This unit of study provides a comprehensive introduction to research methodologies in law, including the consideration of possible research topics for academic thesis/dissertations. Included in the unit of study matter of the course are examinations of the research process, considerations of ethical issues in legal research, problem definition and the research proposal, survey research, questionnaire design, quantitative research in law, and an exploration of different research paradigms and writing styles in legal research.

Unit details

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Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this unit, students will be able to:
  1. Interrogate and interpret legislation and case law as well as secondary legal materials and theorise about the applicability and limitations of experimental, survey and case study research;  
  2. Review, analyse and critique discipline-based legal knowledge to identify and interrogate complex problems and develop a broad perspective of discipline-related research undertakings, in the context of a fragmenting and globalising legal order; and  
  3. Conceptually map the research process identifying researchable problems and interdisciplinary approaches to investigating legal controversies and develop a defensible conceptual framework for research.  


Assessment type Description Grade
Literature Review Applying research methodology to legal issues and/or ethical issues in the workplace (1,000 words) 40%
Assignment Applied legal research assignment on developing and responding to a request for tender (2,000 words) 50%
Presentation Group presentation evaluating the effectiveness of a project 10%

Required reading

Everyday Evaluation On the Run: The user-friendly introductory guide to effective evaluation 3rd edition
Wadsworth, Y. (2011)
Crows Next, NSW: Allen & Unwin

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