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School of Law

Dissertation in Law

Course Code:
Unit value:
Taught in:
Full Year

The purpose of the Dissertation is to enable students to demonstrate their capacity to carry out a substantial piece of independent academic research on a selected topic.

Students will be assessed on their capacity to;

  • define a topic for examination;
  • articulate a coherent scheme for examining this topic;
  • gather the necessary information;
  • analyse and present this information in a way which satisfactorily assesses the topic which they have set themselves.

The course is compulsory for all students on MA Law Degrees. Regulations relating to choice of topic, the role of the supervisor and presentation are set out in the Postgraduate Taught Degree Dissertation Guidelines.


  • There must be a member of SOAS staff competent and willing to supervise the topic, and available at the times when supervisions are required.
  • Students cannot expect supervisors to be necessarily available over the summer.

Regulations relating to the LLM Dissertation are set out in the Postgraduate Taught Degree Regulations.


Students are required to attend research and writing skills sessions over the academic year.

Method of assessment

  • Dissertation: 100% (10,000 words due in September)
    Note: different regulations apply to dissertations for LLM students.