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2024/25 Undergraduate Module Catalogue

LAW2680 Researching Law

10 creditsClass Size: 700

Module manager: Jennifer Sands

Taught: Semester 1 (Sep to Jan) View Timetable

Year running 2024/25

This module is mutually exclusive with

LAW2286Researching Crime and Criminal Justice (for undergraduates)

Module replaces

LAW2284 Advanced Legal Research & Law Reform

This module is not approved as a discovery module


This module forms an integral part of the student's research journey. It builds upon the skills developed and research training provided at Level One, by introducing and critically exploring different conceptual approaches to legal research. It does so by focusing on a small number of topics and debates within law, investigating them from a critical perspective. In so doing the module aims to enable students to develop a personal research skills toolkit in readiness for the final year project.

- to develop students' analytical and critical skills;
- to equip students with the ability to use a variety of sources in developing a convincing argument;
- to demonstrate a variety of approaches to researching law, including doctrinal, comparative, socio-legal and historical legal research;
- to equip students with the necessary skills to conduct legal research independently;
- to equip students with advanced research skills in using both bibliographic and electronic sources;
- to enable students to develop the necessary skills to formulate a viable research plan for their final year project;
- to equip students with the necessary skills to research, structure and write up their final year dissertation.

Learning outcomes
By the end of this module students will be able to:
- demonstrate a knowledge and understanding of different methodological approaches to legal research;
- formulate and design a research proposal;
- identify and use primary legal sources and secondary sources relevant to the topic under study;
- identify contemporary debates and engage with these as part of a research proposal;
- develop effective research strategies to identify and evaluate potential sources;
- synthesise and critically evaluate literature in the context of a research proposal;
- effectively present materials in both written and oral formats;
- demonstrate the ability to write reflectively.


The Research Journey: What is a research problem and/or project and what makes a good research project?
Which way to go: Methodological approaches to legal research
Finding Direction: Using bibliographic databases and conducting literature searches
Taking the Right Path: Research Ethics
Thinking Critically: What does it mean to be critical and how to evaluate sources.
Learning to Read (Again!): Case analysis & Article analysis
Using Data: Quantitative and Qualitative Data, Policy documents, and Hansard
Referencing Properly: Using OSCOLA
Asking the Right Questions: Formulating research questions and the role of the literature review
The Bigger Picture: Presenting and writing up your research effectively

Teaching methods

Delivery typeNumberLength hoursStudent hours
Private study hours84.50
Total Contact hours15.50
Total hours (100hr per 10 credits)100.00

Opportunities for Formative Feedback

A formative assessment opportunity will be provided.

Methods of assessment

Assessment typeNotes% of formal assessment
Written WorkCoursework100.00
Total percentage (Assessment Coursework)100.00

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

Reading list

The reading list is available from the Library website

Last updated: 29/04/2024 16:15:25


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