Law School Module Details

The information contained in this module specification was correct at the time of publication but may be subject to change, either during the session because of unforeseen circumstances, or following review of the module at the end of the session. Queries about the module should be directed to the member of staff with responsibility for the module.
Title Dissertation
Code LAW540
Coordinator Professor M Sattorova
Year CATS Level Semester CATS Value
Session 2023-24 Level 7 FHEQ Whole Session 60


To enable students to undertake independent research and complete an extended piece of writing.

To assess how well a student can research his or her chosen topic by locating relevant material.

To allow the student to demonstrate their ability to synthesise relevant material, to analyse it in a critical fashion and then to utilise it to construct their own original piece of research.

To permit a student to demonstrate their ability to express themselves in a clear, concise and logical fashion.

Learning Outcomes

(LO1) Demonstrate principles and techniques of advanced legal research;

(LO2) Show an understanding of the relevant social, economic, political, historical, philosophical, ethical, scientific and cultural contexts within which any chosen specialist area(s) of law operate(s);

(LO3) Be able to identify, locate and retrieve source legal materials in any chosen specialist area(s) of law, both in paper and electronic form;

(LO4) Be able to analyse, evaluate and interpret the principal source materials of any chosen specialist area(s) of law, including national statutes, national, European and international law reports, treaties, directives and other relevant materials as appropriate;

(LO5) Be able to apply legal knowledge to a practical situation and draw reasoned conclusions supported by legal authority;

(LO6) Be able to synthesise information from primary legal sources to achieve detailed knowledge and understanding of the law;

(LO7) Demonstrate advanced legal skills (e.g. critical analysis) necessary to reach a superior understanding of all chosen specialist areas of law, even if not previously studied at undergraduate level;

(LO8) Be able to understand and employ English, European and international legal terminology, both orally and in writing, to explain and convey technical legal information at an advanced level;

(LO9) Demonstrate capacity to work independently in planning, researching and completing an advanced research dissertation on a topic of their choice;

(LO10) Show ability to select and consider a topic for research;

(LO11) Be able to construct a coherent essay plan, in consultation with a Supervisor;

(LO12) Demonstrate capacity to conduct advanced research in the topic, using whatever methodologies are appropriate;

(LO13) Show ability to act upon a Supervisor's suggestions;

(LO14) Demonstrate capacity to write a coherent, well-structured, sustained analytical and critical Dissertation.

(S1) Critical thinking and problem solving - Critical analysis

(S2) Critical thinking and problem solving - Problem identification

(S3) Time and project management - Project planning

(S4) Time and project management - Project management

(S5) Personal attributes and qualities - Willingness to take responsibility

(S6) Improving own learning/performance - Personal action planning

(S7) Communication (oral, written and visual) - Presentation skills - written

(S8) Communication (oral, written and visual) - Academic writing (inc. referencing skills)

(S9) Critical thinking and problem solving - Synthesis

(S10) Communication (oral, written and visual) - Influencing skills – argumentation



Legal Research Training
- Library/computer lab-based research skills workshop. The library training offers students advanced legal research skills. It will assist students in finding a range of primary and secondary legal materials including legislation, case law, reports and journal articles.
- A seminar on legal research, case analysis, statute/treaty interpretation, and article review where students will learn how to analyse legal materials.

- A seminar on avoiding plagiarism / academic integrity including citation skills/OSCOLA where students will learn how to cite legal materials and understanding the university’s academic integrity regulations.

Dissertation workshop
- The dissertation workshop addresses a range of administrative aspects related to the writing of the dissertation, as well as supervision arrangements. This session will provide an overview of what writing a dissertation involves as well as detailing the procedural aspects of writin g a dissertation.

- In the summer term, students will be supervised by a dissertation supervisor to write a thesis of 12,000 words.

Teaching and Learning Strategies

The synchronous sessions will be delivered face-to-face on campus (but could be delivered online, depending on the circumstances e.g. a University policy requiring a return to online teaching)

The dissertation supervision meetings will be held either face-to-face on online via Zoom/Teams. As this module involves the students completing a 12,000 word thesis, the vast majority of learning will be by independent study.

Teaching Schedule

  Lectures Seminars Tutorials Lab Practicals Fieldwork Placement Other TOTAL
Study Hours   2


Timetable (if known)              
Private Study 594.5


EXAM Duration Timing
% of
Penalty for late
CONTINUOUS Duration Timing
% of
Penalty for late
Dissertation There is a resit opportunity. Standard UoL penalty applies for late submission. This is an anonymous assessment. Assessment Schedule (When) :Summer 12,000 words excluding footno    100       

Recommended Texts

Reading lists are managed at Click here to access the reading lists for this module.

Other Staff Teaching on this Module

Dr CJ Purshouse Law
Miss KM Murray Library

Modules for which this module is a pre-requisite:


Pre-requisites before taking this module (other modules and/or general educational/academic requirements):


Co-requisite modules:


Programme(s) (including Year of Study) to which this module is available on a required basis:


Programme(s) (including Year of Study) to which this module is available on an optional basis:


Additional Programme Information