Legal Research

The details
Essex Law School
Colchester Campus
Undergraduate: Level 6
Monday 13 January 2025
Friday 21 March 2025
05 February 2024


Requisites for this module



Key module for

LLB M100LD Law,
LLB M103 Law (Senior Status)

Module description

This module builds upon students elementary legal research skills to equip them to complete an extended essay covering some initially unfamiliar material. Students will be presented with a choice of topics and questions to adopt as their final assessment, drawn from public law, criminal law and contract law, requiring independent development of their existing knowledge of law and its social application. The differences between the various common legal research methods and their relative merits will be examined, including doctrinal, comparative and interdisciplinary approaches. Students will need to reflect upon the various available strategies for addressing their chosen question. The module will also introduce students to the role of research in influencing policy, the various methods of presenting research findings, and effective strategies for structuring academic writing.

Module aims

The aims of this module are:

  • To enable the student to address a question that requires independent research.

  • To encourage critical reflection upon the students own research.

  • To allow students to understand the differences between research methodologies.

  • To allow students to understand the various applications of legal research.

  • To enable students to structure and communicate their research effectively.

Module learning outcomes

By the end of this module, students will be expected to be able to:

  1. Produce a piece of independent written work that addresses a research question covering some initially unfamiliar material.

  2. Select and apply an appropriate research methodology.

  3. Utilise research methods to build further upon their existing understanding of legal issues.

  4. Understand the different applications of research findings.

  5. Communicate reflectively about their research processes.

Module information

The syllabus is:

  • Legal research methodologies.

  • Planning research.

  • The social utility of research in law.

  • Effective communication of research processes and findings.

Learning and teaching methods

The module will be delivered via:

  • Two introductory lectures
  • Tutorials

The tutorials are designed to cover key stages in the research process, including selecting a research question, determining the research method, and writing up the findings.


The above list is indicative of the essential reading for the course.
The library makes provision for all reading list items, with digital provision where possible, and these resources are shared between students.
Further reading can be obtained from this module's reading list.

Assessment items, weightings and deadlines

Coursework / exam Description Deadline Coursework weighting
Coursework   Presentation (LW360 Legal Research)    10% 
Coursework   Research Essay (LW360 Legal Research)    90% 

Exam format definitions

  • Remote, open book: Your exam will take place remotely via an online learning platform. You may refer to any physical or electronic materials during the exam.
  • In-person, open book: Your exam will take place on campus under invigilation. You may refer to any physical materials such as paper study notes or a textbook during the exam. Electronic devices may not be used in the exam.
  • In-person, open book (restricted): The exam will take place on campus under invigilation. You may refer only to specific physical materials such as a named textbook during the exam. Permitted materials will be specified by your department. Electronic devices may not be used in the exam.
  • In-person, closed book: The exam will take place on campus under invigilation. You may not refer to any physical materials or electronic devices during the exam. There may be times when a paper dictionary, for example, may be permitted in an otherwise closed book exam. Any exceptions will be specified by your department.

Your department will provide further guidance before your exams.

Overall assessment

Coursework Exam
100% 0%


Coursework Exam
100% 0%
Module supervisor and teaching staff
Dr Sahar Maranlou, email: s.maranlou@essex.ac.uk.
Dr. Sahar Maranlou, Dr. Mohammed Alshaleel
Law UG Education Administrators - schooloflawug@essex.ac.uk



External examiner

Dr Hedvig Katherine Schmidt Moutsatsos
The University of Southampton
Associate Professor
Dr Christopher Lloyd
Oxford Brookes University
Senior Lecturer
Dr Ebenezer Adodo
The University of Leicester
Associate Professor of Commercial Law
Ms Deborah Jane Rook
Northumbria University
Principle lecturer in law
Dr Thomas Pegram
University College London
Associate Professor
Dr Karen Mc Cullagh
University of East Anglia
Lecturer in Law
Prof Julia Shaw
De Montfort University
Professor of Law
Mr George Ellison
Derby Unioversity
Senior Lecturer in Law
Available via Moodle
Of 199 hours, 11 (5.5%) hours available to students:
185 hours not recorded due to service coverage or fault;
3 hours not recorded due to opt-out by lecturer(s).


Further information
Essex Law School

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