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School of Law

Independent study project on a selected legal topic

Course Code:
155200041
Unit value:
1
Year of study:
Year 3
Taught in:
Full Year

A 10,000-word essay on an approved legal topic of the student’s choice. Students must obtain prior approval from the School of Law.

As part of the School of Law’s encouragement of a research culture, all students, whether LLB or BA, are encouraged to embark on an Independent Research Project (ISP) in their final year. The general SOAS rules concerning ISPs apply to this option also and are found in the SOAS Undergraduate Handbook under the heading "Code of practice: Undergraduate Independent Study Projects".

In addition, special School of Law rules require that a Law ISP has to be submitted on 9th April of the academic session in question, not on 1st May, as is the general SOAS rule. This is so that students may keep their Easter vacation free for revision and exam preparation instead of finishing the ISP. The usual penalties for late submission apply. To be able to comply with the timetable, students wishing to write an ISP should consult potential supervisors during the second year and are advised to start thinking about their Law ISP as early as possible. Ideally, preparatory work, including any fieldwork (for which there are some limited School funds) should be done in the vacation between the second and third year of the LLB, and students should plan to have a first draft ready by, or just after, Christmas.

Many SOAS Law ISPs have been published as essays in journals or even as books, and this is a wonderful chance to study subjects we do not offer and topics that you always wanted to know about.

Objectives and learning outcomes of the course

On successful completion of the course, students will be able to:

  • Demonstrate their substantial understanding of a key issue, topic or theme relating to Law.
  • Organize their ideas in response to theoretical and empirical material and plan, develop and present a written argument in relation to this.
  • Show their ability to effectively gather, manage, synthesize and employ relevant data in support of their written argument.
  • Demonstrate their capacity to work independently under the guidance of an academic supervisor.
  • Show that they have followed good academic research practice and have achieved a good level of competence in academic writing.

Method of assessment

100% of assessment weighting (coursework of 10,000 words).