Module Provider: School of Law
Number of credits: 40 [20 ECTS credits]
Terms in which taught: Autumn / Spring term module
Non-modular pre-requisites:
Modules excluded: LW3RWC Research Writing Credit or LW3WPP Writing Credit Pro Bono and Professional Practice or LW3ILM International Law Mooting
Current from: 2018/9

Module Convenor: Prof Aleardo Zanghellini

Email: a.zanghellini@reading.ac.uk

Type of module:

Summary module description:
This module involves the research of and writing up of a topic chosen by the student under supervision of a member of staff.

This module aims to provide students with the opportunity to write a major piece of work (max. 12,500 words) the research for which has been undertaken by private study.

Assessable learning outcomes:
By the end of the module it is expected that the student will be able to:
•have a detailed knowledge of the topic of the dissertation;

and will be able to:

•critically analyse and evaluate the topic;
•place the subject matter of the dissertation within a wider legal and/or socio-political context;
•access, take advantage of, and critically use different sources of research;
•evaluate the objectivity and relevance of different sources of research;
•construct an argument that can be sustained through a work of such length;
•use a recognised citation style;
•present the dissertation in a manner that is clear, logical and well-written.

Additional outcomes:
The module encourages the use of information technology, word processing and research skills. Writing a dissertation provides students with an opportunity to use and develop the numerous legal and other skills that they already possess.

Outline content:
Not applicable.

Brief description of teaching and learning methods:
One two hour lecture is given to prospective students in the spring preceding the final year of studies (please note this included in the 3hours indicated in the below grid). For those students who do undertake a dissertation, a lecture is given in the autumn term on research methods. This is followed by a lecture in the spring term on dissertation writing techniques.

Contact hours:
  Autumn Spring Summer
Lectures 1 3 0
Project Supervision 4 3
Guided independent study 194 195
Total hours by term 199.00 201.00 0.00
Total hours for module 400.00

Summative Assessment Methods:
Method Percentage
Dissertation 100

Summative assessment- Examinations:

Summative assessment- Coursework and in-class tests:
Dissertation of 12,500 words. See Dissertation Rules as set out in the School Guide (Programme Assessment) as to which words count. An electronic copy should be made available on request.

An application to undertake a dissertation is accepted at the discretion of an individual supervisor, and subject to the approval of the examiners. A student may not submit a dissertation upon the same topic as that which they have previously submitted for Writing Credit L2.

Please note: students who wish to conduct their own empirical research as part of their dissertation work (i.e. obtaining data from human subjects or human samples – e.g. by conducting interviews or questionnaires) must make this clear on the dissertation proposal form. Before beginning to conduct the research, a student should discuss in detail with their supervisor their proposed methods for obtaining the required human data. The supervisor will then advise the student on obtaining approval of the methods, either from the University’s Ethics and Research Committee or the Law School’s Research Committee, depending on the methods proposed.

Formative assessment methods:

Penalties for late submission:
The Module Convener will apply the following penalties for work submitted late:

  • where the piece of work is submitted after the original deadline (or any formally agreed extension to the deadline): 10% of the total marks available for that piece of work will be deducted from the mark for each working day[1] (or part thereof) following the deadline up to a total of five working days;
  • where the piece of work is submitted more than five working days after the original deadline (or any formally agreed extension to the deadline): a mark of zero will be recorded.

  • The University policy statement on penalties for late submission can be found at: http://www.reading.ac.uk/web/FILES/qualitysupport/penaltiesforlatesubmission.pdf
    You are strongly advised to ensure that coursework is submitted by the relevant deadline. You should note that it is advisable to submit work in an unfinished state rather than to fail to submit any work.

    Assessment requirements for a pass:

    Reassessment arrangements:
    See School Guide (Programme Assessment).

    Additional Costs (specified where applicable):

    Last updated: 20 April 2018


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