module specification

LL7003 - Legal Research Methodology (2017/18)

Module specification Module approved to run in 2017/18
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
161 hours Guided independent study
39 hours Scheduled learning & teaching activities
Assessment components
Type Weighting Qualifying mark Description
Coursework 40%   Report
Coursework 60%   Research Proposal
Running in 2017/18
Period Campus Day Time Module Leader
Autumn semester City Thursday Evening

Module summary

The module provides a critical grounding in legal research and theory. It includes teaching and learning opportunity on all aspects of legal research including information retrieval, critical use of legal data bases, legal sources and reference and relevant practice in structuring, writing and editing proposals for legal research.

Module aims

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 a M level dissertation


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

Learning and teaching

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

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

Assessment strategy

An essay in the theory/practice of legal research, 40%
A proposal for a legal research project, 60%


Bix, B., Jurisprudence: Theory and Context, Sweet & Maxwell, 2002
Simmonds N.E., Central Issues in Jurisprudnce, Sweet & Maxwell, 2003
Stott D, Legal Research, Cavendish Press, 2003