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Law 212 - Dissertation

(15,000 words) - Full Unit Option

Undertaking a dissertation unit in Part II requires special skills and operates with a special pattern of teaching and learning procedures.

Students in their final year of Part II of their degree may choose to undertake a 15,000 word dissertation on an approved research topic. In order to be considered for this option students must follow this procedure:

(i) complete the Dissertation Proposal Form , which can be obtained from the Law School Office (A30).

(ii) a dissertation supervisor must be secured. It is the student's responsibility to arrange their own supervisor.

Please note that supervision in any area of law cannot be guaranteed and students are therefore advised to consult suitable members of staff with their ideas and proposals at the earliest opportunity.  

(iii) The Dissertation Proposal Form must be completed, signed by the chosen supervisor, and given to the Dissertation Co-Ordinator (Dr James Summers) for formal approval before the last day of week 8 of the summer Term . Students will not be able to register for a dissertation after this date.

Final approval of dissertation topics rests with the Dissertation Supervisor (James Summers) in conjunction with the proposed supervisor.

The dissertation topic must not be one which could be researched within the scope of a Part II course. Certain Part II courses provide students with the option of preparing a dissertation in lieu of sitting an examination (information provided in this Handbook), and students' whose topics fall within the syllabus of such a course will be expected to register for the examination.

All dissertation students must attend a preliminary seminar on Research, Methodology and Writing , in Week 2 of the Michaelmas Term, where they will be given the opportunity to raise any questions they may have on the requirement for successful completion of this option.

All students will be expected to produce evidence of their progress on a regular basis and on the request of either their individual supervisors or the Dissertation Supervisor (e.g. written proposals, outlines, chapter breakdown, bibliography, drafts). Individual supervisors will also make termly reports to the Dissertation Supervisor as to the students' progress. In the event of unsatisfactory progress or unrealistic scheduling of work, the Dissertation Supervisor will arrange a personal meeting with the student, at which some evidence of work may be requested.

The Law School deadline for submission of the completed Law 212 dissertation is Friday, Week 2 of the Summer Term. Extensions beyond this will only be granted in extreme cases of necessity, and the usual coursework extension procedures and penalties will apply. Supervision will normally occur within term time.

Students are expected to produce a sophisticated, original piece of research and writing on a legal issue. The assessment criteria are originality of argument, depth of analysis, awareness of the variety of perspectives (including non-legal perspectives) on the issues, coherence, structure, clarity and concision. This option is reserved strictly for those who are interested in developing more sophisticated research and writing skills.

NB. Please note the information the Essential Undergraduate Guide to the Law School concerning plagiarism, referencing, bibliographies, word limits and paraphrasing.

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