Independent Study Project on a Selected Legal topic

Key information

Start date
End date
Year of study
Year 3
Module code
FHEQ Level
School of Law

Module overview

The ISP is a 10,000-word essay on an approved legal topic of the student’s choice, which requires independent work, original thought, long hours of research and numerous times of drafting and re-drafting and thus only those who obtain a 2:1 or above in their penultimate year could cope with the workload. Students must obtain prior approval from the final year tutor in 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" .

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 module

On successful completion of the module, 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.


This is a largely self-directed module, with some supporting workshops scheduled throughout the year.

Method of assessment

  • Coursework: 100% (10,000 words)


Important notice regarding changes to programmes and modules.