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2019/20 Taught Postgraduate Module Catalogue

LAW5041M Dissertation Criminal Law/Criminal Justice

60 creditsClass Size: 50

Module manager: Dr Anna Barker

Taught: 1 Oct to 30 Sep (12mth) View Timetable

Year running 2019/20

Module replaces

LAW5040M Criminal Justice Studies: Dissertation

This module is not approved as an Elective


Students are required to write 12,000-words on a criminal law / criminal justice / criminological topic of their choice. Students may choose to complete a library / internet-based study or develop an empirical research project. In recent years students with the necessary research methods skills have been given the opportunity to undertake a small research project in collaboration with a local criminal justice agency to form the basis of their dissertation. All projects are arranged in advance by the LLM / MA Degrees Director in collaboration with the participating agencies. Students are then invited to apply to do one of the projects: projects are allocated according to ability and 'best fit' between the projects and the students' interests.

Learning outcomes
On completion of the dissertation, students should be able to:
- demonstrate a detailed knowledge of contemporary theories, policies and practice in relation to their chosen topic;
- demonstrate a sound understanding of the appropriate (library-based / empirical) research methods and skills and the ability to apply these methods and skills;
- demonstrate a proactive, self-directed approach to learning as evidenced through their preparation for supervision meetings and private study for the dissertation;
- develop and demonstrate higher-level critical and analytical skills;
- demonstrate strong writing skills, to include the appropriate and consistent use of references and a comprehensive bibliography.


The dissertation should not exceed 12,000 words on a topic approved by the LLM / MA Degrees Director to be agreed shortly after Christmas (date TBC) and to be submitted by the 1 September or the first working day thereafter in the only or final year of study.

Teaching methods

Delivery typeNumberLength hoursStudent hours
Private study hours598.00
Total Contact hours2.00
Total hours (100hr per 10 credits)600.00

Private study

Students will be allocated a supervisor from the Law School's academic staff. Students are entitled to four face-to-face meetings with their supervisor. Students will be expected to provide written work in advance of meetings. The exact timing of meetings will be agreed with the supervisor (but see The Dissertation Handbook for an indicative timeline).

Opportunities for Formative Feedback

Progression is monitored through the submission of work and attendance at meetings.

Methods of assessment

Assessment typeNotes% of formal assessment
Essay or Dissertation1 x 12,000 word dissertation100.00
Total percentage (Assessment Coursework)100.00

The dissertation will be marked by the supervisor plus one other internal examiner.

Reading list

There is no reading list for this module

Last updated: 30/04/2019


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