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Research Component

Your Dissertation

The second key component of all three qualifications offered by the School for Advanced Legal Studies (SALS) is research. LLM and MPhil   students must write a minor dissertation on a subject of legal interest related to one of their courses. In the case of the degrees in specialist areas, the subject of the dissertation must also satisfy the rules applicable to the particular qualification. The dissertation may not exceed 25,000 words in length for the LLM or MPhil Degree. 

In the case of PGDP students registered on the 2016 curriculum please note that you too will be required to write a research paper which may not exceed 12,500 words for the Postgraduate Diploma. This should be on a subject of legal interest related to one of their courses. In the case of the diploma in specialist areas, the subject of the research paper must also satisfy the rules applicable to the particular qualification. The research paper may not exceed 12 500 words in length for the PGDP.  This does not apply to students registered for the new Postgraduate Diploma which is offered for the first time in 2017.

Although an original contribution to knowledge is always desirable in a minor dissertation/research paper, it is not an essential requirement. However, candidates must show that they have: a thorough knowledge of the subject chosen; mastered techniques required for competent research in law; the capacity for independent thought and sound reasoning; and satisfactorily presented the results of research.

SALS has developed Guidelines for Minor Dissertation/Research Papers. Students are encouraged to read these Guidelines thoroughly before embarking on their research as they contain details of the following:

  • What is Expected of a Minor Dissertation/Research Paper?
  • Finding a Supervisor
  • Expectations and Responsibilities of Students and Supervisors
  • Conflict Resolution
  • Publication and Copyright
  • Plagiarism
  • Research Ethics
  • Language policy
  • Postgraduate Writing Centre
  • Guidelines on the Format of the Minor Dissertations/Research Paper
  • Guidelines on Language and Style
  • Submission and Examination Process
  • Important Contacts in the Law Faculty

You can download a copy of the Guidelines here.

Attached is a copy of the Student Guide on Plagiarism.

Note that there is also a separate Plagiarism Checklist for handy downloading.

Students are encouraged to familiarise themselves with the guide and to use the checklist