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  3. Legal Research

Legal Research (LAWS50039)

Graduate coursework level 5Points: 12.5On Campus (Parkville)

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Year of offer2019
Subject levelGraduate coursework Level 5
Subject codeLAWS50039
Availability(Quotas apply)
Semester 1
Semester 2
FeesSubject EFTSL, Level, Discipline & Census Date

This subject is a core element of the JD degree. It provides students in their final year with a capstone supervised research experience. It does so through supervised research seminars or structured projects, generally offered in a small group setting. Students will have the opportunity to work closely with a member of the academic staff in pursuing a particular research interest. In each semester, a range of seminars and projects will be offered. Some may have special entry requirements and enrolment limits. Each seminar or project will include a research skills component and seminar or project-based supervision on a legal issue.

Intended learning outcomes

The subject involves study of a selected area of law at an advanced level; the subject requires the student to engage in self-directed research, under the supervision of a member of staff with expertise in the student's field of inquiry, and/or the methodology they have chosen to use. Students who successfully complete this subject will have demonstrated:

  • Creativity and originality in identifying, framing and developing their own sophisticated and relevant research question;
  • A rigorous and effective methodological approach to planning, researching and executing a substantial and innovative research-based project;
  • A deep and integrated knowledge and understanding of the research project area including its connection with its broader contexts;
  • Sophisticated interpretation and integration of relevant material from a full range of primary and secondary sources;
  • Critical analysis and argument that demonstrates substantial originality, creativity and insight into the research subject area;
  • A capacity to communicate the research thesis clearly, persuasively and succinctly in an oral presentation;
  • A capacity to reflect upon and engage with feedback from an oral presentation of their research thesis and other feedback from the supervisor;
  • Sophisticated, appropriate, effective and persuasive written communication skills, demonstrated in developing, structuring, editing, presenting and referencing relevant analysis, argument and conclusions on the research project, in a format appropriate for publication; and
  • A high level of personal autonomy and accountability in developing and executing the substantial research project.

Generic skills

On completion of the subject, students should have demonstrated the following skills:

  • Ability to develop and frame a sophisticated legal research question;
  • Employing complex research methodologies well-suited to answering the research question;
  • Ability to identify and critically analyse a diverse range of pertinent and complex materials;
  • Capacity for advanced critical and independent thought and reflection; and
  • Capacity to communicate the research results, clearly, comprehensively and persuasively.

Last updated: 11 September 2019