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 SOCIO-LEGAL METHODS
Code LAW549
Coordinator Dr S Columb
Law
Sean.Columb@liverpool.ac.uk
Year CATS Level Semester CATS Value
Session 2023-24 Level 7 FHEQ Second Semester 20

Aims

This module will:
•Cover recent advances in socio-legal research methods
•Analyse the principles behind the range of analytic techniques inherent within socio-legal research methods
•Evaluate the suitability of existing measures, techniques, and models to address a research question and identify constraints imposed by research designs and available measures
•Demonstrate the ways in which research in law goes beyond doctrinal legal methods and requires engagement with a broader social context and theory
prepare students to develop methodologically rigorous research plans.
•Cover the foundational tools to engage in empirically-based legal research.
•Teach students how to develop methodologically rigorous research plans.


Learning Outcomes

(LO1) Students will be able to demonstrate a critical understanding of the principles behind the range of methodologies used within socio-legal research methods

(LO2) Students will be able to analyse the suitability of a range of methodological approaches to address a socio-legal research question and identify constraints imposed by research designs and available measures

(LO3) Students will be able to will be able to show a comprehensive understanding of the ways in which research in law goes beyond doctrinal legal methods and requires engagement with a broader social context and theory.

(LO4) Students will demonstrate their understanding of the ways in which research in law goes beyond doctrinal legal methods by analysing socio-legal methods in an essay.

(LO5) Students will be able to design a socio-legal research project, including strengths and weaknesses of differing methods and methodologies; theoretical frameworks; reflexivity; analysis; inferences.

(LO6) Students will be able to consider the ethical implications of socio-legal work and apply that understanding in the analysis of specific socio-legal projects.

(LO7) Students will be able to apply legal knowledge to societal trends and draw reasoned conclusions supported by legal authority and empirical evidence

(S1) Ethical Awareness
The module will teach students about the ethical implications of research projects and the ethics approval process

(S2) Critical thinking and problem solving - Critical analysis
The module will require students to engage with a range of social research methods and critically evaluate the strengths and weakness of each. This will be achieved through interactive seminars and problem solving.

(S3) Critical thinking and problem solving - Problem identification
The module will teach students how to identify relevant research questions which form the heart of socio-legal research projects

(S4) Critical thinking and problem solving – Synthesis
The module will require students to weigh up differing topics, approaches and theories and apply them to their own research.

(S5) Time and project management - Personal organisation. The module will have clearly set deadlines and tasks.

(S6) Develop skills in reading, analysing and synthesising different viewpoints and presenting findings/conclusions in clear, comprehensible, structured format, with detailed argumentation where appropriate


Syllabus

 

Indicative topics the module may cover include (final syllabus will be made available to students ahead of the semester via Canvas and depend on the research interests of staff who will be teaching on the module):

•Introduction to socio-legal research; doctrinal methods; the history of socio-legal studies
•The why and how to of conducting a socio-legal empirical research project, method and methodology; ethical issues; theoretical frameworks; reflexivity; analysis; inferences.
•Language and power, discourse analysis and judicial decision-making
•Intersectionality, human rights and textual analysis
•Interviews, policy making and action research


Teaching and Learning Strategies

Teaching Method 1: Seminar

Scheduled Directed Student Hours: 11 x 2 hour seminars (22 hours)

Unscheduled Directed Student Hours: None

Description: Interactive seminars based on a reading and question list communicated to students before the seminar in light of the module syllabus

Attendance Recorded: Yes

Self-Directed Learning Hours: 178 hours

Description: This includes self-study for the seminars as well as independent research for and writing of the final
assessment.


Teaching Schedule

  Lectures Seminars Tutorials Lab Practicals Fieldwork Placement Other TOTAL
Study Hours   24

        24
Timetable (if known)              
Private Study 178
TOTAL HOURS 202

Assessment

EXAM Duration Timing
(Semester)
% of
final
mark
Resit/resubmission
opportunity
Penalty for late
submission
Notes
             
CONTINUOUS Duration Timing
(Semester)
% of
final
mark
Resit/resubmission
opportunity
Penalty for late
submission
Notes
Assessment 1 Assessment Title: Essay Assessment Type: Coursework Duration / Size: 3,000 word essay Weighting: 80 % Reassessment Opportunity: Yes Penalty for Late Submission: St    80       
Assessment 2 Assessment Title: Essay Plan Assessment Type: Coursework Duration / Size: 1,000 word essay plan Weighting: 20 % Reassessment Opportunity: Yes Penalty for Late Submis    20       

Recommended Texts

Reading lists are managed at readinglists.liverpool.ac.uk. Click here to access the reading lists for this module.

Other Staff Teaching on this Module

Professor HE Stalford Law Stalford@liverpool.ac.uk
Professor A Carline Law A.Carline@liverpool.ac.uk
Dr Z Mahmoud Law Zaina.Mahmoud@liverpool.ac.uk

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