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2023/24 Taught Postgraduate Module Catalogue

LAW5780M Dissertation

60 creditsClass Size: 265

Module manager: Josh Warburton

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

Year running 2023/24

This module is not approved as an Elective


To allow students to pursue an in-depth study of a topic in law. To instil and to exercise advanced research, writing and presentational skills. The dissertation is a substantial piece of work (10,000 words) and contributes 60 credits to the overall assessed degree mark in the postgraduate taught degrees within the School of Law. Any description of a dissertation must remain fluid because of the great scope and range that dissertations can take. At the very least they should serve to explain a subject-area and thereby to synthesise known sources. At their best they are original pieces of work that contribute to understanding of a subject and are of publishable quality.


Examiners will be looking to see if the dissertation before them is of "sufficient merit". This is a particularly vague concept, so here are some guidelines that may be of assistance. They will also serve as a check-list during the planning and completion of your work. 1) To satisfy the minimum requirements a dissertation should have the following features as to organisation and presentation: a) Structure and Organisation: Its organisation should be structured, clear, systematic and logical. This includes the appropriate use of headings, paragraphs, chapters and parts. b) Style: The narrative should be interesting, clearly written and be written to an acceptable academic standard. We expect a high standard in language and grammar and accurate and effective use of quotations and footnotes. There should also be bibliography. c) References: All cases, statutes and academic works should be properly referenced. Referencing should be through one of the recognised systems and should be consistent throughout the work. 2) To satisfy the minimum requirements a dissertation should have the following features as to content: d) Relevance to the title of the dissertation and the stated objectives. e) Coherent - the line of argument and explanation follows a rational and visible strategy. f) Comprehensive: in terms of the sources consulted and discussed and the issues covered. g) Cogent: in terms of: understanding and explaining the field of study; and applying the published and available sources to the subject of research - were the inferences and conclusions drawn supported by the materials? h) Concise: the dissertation should avoid irrelevancies and verbosities. 3) To reach a higher level of attainment in either facet the dissertation should display some of the following qualities: i) Originality: Originality shows imagination in displaying ideas which cut into new ground or sheds new light upon an existing subject or issue. j) Critical: displays independent critical knowledge derived from a synthesis of ideas. The dissertation does not simply rely on one or two well-known view-points. k) Publishable: Would an editor accept this work, or part of it, for publication?

Teaching methods

Delivery typeNumberLength hoursStudent hours
Private study hours599.00
Total Contact hours1.00
Total hours (100hr per 10 credits)600.00

Methods of assessment

Assessment typeNotes% of formal assessment
Essay or Dissertation1 x 10,000 words100.00
Total percentage (Assessment Coursework)100.00

Normally resits will be assessed by the same methodology as the first attempt, unless otherwise stated

Reading list

There is no reading list for this module

Last updated: 28/04/2023 14:50:28


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