Law Honours Dissertation


Each honours student is required to undertake a major piece of research on a topic proposed by the student, subject to agreement and appropriate supervisors. The project comprises 10,000 words and is an opportunity for students to demonstrate good research skills in law as well as skills of presentation, analysis and synthesis of ideas.


The aim of this Module is to require students to produce a substantial written piece of in-depth legal research

Learning Outcomes

By the end of this module the student should be able to:

1.  Develop further their ability to use and analyse legal sources, to evaluate legal literature and to use legal reasoning in an independent, in depth manner and reflect on learning

2.  Synthesise, evaluate and critically analyse knowledge and information relating to a specific legal issue

3.  Demonstrate enhanced skills of oral and written analysis and communication, including use of Powerpoint, in constrained circumstances

Indicative Content

1 Research led study

The project is a major piece of research in which students use their prior learning in law, supplemented with project-related studies, to analyse an appropriate legal problem and to produce a written dissertation. The final dissertation is approximately 10,000 words in length.

2 Knowledge and Skills

The preparation of the dissertation involves in the first instance, the demonstration of existing knowledge and skills.

3 Critical thinking and evaluation

It also requires the higher order skills of analysis, evaluation and critical judgement. An important part of the project is the requirement for students to demonstrate their ability to locate and interpret sources of law.

Statement on Teaching, Learning and Assessment

This independent piece of research, with personal supervision requires high level critical analysis and synthesis of ideas from disparate areas, building on up to date legal academic commentary and case law, which the students have to research, acknowledging multiple perspectives, and engaging with contested knowledge. Class contact time in this module is limited to legal research processes and methodology,referencing, structuring the dissertation, oral presentation skills, time management and legal writing. Students will be required to engage with an electronic personal development planning and portfolio system to facilitate their learning and develop as reflective learners and practitioners. The week 7 activity will be provision of feedback on the dissertation summaries. This will provide feed forward for the presentation and the dissertation itself.

Teaching and Learning Work Loads

Total 400
Lecture 0
Tutorial/Seminar 31
Supervised Practical Activity 0
Unsupervised Practical Activity 0
Assessment 80
Independent 289

Guidance notes

Credit Value – The total value of SCQF credits for the module. 20 credits are the equivalent of 10 ECTS credits. A full-time student should normally register for 60 SCQF credits per semester.


We make every effort to ensure that the information on our website is accurate but it is possible that some changes may occur prior to the academic year of entry. The modules listed in this catalogue are offered subject to availability during academic year 2019/20 , and may be subject to change for future years.