Skip to main navigationSkip to main content
The University of Southampton

LAWS6082 Dissertation - LLM

Module Overview

Aims and Objectives

Module Aims

• to provide you with an opportunity for independent research on a legal topic of your choice, under the guidance of a supervisor; • to encourage you to explore a legal issue in depth, reviewing and critically analysing legal opinions, whether judicial or otherwise, • to offer scope for critical analysis, and the development and justification of a personal position on a legal issue; • to develop your skills in planning and organising a legal research project, especially enhancing your ability to muster appropriate primary and secondary legal materials; • to enable you to plan, organise and communicate detailed material in a coherent readable way; • to offer an opportunity to display personal discipline and time management skills.

Learning Outcomes

Knowledge and Understanding

Having successfully completed this module, you will be able to demonstrate knowledge and understanding of:

  • the particular legal issue which you have selected as the subject of your dissertation, in particular knowledge of the substantive legal position as identified and derived from primary legal materials on that issue;
  • the legal literature surrounding the issue;
  • if appropriate, knowledge of the position on this issue in other jurisdictions;
  • if appropriate, knowledge of the practical consequences arising from this issue.
Subject Specific Intellectual and Research Skills

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • identify legal issues;
  • plan and organise legal research;
  • analyse critically primary and secondary legal materials, from this jurisdiction and others;
  • evaluate commentaries on the issue under consideration;
  • communicate understanding of the issue and the legal materials analysed;
  • formulate ideas derived from that analysis of the issue and materials;
  • express your knowledge in writing in a coherent, well structured legal opinion.
Transferable and Generic Skills

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • manage a legal research project;
  • work independently with limited supervision;
  • analyse complex legal texts;
  • work to a strict time schedule;
  • write a detailed legal report, properly structured and referenced.


The dissertation is an opportunity for you to pursue a piece of independent legal research on an issue of interest to you which may arise from one of the other units studied by you or as a result of your own curiosity concerning a particular legal problem.

Learning and Teaching

Teaching and learning methods

Teaching methods include • The essence of the module is independent research under the guidance of a supervisor. • A lecture on ‘How to Select a Dissertation Topic’. • Meeting with the dissertation supervisor for guidance on structuring and planning the research project. • Meetings with the supervisor to discuss draft Chapters and progress. Learning activities include • Formulating an issue; • Preparing and refining a plan of work; • Identifying the primary and secondary materials relevant to the issue under consideration; • Searching for and accessing electronic and other legal resources; • Synthesising the materials gathered; • Reviewing, absorbing, and critically analysing those materials; • Preparing draft Chapters; • Structuring Chapters into a coherent complete dissertation; • Writing in a clear formal style appropriate to legal writing with legal referencing.

Independent Study595
Total study time600

Resources & Reading list

Resources. N/A as the necessary reading will be determined by the student’s choice of topic.



Diligence and Initiative


MethodPercentage contribution
Diligence and Initiative  (15000 words) 100%


MethodPercentage contribution
Diligence and Initiative  (15000 words) 100%

Repeat Information

Repeat type: Internal & External


Costs associated with this module

Students are responsible for meeting the cost of essential textbooks, and of producing such essays, assignments, laboratory reports and dissertations as are required to fulfil the academic requirements for each programme of study.

In addition to this, students registered for this module typically also have to pay for:


N/A as any cost implications will be determined by the student’s choice of topic.

Please also ensure you read the section on additional costs in the University’s Fees, Charges and Expenses Regulations in the University Calendar available at

Share this module Share this on Facebook Share this on Twitter Share this on Weibo

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you continue without changing your settings, we will assume that you are happy to receive cookies on the University of Southampton website.