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Undergraduate Module Descriptor

LAW3047C: Dissertation

This module descriptor refers to the 2022/3 academic year.

Module Content

Syllabus Plan

Students will be asked to select their field of study from a range of subject areas offered by staff, and then to agree an initial legal area / title to be taken forward with that supervisor. Having reached agreement with staff over supervision, students will begin an introductory research phase to narrow down and refine their field of study to a preliminary working title.

Students will meet with their supervisor on a mutually agreed basis (not less than three meetings per term) to plan and discuss their research, analysis and writing.  Students will also be supported by specific teaching materials (which may include group workshops) for guidance and advice on: managing and structuring the dissertation; research using databases and library resources; preparing the Research Report (see below); referencing; and effective writing. Students will receive regular formative advice and feedback through the individual and group supervision activities.

Midway through the module, students will submit a Research Report (2,000 words).  This work is summatively assessed and enables students to demonstrate and test their interim progress with their dissertation.  The Research Report will have a required format that will be clearly set out to students and which might include: a brief overview of the topic of the dissertation; placing the research area in its legal context; the central research issues considered in the paper; the research methodology; a brief review of the central literature and sources available in the field of study; reflections on particular challenges or problems with your research or the topic and how they may be addressed; some preliminary observations about your findings or possible conclusions; and an indicative bibliography of important sources and materials that will be referred to in your dissertation. 

Thereafter, it is anticipated that students will focus on independently developing and writing up their dissertation with support from their supervisor, group sessions and independent planning. Students will be expected to prepare their final submission as if they are submitting their work to a peer-reviewed journal and the assessment will include consideration of how the journal reviewers might consider the submission.

Learning and Teaching

This table provides an overview of how your hours of study for this module are allocated:

Scheduled Learning and Teaching ActivitiesGuided independent studyPlacement / study abroad

...and this table provides a more detailed breakdown of the hours allocated to various study activities:

CategoryHours of study timeDescription
Scheduled Learning and Teaching Activity3Individual supervision meetings; the expectation being a minimum of three meetings each term
Scheduled Learning and Teaching Activity12Research training
Guided Independent Study39Identifying and locating research materials
Guided Independent Study123Carrying out research, reading and taking notes
Guided Independent Study123Drafting and writing up

Online Resources

This module has online resources available via ELE (the Exeter Learning Environment).