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LAW3027 : Research Topic in Law

  • Offered for Year: 2022/23
  • Module Leader(s): Dr K Crosby
  • 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 skill set for (i) identifying legal challenges in the relevant research thread and (ii) recognising the applicability of established legal doctrine and jurisprudence in untested situations.

Outline Of Syllabus

This is a research module that presents students with an opportunity to engage in analysis of an emerging legal issue related to one of the thematic research strands pre-selected for the module. Each year between 3-8 focal areas will be pre-selected and highlighted at the time of module selection (e.g. law and emerging technologies, social justice, regulation and governance in times of crisis, etc). Students will be provided with primer materials related to some of the legal issues either known to be arising, or expected to arise, within their chosen research strand. Students will identify a distinct research topic or theme within the research strand and engage with this as part of an assessed research paper and blog post/research briefing. As a research module, the formal syllabus will be minimal, and will adapt to some extent year-to-year, depending upon the chosen research strands.

Teaching Methods

Teaching Activities
Category Activity Number Length Student Hours Comment
Structured Guided LearningStructured non-synchronous discussion16:006:00Introductory recordings of strand-specific lecture material and text published on the VLE.
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesWorkshops12:002:00Research skills workshop with Library Team [Flex: Non-synchronous online materials]
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesDrop-in/surgery11:001:00For Library Skills (Semester 1).
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesDissertation/project related supervision40:453:00Individual supervision: 4 x 45-minute meetings with Strand Leader. [Flex: could take place via Zoom]
Guided Independent StudyIndependent study1185:00185:00Encompassing independent research and preparation for written assessments.
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesModule talk11:001:00Skills lecture/Q&A on writing blog posts and research briefings (with module coordinator).
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesModule talk11:001:00Introductory research strand Q&A with Strand Leader
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesModule talk11:001:00Introductory full group 'meet and greet' session with module coordinator.
Teaching Rationale And Relationship

The initial primer materials 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 online materials would identify some of the emerging legal issues and would therefore assist students with targeting their particular area of focus (i.e. research question(s)) for their research paper and blog/briefing. The Library research skills workshop will allow students to become familiar with online library resources and search engines, advice on reviewing literature and opportunities for engaging with materials from non-law disciplines. The project supervision hours would also help guide students on initial topic selection, as well as encouraging their progress.

Assessment Methods

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

Other Assessment
Description Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Research paper2M804000 words
Written exercise2M201000-word blog post / research briefing (as instructed) related to the research paper.
Assessment Rationale And Relationship

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

The associated blog post / research briefing serves to encourage: (i) intense reflection on the research project that was undertaken and (ii) consideration of how best to present legal research in accessible and sharply focused terms.

Reading Lists