Undergraduate Module Descriptor

LAW3151B: Research Paper

This module descriptor refers to the 2019/0 academic year.

Module Content

Syllabus Plan

You will choose your research area at the end of the first term of year 3 and fill in the form that is sent to you by email. You are expected to use the Christmas vacation to do some background reading, but no written work is expected of you. No supervision takes place over this period.

You will confirm the research question at the start of term 2 of your final year. The allocation of supervisors is confirmed by the module convenor at the start of term.

This module is essentially facilitated through individual supervision. From January to submission in May, you will have a number of meetings with your supervisor, following a schedule set out in the module handbook.

In addition, four 1.5 sessions will provide you with general support and guidance and there will be three two-hour peer support sessions, where students will have the opportunity to discuss their progress in a supportive environment, facilitated by a postgraduate student. 

ELE is used to provide you with materials and to enable the module convenor to communicate with you throughout the duration of the module.

You will have to keep a ‘learning log’ to reflect on your research as it progresses. This is a formative part of the module (i.e. non-assessed) and you are encouraged to write regular entries in your journal each week to monitor and reflect on how your research is developing. As a rough guide you may wish to write one page of reflective notes per week. You and your supervisor may wish to discuss this during supervision meetings.

NOTE: If you think that as part of your research you will need to carry out interviews, issue questionnaires or undertake any other form of interaction with people, you MUST discuss this with your supervisor and ensure ethical compliance. Any such research may only proceed once ethics clearance has been acquired. 

Learning and Teaching

This table provides an overview of how your hours of study for this module are allocated:

Scheduled Learning and Teaching ActivitiesGuided independent studyPlacement / study abroad

...and this table provides a more detailed breakdown of the hours allocated to various study activities:

CategoryHours of study timeDescription
Scheduled Learning and Teaching Activities3Individual Supervision meetings a minimum of two hours contact is expected over the term.
Scheduled Learning and Teaching Activities3Four x 1.5 group training sessions on research preparation, skills and legal academic writing and three 2 hour facilitated peer support sessions.
Guided Independent Study144Guided independent study – the precise nature of your individual independent research, drafting and writing up will vary according to your research paper and your needs, but as an indicative guide this work may include: learning log (6 hours); attending and participating in student research discussion meetings (6 hours); identifying and locating research materials (30 hours); carrying out research, reading and taking notes (102 hours)

Online Resources

This module has online resources available via ELE (the Exeter Learning Environment).