Law Dissertation module (LW40001)

Your chance to undertake an extended independent research project between 10,000-12,000 words, on a self-defined legal topic or question.

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Module code


You will research a legal topic or question of your own choosing and write a sustainable piece of work to add to the existing literature on the topic. You will have a supervisor to support you throughout the year.

Your dissertation aims to bring together your learning across the degree. It will show your development of knowledge and understanding in relation to your chosen topic or question.

The module is roughly divided into two stages, each of which contributes to the key aims of the module.

We will help you select and propose their topic in semester one. You will then undertaking extensive independent research and writing up the dissertation in semester two.

Topic selection involves independent reflection and research to identify and define a viable research topic. This is undertaken with guidance and assistance from academic staff. Once identified, you then produce a short proposal setting out the topic you wish to pursue.

Undertaking the research itself is the bulk of the work on the module. You will complete this with the one-on-one support of a dedicated supervisor. Each student is assigned a supervisor to help them grow and complete their project. They will give advice on research design, literature to consult, structure, and other formative feedback as appropriate across semester two.

What you will learn

In this module, you will:

  • gain knowledge and understanding of a particular area of law or legal study
  • appreciate and show awareness of the limits of legal knowledge and legal methods in general
  • be able to critically analyse law or legal understanding in depth in relation to a chosen area

By the end of the module you will be able to:

  • use legal and library databases to find relevant sources and information
  • prepare in-depth research, and clearly communicate critical analysis and its outcomes
  • share your developed understanding of the aspect of law selected for research
  • explain your critical appreciation of the strengths and weaknesses of the aspect of law selected
  • demonstrate your time management on a substantial project

Assignments / assessment

  • dissertation (100%)
    • between 10,000-12,000 words

This module does not have a final exam.

Teaching methods / timetable

10 dissertation meetings (1 or 2 hours long) provide guidance on preparing, researching and presenting the assessed papers as well as IT instruction where required (for example Westlaw).

Students meet with their supervisor for detailed discussion on content and structure throughout the year (average 6 hours contact).


This module is available on following courses: