MRes in Law Dissertation

Key information

Start date
End date
Year of study
Module code
FHEQ Level
School of Law, Gender and Media

Module overview

Please note this module is only available for students enrolled on the MRes in Law programme.

The dissertation is a supervised piece of research on a topic to be agreed between the student and the MRes supervisor. The dissertation provides students with the opportunity to develop an original piece of academic work in an independent, albeit supervised, way that leads to the development of a PhD proposal. The topic of the dissertation relates to the subject-area chosen by the candidate as the area of focus for the MRes and PhD if the candidate goes on to do a PhD.

Typically, the dissertation aims to tackle a theoretical, doctrinal or policy issue that is relevant in contemporary legal scholarship and/or legal policy affairs and is linked to the area of research of the candidate. As such, students are invited to discuss their topic with their supervisor so that the topic closely matches their broader area of interest, or practical actual or prospective work or professional experience that will contribute to the development of a PhD proposal.

The dissertation is expected to be bibliographic, on the basis of library, internet, and archival research. It may also contain some original empirical evidence, that the student is expected to collect and analyse independently, subject to supervisor's approval and the student's capacity in the relevant research methodology where this is deemed necessary for the chosen topic of research. The dissertation entails that the student will develop and demonstrate their analytic, argumentative, writing and presentation skills. The length of the dissertation will be maximum 20,000 words.

Objectives and learning outcomes of the module

  • Acquisition of detailed knowledge in a particular topic
  • Development of critical understanding of a particular topic
  • Development of the capacity to plan and carry out independent research work


This module is largely self directed. Students will have scheduled supervisions with their dissertation supervisor.

Scope and syllabus

The research materials and bibliography will be identified by each student in consultation with their supervisor, as determined to be relevant to the chosen topic.

Method of assessment

  • Dissertation: 100% (20,000 words)


Important notice regarding changes to programmes and modules.