module specification

LL7003 - Legal Research Methodology (2024/25)

Module specification Module approved to run in 2024/25
Module title Legal Research Methodology
Module level Masters (07)
Credit rating for module 20
School Guildhall School of Business and Law
Total study hours 200
157 hours Guided independent study
39 hours Scheduled learning & teaching activities
4 hours Assessment Preparation / Delivery
Assessment components
Type Weighting Qualifying mark Description
Coursework 40%   An essay in the theory/practice of legal research
Coursework 60%   A proposal for a legal research project
Running in 2024/25

(Please note that module timeslots are subject to change)
Period Campus Day Time Module Leader
Autumn semester North Thursday Evening
Spring semester North Wednesday Morning

Module summary

 To provide students with a critical and historically grounded introduction ot contemporary legal research;
To introduce students to diverse and problematic conceptual and formative issues in current legal research;
To provide students with the research tools and skills necessary to undertake and engage successfully in independent legal research study at M level;
To enable students to present legal issues, disputes and attendant intellectual argument in a structured and comprehensible manner sufficient to embark upon preparation for an M level dissertation.

Prior learning requirements

Qualifying Law Degree


 1. Legal theories as they impact on the contemporary environment of legal research
2. Professional and academic expectations of the legal researcher
3. Ethical issues in legal research
4. Scoping and orientating the direction of a research project
5. Techniques and methods of research
6. Socio-legal research
7. Modes of researching statutes, case law and other legislative and judicial material  


Balance of independent study and scheduled teaching activity

This will comprise lectures (2 hours) and workshops (1 hour) per week. This pattern will vary after week 7 allowing students more workshop time and more individual contact with the tutor. 

The formal lecture programme is therefore front-loaded to provide students with an initial theoretical framework within which to develop and comprehend research methodologies suitable for  own substantive legal disciplines and anticipated projects

Learning outcomes

 1. Students will have a critical grounding in legal research
2. Students will understand diverse intellectual traditions and contexts of current legal research
3. Students will obtain research skill sufficient to undertake an independent M level research project
4. Students will be able to present structured argument sufficient for M level law dissertations


 Basic Text
Stott D, Legal Research, Cavendish Press, 2003 

Other Texts
Bix, B., Jurisprudence: Theory and Context, Sweet & Maxwell, 2002
Simmonds N.E., Central Issues in Jurisprudence, Sweet & Maxwell, 2003

Electronic Databases
Westlaw and Lexis Library