LL6P03 - Dissertation in Criminal Law (2021/22)
|Module specification||Module approved to run in 2021/22|
|Module title||Dissertation in Criminal Law|
|Module level||Honours (06)|
|Credit rating for module||30|
|School||Guildhall School of Business and Law|
|Total study hours||300|
|Running in 2021/22||
The module requires the students to undertake detailed, critical research into a criminal law topic of their choice and write a research plan and essay of 8,000 words.
Students are assigned a supervisor based on their choice of topic.
The module is structured so that students are required to present an assessed research plan, which then provides the infrastructure for their extended essay. Students are expected to engage with regular supervision throughout the process.
Students will develop an advanced understanding of their chosen specialist area of criminal law.
The extended essay module will more specifically
• allow students independently to research and develop an expert understanding of an area of law of their choice
• improve both their research and independent study skills
• enhance their ability to develop critical arguments
By researching their chosen area of law, students will be equipped with specialist skills and knowledge, to help them stand out in the job market.
Prior learning requirements
Must normally have an average of a 2.1 grade at level 5.
There is no prescribed syllabus for this module as it is largely an independent study module.
1. The importance of legal research LO 1
2. The choice of topic LO 1
3. Writing a research proposal LO 1
4. Primary and secondary source research LO 1
5. Writing a literature review LO 1
6. The choice of the right methodology LO 1
7. OSCOLA referencing LO 1 and 2
8. Structure and planning of the writing up LO 1 and 2
9. Writing a research essay LO 1 and 2
Balance of independent study and scheduled teaching activity
This is an independent study module for the most part.
There are a number of lectures and drop-in sessions that are offered for general guidance on how to structure a research plan and to reference using the OSCOLA style of referencing.
Students are also assigned a supervisor who will guide them through the process and provide feedback and feedforward on drafts.
On successful completion of this module, students will be able to
1. Conduct independent legal research and to organise, assemble and synthesise large amounts of legal material in order to identify legal problems.
2. Critically appraise, analyse and compose a commentary on issues in the area of criminal law that they have chosen.
Research Plan (1,500 – 2,000 words)
Research plan that forms the basis for the dissertation.
Research Essay (7,000 – 8,000 words)
A critically appraisal and analysis of issues in an area of criminal law chosen by the student.
Core Texts on General Research
Knowles, J, Effective Legal Research, (Sweet and Maxwell)
Watkins, D and Burton,M, Research Methods in Law (2nd edn, Routledge 2017)
Salter, M and Mason, J, Writing Law Dissertations: An Introduction And Guide To The Conduct Of Legal Research (Longman 2007)
Academic Journals and subject specific online resources
Depending on the choice of topic