15,000-word word-processed dissertation which draws on primary and secondary sources, academic commentary and which analyses and evaluates the material and is arranged as a logical, structured and original piece of work, displaying evidence of research skills and critical thinking.

Assessment pattern

Assessment type Unit of assessment Weighting
Coursework 15,000 WORD COURSEWORK 100

Alternative Assessment


Assessment Strategy

The assessment strategy is designed to provide students with the opportunity to demonstrate achievement of the learning outcomes listed above.

The marking shall be carried out in compliance with the grade descriptors included in the Handbook and approved by the Faculty. They are designed to reward critical analysis, solidity of research, clarity of structure and writing, substantive correctness and originality, rigorous style and referencing.

Thus, the summative assessment for this module consists of:

A mark on the dissertation. The mark will be agreed between two markers of the School’s staff, not including the dissertation supervisor. The dissertation can be submitted to the scrutiny of an external examiner.

Module aims

  • Develop the student's responsibility and aptitude to independent work
  • Accustom the student with scientific writing of medium-length works
  • Increase the student's skill in legal analysis and critical thinking
  • Expose the student to legal research, possibly in view of further PG choices
  • Allow the student to express her potential in a subject of particular interest
  • Nurture the student's ability to work in cooperation with the supervisor and agree to a negotiated a working plan

Learning outcomes

Attributes Developed
1 Produce a medium-length essay using the canons of legal writing and referencing PT
2 Express their ideas clearly and in a structured way T
3 Identify and critically evaluate the main legal issues raised by the title and critically evaluate them and where appropriate consider their wider context KT
4 Identify and critically engage with legal sources from UK, European and, where appropriate, other jurisdictions KPT
5 Critically analyse the relevant law, recognising gaps and inconsistencies, and to apply it to the issues raised by the title KC
6 Engage critically with legal materials drawn from a wide variety of primary and secondary sources and doctrinal commentary KPT
7 Demonstrate developed research skills in assimilating, processing and utilising knowledge PT
8 Demonstrate competence at incorporating and applying, as appropriate, ethical values, philosophical principles, political constraints and critical thinking KT
9 Have the ability to sustain sophisticated arguments based on the scholarly, legal, ethical and policy-based sources and ideas drawn upon, and reach appropriate conclusions drawn from their analysis of the law and of the issues raised by the question.  Depending upon the nature of the question, such conclusions may appear in the course of analysis or in a concluding section KT

Attributes Developed

C - Cognitive/analytical

K - Subject knowledge

T - Transferable skills

P - Professional/Practical skills

Methods of Teaching / Learning

The learning and teaching strategy is designed to:

Encourage the student to take responsibility for her work and planning;

Encourage the student to consult with the supervisor and act upon an agreed plan of working;

Favour the student’s inclination to take a position and evaluate the materials for the research;

Increase the student’s knowledge and familiarity with a specific aspect of law.

The learning and teaching methods include:

  • Guided research;

  • Regular meetings with the supervisor (typically: the kick-off meeting, the meeting after the first chapter, a meeting to discuss the first full draft)

  • Independent studying;

  • Revision of the successive drafts on the basis of supervisor’s comments.

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
Upon accessing the reading list, please search for the module using the module code: LAW3005

Programmes this module appears in

Programme Semester Classification Qualifying conditions
Law LLB (Hons)(YEAR LONG) Year-long Optional A weighted aggregate mark of 40% is required to pass the module
Law with Criminology LLB (Hons)(YEAR LONG) Year-long Optional A weighted aggregate mark of 40% is required to pass the module
Law with International Relations LLB (Hons)(YEAR LONG) Year-long Optional A weighted aggregate mark of 40% is required to pass the module
Law (JD Pathway) LLB (Hons)(YEAR LONG) Year-long Optional A weighted aggregate mark of 40% 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 2019/0 academic year.