LW7139 - LLM Dissertation

What will I learn on this module?

This module is an opportunity for you to devise, develop and complete a substantial piece of independent research at Master’s level, in dissertation form, in an area of your choice linked to your study.

You will work under the guidance of a project supervisor, utilising the knowledge and understanding you have gained on the LLM in Professional Legal Practice and the legal knowledge that you have.

The LLM Project module focuses on the development of skills in three key areas: problem identification and analysis, research and information gathering and the written presentation of results. You will develop your ability to undertake legal research, addressing complex and current issues in your subject area. You will also engage critically with research material and analyse your current skills and practice. The LLM Project module will also develop your skill in effectively formulating, communicating and presenting a sustained argument in writing to both a specialist and non-specialist audience.

How will I learn on this module?

You will learn through a combination of tutor-directed and independent learning, and through reflective practice. The module will contain enhanced taught elements of research skills to support you in your learning.

In the initial stage of the module your focus will be on tutor-directed learning via a module dedicated e-learning site (Blackboard Ultra), where you will be provided with detailed learning materials and resources, including guided reading and self-evaluative tasks, to help you develop the research and writing skills that are needed for you to undertake a project. This module is supported by the legal research module which will provide you with the skills you need to conduct research for your dissertation and will develop your legal writing and reference skills.

Independent learning will focus on you identifying the reading and research required to complete your project.

Additionally, you will be allocated a project supervisor for your project. Your summative assessment for the module is your finished research project and here too you will be provided with feedback on your work. Thus, through such feedback you can also develop your learning through reflective practice.

How will I be supported academically on this module?

The LLM in Professional Legal Practice is supported by the appointment of an individual project supervisor to guide you through a research-oriented learning process. You are encouraged to maintain regular contact with your supervisor, with whom you will discuss your research topic and methodology to help clarify your understanding, analysis and presentation. In semester 1, you will submit a research proposal through the legal research module and this module will support you during semester 1 in developing your research skills and defining your research project. You will receive detailed feedback on your proposed project within this module which will ensure you are on the correct track for your final dissertation. As you proceed through the year, you will receive written feedback from your project supervisor on draft work as you work towards completion of your project in semester 3.

The University is well placed to support you in learning and research with excellent library and teaching facilities, access to on-line legal databases (Lawtel, LexisNexis and Westlaw), resources and appropriate software. Programme support will be provided through the e-Learning Portal, Blackboard Ultra and resources through the University Library which provides an extensive collection of resources including books, ebooks, print and ejournals. The Library’s Skills Programme will also enable you to acquire the skills need to become an independent and effective scholar (https://library.northumbria.ac.uk/develop-your-learning-skills/). This will provide you with tutored guidance on legal skills, research and reflection, and assessment in this module. The Programme Leader and Module Tutor can be contacted in addition to your project supervisor for advice or support with any issues that arise in relation to your learning and research on the module and to raise any problems you may have in meeting the module requirements.

The Programme Administration Team and Student Progress Team 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 and the project supervisor will contact you throughout the duration of your module with important 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:

Developed knowledge and understanding of your chosen subject, informed by current practice, advanced scholarship and research, including a critical awareness and evaluation of current issues and developments in the subject.

Developed an ability to conceptualise, theorise and reflect on your own practice and the practice of others and undertake research which addresses complex issues and which advances understanding in your chosen area of study.

Intellectual / Professional skills & abilities:

Developed an ability to engage in critical discourse in relation to your chosen area of study, to formulate balanced judgements if information is ambiguous or incomplete and communicate clearly to both a specialist and a non-specialist audience.

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

You will be able to devise, develop and complete a substantial independent research project, including selecting an appropriate subject area, conducting research and making editorial choices and decisions.

How will I be assessed?

There are opportunities for formative assessment throughout the module including advice on the suitability of your proposed topic, on your research techniques, on whether your project is sufficiently analytical and well-structured, and clearly written and complies with University ethics requirements. There is initial legal research instruction, with linked resources, which provide self-test questions and exercises on legal research and writing through the legal research module. Thereafter you will receive feedback from your supervisor on draft work as you work towards producing your dissertation. (MLO 2 & 4)

Summative assessment: The summative assessment is your submission of a 15,000-17,000 word research project. (MLO 1, 2, 3 & 4)

The marking criteria used to assess the project are outlined and explained when you embark on the module to ensure you can understand what is expected of you and how you will be judged on your performance.

Once your project has been marked, you will be provided with electronic written feedback on how well it met with the assessment criteria.





Module abstract

The aim of this module is to enable you to enhance your Professional Legal Practice qualification, your knowledge, your research skills and your employability through the completion of a supervised independent research project on a specialist topic of your choosing. You will integrate your understanding of topics and skills learnt throughout the course, gaining an internationally recognised Master’s qualification.

As part of this module, 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. You will further develop the necessary skills to conduct effective legal research, essential and integral skills to successful practice as a solicitor. The final assessed research project will consolidate your understanding of a linked area of study on the Professional Legal Practice course and develop your skills of critical analysis.

Course info

Credits 60

Level of Study Postgraduate

Mode of Study 1 year full-time

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 starting in 2023 are primarily delivered via on-campus face to face learning but may include elements of online learning. We continue to monitor government and local authority guidance in relation to Covid-19 and we are ready and able to flex accordingly to ensure the health and safety of our students and staff.

Contact time is subject to increase or decrease in line with additional restrictions imposed by the government or the University in the interest of maintaining the health and safety and wellbeing of students, staff, and visitors, potentially to a full online offer, should further restrictions be deemed necessary in future. Our online activity will be delivered through Blackboard Ultra, enabling collaboration, connection and engagement with materials and people.


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