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LAW3027 : Research Topic in Law

  • Offered for Year: 2020/21
  • Module Leader(s): Dr David Reader
  • Owning School: Newcastle Law School
  • Teaching Location: Newcastle City Campus
Semester 1 Credit Value: 10
Semester 2 Credit Value: 10
ECTS Credits: 10.0


(1) To develop knowledge and understanding of considerations relevant to the effective pursuit of legal research.

(2) To develop knowledge and understanding of difficulties that can be encountered when undertaking legal research.

(3) To develop knowledge and understanding of the ways in which effective legal research can add value in those spheres where it is undertaken.

(4) To acquire greater knowledge and depth of understanding in the area(s) of legal activity being researched.

(5) To further develop a skillset for identifying legal challenges in emerging technologies and the applicability of established legal doctrine and jurisprudence in untested situations.

Outline Of Syllabus

This module is a research module based around a general theme (law and emerging technologies) and each year a particular focal area would be pre-selected and highlighted at the time of module selection (e.g. the legal challenges arising from smart cities). Students will be provided with primer lectures on some of the legal issues either known to be arising, or expected to arise, from the emerging technology, and they will then identify a distinct research topic or theme within the broader focal area for their own assessed essay and paper. As a research module, the formal syllabus will be minimal, and will adapt to some extent year-to-year, depending upon the chosen focal area.

Teaching Methods

Teaching Activities
Category Activity Number Length Student Hours Comment
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesLecture32:006:00N/A
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesDrop-in/surgery11:001:00N/A
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesDissertation/project related supervision30:452:15Individual Supervision
Guided Independent StudyIndependent study1190:45190:45N/A
Teaching Rationale And Relationship

The initial lectures will provide the students with a broad subject matter frame of reference by setting out the broad focal theme and its real world relevance and application. These lectures will be provided with support from the external partner. The initial lectures will identify some of the emerging legal issues and will therefore assist students with selecting their particular area of focus for their research paper and presentation. The project supervision hours will also help guide students on topic selection, as well as encouraging their progress.

Assessment Methods

The format of resits will be determined by the Board of Examiners

Description Length Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Oral Presentation202M20Presentation during which time the assessors will ask questions (based on the research paper as well as the presentation)
Other Assessment
Description Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Research paper2M804000 words
Assessment Rationale And Relationship

The written research project affords an opportunity to demonstrate detailed knowledge, depth of understanding, and possession of subject-specific, cognitive, and key skills.

The oral presentation also affords the same opportunities and more particularly, it serves to encourage intense reflection on the research project that was undertaken and how best to present material concerning it in accessible and sharply focused terms.

Reading Lists