This unit (LLW5900) of study provides an advanced program of research training for students of proven academic ability. It provides structured and systematic examination of the nature, aims and methodologies of legal research as a foundation for dissertation design and writing. Included in the unit of study content are examinations of fundamental aspects of the legal research process, including problem definition, methodology, design of the research proposal, considerations of ethical issues, quantitative research in law, questionnaire and survey design, interdisciplinary approaches to investigating legal controversies, comparative research and the publication of legal research. Also included is a systematic review of the main online research tools for finding primary and secondary legal sources, including foreign legal materials. Overall, the unit provides students the opportunity to apply and modify investigative, analytical and critical skills gained and developed through the coursework units to the resolution of a legal problem.

Unit details

Online Real Time
Study level:
Credit points:
Unit code:


Must be enrolled in course {LHCR, LHGE, LHLA, LHLB LHLW or LHWP}

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this unit, students will be able to:
  1. Exemplify high level competency in legal research in respect of all categories of research materials: primary and secondary; domestic and foreign;  
  2. Conceptually map the intersection between theory and practice with intellectual independence;  
  3. Exercise critical thinking and judgement in the learning and application of law, drawing on knowledge of research principles and methods of law and cognate disciplines; and  
  4. Extrapolate and interpret legal research implications, knowledge and skills and create and present a research dissertation plan to provide solutions to complex legal problems related to local and global communities.  


Assessment type Description Grade
Exercise Preliminary outline of research form 10%
Report Research Proposal 60%
Presentation Presentation of Research Proposal 30%

Required reading

Nemes and Coss' Effective Legal Research 6th edn
Bott, B & Talbot-Stokes, R, 2015

Where to next?

As part of a course

This unit is studied as part of the following courses. Refer to the course page for information on how to apply for the course.

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