Undergraduate Module Descriptor

LAW3047A: Comparative Law Dissertation

This module descriptor refers to the 2020/1 academic year.

Module Content

Syllabus Plan

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


You will confirm the research question at the start of term 1 of your final year. The allocation of supervisors is confirmed by the module convenor at the start of term. As this is a Comparative Dissertation, your topic and research must involve a comparative dimension and comparative methodology.


This module is essentially facilitated through individual supervision. From September to submission in March, you will have a number of meetings with your supervisor, following a schedule set out in the module handbook. There will be a combined total of six 1.5 hour sessions of taught content, although students will not necessarily have to engage with all of this. In addition, there will be six 2 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 200 words in your reflective learning log 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 activity3Individual Supervision meetings; a minimum of three hours contact is expected over the year.
Scheduled Learning and Teaching activity21Six 1.5 hour training sessions on research preparation, skills and legal academic writing and six 2 hour facilitated peer support sessions.
Guided Independent study12Learning log
Guided independent study30Identifying and locating research materials
Guided independent study117Carrying out research, reading and taking notes
Guided Independent study 117Drafting and writing up

Online Resources

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

There will one joint ELE page with Dissertation LAW3047

Other Learning Resources

ELE – http://vle.exeter.ac.uk/