LW7003 - Legal Research

What will I learn on this module?

This module seeks to prepare you for the legal research you will be undertaking on your postgraduate programme. This will ensure that you have an appropriate understanding and awareness of appropriate research methods with a particular focus upon: seeking and obtaining legal research sources, recording that data to an appropriate academic standard including issues of referencing and plagiarism, along with effective communication of research methods for example in written essays and oral presentations. The module focuses on the development of skills in three keys areas: problem identification and analysis, information gathering and presentation of results.

How will I learn on this module?

You will be supported by a teaching and learning plan (TLP) which outlines the activities (independent study/reading, self evaluative tasks, informal practice assessments) throughout the module.

Directed learning will centre on detailed learning materials which will be made available via the module dedicated e-Learning (elp) site and will include guided reading using electronic reading lists, self-evaluative tasks as well as opportunities to engage with your tutor and fellow students. Knowledge will be consolidated through a range of learning activities that will include extended reading, research and reflection. You will have an optional Study Day at the University, which will focus on Legal Research and includes interactive workshop-based activities which will enhance academic content and delivery. Study Day content will also be made available as a recorded on-line session.

Independent learning will provide you with plenty of opportunity to practice legal research and writing and to share your experiences with fellow students.

You will be provided with detailed feedback on your individual and group assignments for this module and, as part of your reflective development, such feedback can be utilised in the preparation of subsequent module assessments on the programme. You are therefore able to demonstrate self-reflection and reflective practice within the module and on the programme as a whole, with feedback of appropriate quality and the positive application of formative feedback on learning.

How will I be supported academically on this module?

The University is well-placed to support you in learning and research with an excellent library and teaching facilities, access to on-line legal databases and resources and appropriate software.

This module is designed and will be managed by your designated Module Tutor who will be responsible for guiding you in your engagement and learning on the module. All relevant materials and instructions will be accessible on-line through the module elp site, maintained by your Module Tutor, who will also provide updates on issues of current legal significance. Extensive use is therefore made of the elp at module level to facilitate discussions between you, your peers and your Module Tutor, to provide materials, make announcements and to highlight recent developments in the law. You may communicate with your Module Tutor by e-mail or telephone and are encouraged to make contact if you encounter any difficulties relating to any aspect of the module.

Academic support is also available through summative feedback on assignments and a module teaching and learning plan (TLP) detailing delivery structure and any University requirements. At programme level you will be supported by the Programme Leader who will provide pastoral support throughout the module and the programme as a whole.

The Programme Administration and Student Liaison teams are responsible for the non-academic administration of the module, such as receiving your completed assignment, returning your marked assignment and recording your marks. They will contact you throughout the duration of your module with details about the study day, assignment hand-in dates and other issues.

What will I be expected to read on this module?

All modules at Northumbria include a range of reading materials that students are expected to engage with. The reading list for this module can be found at: http://readinglists.northumbria.ac.uk
(Reading List service online guide for academic staff this containing contact details for the Reading List team – http://library.northumbria.ac.uk/readinglists)

What will I be expected to achieve?

Knowledge & Understanding:
At the end of the module you will have:

• Developed your knowledge and understanding of English law and the
legal research and writing skills necessary to successfully conduct postgraduate legal study.

Intellectual / Professional skills & abilities:

Have developed your skills
• Developed an ability to conduct independent legal research, selecting, using and applying the relevant material to identify issues, construct rational arguments and present accurate legal information clearly, coherently and substantiated by authority.

• Developed an ability to reference competently all relevant sources of legal information and to search for and retrieve cases and legislation together with secondary sources and to use such sources in order to answer problem and essay questions.

Personal Values Attributes (Global / Cultural awareness, Ethics, Curiosity) (PVA):

• Developed an ability to work according to deadlines imposed and to communicate with peers and tutors appropriately and effectively.

How will I be assessed?

There is no single summative assessment such an examination or essay on this module. Instead you are asked to:

• Complete an individual task which will demonstrate whether you have engaged with the guidance provided in the workbook
• Engage in completion of two written group assignments.

The individual task will be achieved by locating five examples of a legal source relating to one of several topics. You should explain how you undertook the process of locating these sources and provide detail of the sources retrieved and include a refrence of each source. You should comment on how appropriate these sources are as sources for LLM study. Your assigned tutor will provide you with written feedback.

The group assignment will be achived through working together with your peers, in a small group of four, in planning, researching, writing, referencing, reviewing and revising two short assignments. The word limit of each assessment is 800-1000 words excluding footnotes and bibliography.

This group assignment aims to encourage a deep and critical approach to learning, developing an ability to think widely about the issues presented within the module and to explore these in-line with directed and independent learning.

The specific nature of the assignment include essay and case studies. Assessment criteria are provided to enable you to understand what is expected of you and how you will be judged on your performance.

You will be provided with appropriate written feedback, and, as part of your reflective development, such feedback can be utilised in the preparation of subsequent module assessments on the programme.





Module abstract

The Legal Research module is the foundation module for all of the distance Learning LLM programmes offered at Northumbria University Law School. Understanding of the concepts and mastery of the skills taught in this course is essential to success on the Northumbria University LLMs. In this module you will develop skills necessary to conduct effective independent legal research. These skills also include the ability to use and present to your audience the legal information you have gathered. You will critically engage with research outputs as part of your research-rich learning, drawing from Northumbria’s extensive on-line databases and library facilities.

Course info

Credits 20

Level of Study Postgraduate

Mode of Study 1 year distance learning

Department Northumbria Law School

Location City Campus, Northumbria University

City Newcastle

Start September 2024

Fee Information

Module Information

All information is accurate at the time of sharing. 

Full time Courses are primarily delivered via on-campus face to face learning but could include elements of online learning. Most courses run as planned and as promoted on our website and via our marketing materials, but if there are any substantial changes (as determined by the Competition and Markets Authority) to a course or there is the potential that course may be withdrawn, we will notify all affected applicants as soon as possible with advice and guidance regarding their options. It is also important to be aware that optional modules listed on course pages may be subject to change depending on uptake numbers each year.  

Contact time is subject to increase or decrease in line with possible restrictions imposed by the government or the University in the interest of maintaining the health and safety and wellbeing of students, staff, and visitors if this is deemed necessary in future.


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