Postgraduate Module Descriptor

LAWM640: Dissertation

This module descriptor refers to the 2018/9 academic year.


NQF Level7
Credits60 ECTS Value30
Term(s) and duration

This module ran during term 1 (12 weeks) and term 2 (11 weeks)

Academic staff

Professor Hitoshi Nasu (Convenor)





Available via distance learning


This module is compulsory for students on both the LLM programme and the MRes in Socio-Legal Research programme. It provides a valuable opportunity for you to gain experience in legal or socio-legal research, writing a dissertation of up to 15,000 words on a particular legal or socio-legal topic of interest chosen by you and approved by your programme director.  For LLM students, the module permits you to apply, further investigate and critique the detailed knowledge of law that you have acquired in your elective modules in Terms 1 and 2. For students on the M Res programme, the module permits you to apply, further investigate and critique any socio-legal topic approved by the programme director, applying appropriate research methodologies and drawing on appropriate materials.

You will be assigned an academic supervisor from the expertise available in the Law School, to match the proposed dissertation topic and your areas of interest. You will be given 3 research meetings with your supervisor during which he/she will guide your research and writing according to an individually agreed framework, but you are largely expected to determine your own deadlines and define your own work programme in order to meet the final submission deadline set by the Law School.

The module calls for excellent legal/socio-legal writing and research skills, personal discipline, and professional communication with the academic supervisor. For those of you who have not undertaken any large-scale legal research before, an introduction to the tools and methodologies of legal research will be provided in the form of one lecture during Term 1 and another one in Term 2. For those of you on the MRes programme, you are expected to draw on the grounding given in your core modules LAWM686 and LAWM687 and any optional module relevant to your dissertation topic.

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