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Unit Summary

Unit type

PG Coursework Unit

Credit points

12

AQF level

9

Level of learning

Advanced

Former School/College

Former School of Law and Justice

Unit aim

Students enrolled in postgraduate legal studies as part of a thesis or coursework program must demonstrate the capacity to engage with legal research at an advanced level. This unit builds on the research skills students gained in their undergraduate program to enable them to understand the methodologies used in legal research as well as formulate and refine a research topic, locate source materials using advanced technologies and present a research proposal, including literature review and any necessary ethics approval. This unit is highly recommended for students who have never completed a legal research methodologies unit.

Unit content

1. nature and objectives of legal research

2. methodologies used in legal and interdisciplinary research

3. managing a research project

4. building advanced skills in legal research techniques

5. conducting research on a specific area

6. practising academic integrity in legal research and writing.

Learning outcomes

Unit Learning Outcomes express learning achievement in terms of what a student should know, understand and be able to do on completion of a unit. These outcomes are aligned with the graduate attributes. The unit learning outcomes and graduate attributes are also the basis of evaluating prior learning.

GA1: , GA2: , GA3: , GA4: , GA5: , GA6: , GA7:
On completion of this unit, students should be able to: GA1 GA2 GA3 GA4 GA5 GA6 GA7
1 demonstrate advanced knowledge of the nature and objectives of legal research
2 engage in the methodologies used in legal and interdisciplinary research
3 use advanced legal research techniques to identify, evaluate, record and manage legal and non-legal materials
4 engage competently in research in a specialised area of law, locally and internationally
5 practise academic integrity and ethical behaviour in advanced legal research and writing.

On completion of this unit, students should be able to:

  1. demonstrate advanced knowledge of the nature and objectives of legal research
    • GA1:
  2. engage in the methodologies used in legal and interdisciplinary research
    • GA1:
    • GA2:
  3. use advanced legal research techniques to identify, evaluate, record and manage legal and non-legal materials
    • GA2:
  4. engage competently in research in a specialised area of law, locally and internationally
    • GA2:
    • GA4:
  5. practise academic integrity and ethical behaviour in advanced legal research and writing.
    • GA3:

Prescribed texts

  • Hutchinson, T, 2018, Research and Writing in Law, 4th edn, Thomson Reuters.
  • O'Leary, Z, 2017, The Essential Guide to Doing Your Research Project, 3rd edn, Sage, London. ISBN: 9781473952089.
Prescribed texts may change in future teaching periods.