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LS4025: DISSERTATION (2017-2018)

Last modified: 25 May 2018 11:16

Course Overview

This course, taken over both half sessions by final year honours students, and available only to those students, allows you to write a 10,000 word piece on an aspect of law that you choose with the help of a consultee. Once your topic and plan are approved by the law school you work independently and hand in the dissertation shortly before the Easter Break.   

Course Details

Study Type Undergraduate Level 4
Session Full Year Credit Points 25 credits (12.5 ECTS credits)
Campus Old Aberdeen Sustained Study No
  • Dr Douglas Bain

Qualification Prerequisites

  • Programme Level 4

What courses & programmes must have been taken before this course?

  • Law (LS) (Studied)
  • Any Undergraduate Programme (Studied)

What other courses must be taken with this course?


What courses cannot be taken with this course?


Are there a limited number of places available?


Course Description

Course Aims: The dissertation is designed to test and develop qualities different from those developed in the other honours courses. It seeks to encourage students to learn how to: (a) Conduct independent and ethically compliant research; (b) Find sources on their own (rather than wait for others to direct them to sources via a reading list); (c) Distinguish relevant from irrelevant information; (d) Analyse a topic in depth; (e) Present the results of research in an informative, readable and scholarly manner. Main Learning Outcomes: The student will enhance his capacity to: (a) Research independently; (b) Research in compliance with ethical policies; (c) Critically analyse and critically assess material; (d) Write in a structured and scholarly manner; (e) Argue in a coherent manner. Knowledge and Understanding The student will enhance his understanding of the area in which he chooses to conduct his research and deepen his understanding and appreciation of the potential for improving the legal regulation of that area of law. Subject Specific Skills and Concepts The student will enhance his ability to conduct research, to critically assess competing legal arguments and to communicate his findings in a scholarly fashion by means of an extended piece of writing. Key Skills (Transferable) Independent conceptualisation and execution of a well-reasoned research project will involve: (a) Improved IT and research skills; (b) The ability to work to deadlines; (c) The ability to critically evaluate and assess competing arguments; (d) The ability to synthesise complex data and make appropriate suggestions for improvement. Content: The content is determined by the student who selects a dissertation topic (subject to guidance from a member of staff and formal approval of that topic by the course coordinator).

Further Information & Notes

This course is not available to Erasmus or other visiting students.

Contact Teaching Time

Information on contact teaching time is available from the course guide.

Teaching Breakdown


More Information about Week Numbers

Details, including assessments, may be subject to change until 31 August 2023 for 1st half-session courses and 22 December 2023 for 2nd half-session courses.

Summative Assessments

1st Attempt: Dissertation (100%). Resit: None.

Formative Assessment

The student is required to consult with a member of staff at the point of selecting a topic and then again at a later date to receive the approval of that member of staff on the viability of a draft dissertation plan proposed by the student. Both meetings provide formative assessment and advice.
Final dissertation approval comes from the course coordinator but, in the event of disagreements as to the viability of the dissertation proposal the course coordinator will seek to resolve the issues in consultation with the student and relevant subject expert colleagues. If such resolution is required it offers an additional source of formative assessment.


Feedback will be provided at the earliest possible time - allowing for the internal and external marking processes. This will not be within three weeks of the submission date.

Course Learning Outcomes


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