LAW 3599 - Law Research Dissertation

North Terrace Campus - Semester 1 - 2015

Students are required to write a supervised research dissertation on an approved topic. The dissertation will be written and assessed in accordance with procedures approved from time to time by the Dean of Law.

  • General Course Information
    Course Details
    Course Code LAW 3599
    Course Law Research Dissertation
    Coordinating Unit Adelaide Law School
    Term Semester 1
    Level Undergraduate Law (LLB)
    Location/s North Terrace Campus
    Units 6
    Contact Up to 4 hours per week
    Available for Study Abroad and Exchange Y
    Prerequisites LAW 2504 & LAW 2505
    Incompatible LAW 3099
    Restrictions Available to LLB students only
    Quota Students wishing to write a research dissertation will be selected into this elective upon the basis of their academic records - only available where School can provide appropriate supervision for research proposed
    Course Description Students are required to write a supervised research dissertation on an approved topic. The dissertation will be written and assessed in accordance with procedures approved from time to time by the Dean of Law.
    Course Staff

    Course Coordinator: Dr Peter Burdon

    Course Timetable

    The full timetable of all activities for this course can be accessed from Course Planner.

  • Learning Outcomes
    Course Learning Outcomes

    Upon completion of this course is students will have:

    1. Developed their research and writing skills, and to deepened their knowledge in a substantive area of law.
    2. Understand  the concept of original research, and how to construct a theme for a research project, and  to refine the theme through the  development of an outline, and the completion of  a major research paper. 
    The course requires students to work alone with minimal supervision. It is an objective of the course to assist students to develop the organisational skills to work alone on a major research project.
    University Graduate Attributes

    This course will provide students with an opportunity to develop the Graduate Attribute(s) specified below:

    University Graduate Attribute Course Learning Outcome(s)
    Knowledge and understanding of the content and techniques of a chosen discipline at advanced levels that are internationally recognised. 1-2
    The ability to locate, analyse, evaluate and synthesise information from a wide variety of sources in a planned and timely manner. 1-2
    An ability to apply effective, creative and innovative solutions, both independently and cooperatively, to current and future problems. 1-2
    Skills of a high order in interpersonal understanding, teamwork and communication. 2
    A commitment to continuous learning and the capacity to maintain intellectual curiosity throughout life. 1-2
    An awareness of ethical, social and cultural issues within a global context and their importance in the exercise of professional skills and responsibilities. 1-2
  • Learning Resources
    Required Resources
    There are no required resources for this course.
  • Learning & Teaching Activities
    Learning & Teaching Modes
    There are no lectures and seminars for this course. The course coordinator will hold a meeting in the first week of the semester to discuss the course requirements and ensure students have made contact with their supervisors. At this meeting, there will be a discussion of the general expectations for the course.

    The information below is provided as a guide to assist students in engaging appropriately with the course requirements.

    Being a 6 unit course, students are expected to spend up to 24 hours a week during term time in the preparation of their dissertation.
    Learning Activities Summary

    No information currently available.

  • Assessment

    The University's policy on Assessment for Coursework Programs is based on the following four principles:

    1. Assessment must encourage and reinforce learning.
    2. Assessment must enable robust and fair judgements about student performance.
    3. Assessment practices must be fair and equitable to students and give them the opportunity to demonstrate what they have learned.
    4. Assessment must maintain academic standards.

    Assessment Summary
    Assessment Item % of final mark Dates Length
    Dissertation 100% Due: 2pm Friday, 5th June 2015 12,000 words
    Assessment Detail
    Length of Dissertation
    The word limit for the dissertation is strictly enforced. In presenting their dissertation candidates are required to incorporate a signed statement as to the length of their dissertation (main text and substantive footnotes are to be included in word length, while bibliography, case list, list of contents, required declarations etc are excluded).

    Citations and footnotes should follow the practice used by the Australian Guide to Legal Citation (3rd Ed, 2010). A copy of the Australian Guide to Legal Citation is available from the reserve desk in the Law library. It is also available on the web at or from Melbourne University Law Review at relatively small cost. Pages of the dissertation should be numbered. If a candidate’s dissertation does not conform to the style set out in these guidelines the candidate will be required to rewrite and resubmit in the style designated in these guidelines.

    The dissertation must be presented in the following format.

    The dissertation should be printed on A4 paper on one side only. The margin on the right hand side of the page should be approximately 2.5cm. The margin on the left hand side of the page should be wider, at least 3cm, to allow for binding.

    Any one of the following fonts is acceptable: Times, Times New Roman, or Palatino.

    The font size for the main text must be at least 12 pt.

    The font size for footnotes must be at least 10pt.

    The main body of the text should be double spaced.

    For general rules relating to line spacing for quotations follow the Australian Guide to Legal Citation.

    Footnotes may be single spaced.

    The dissertation should have incorporated in it a signed statement to the effect that to the best of the candidate's knowledge and belief the dissertation contains no material previously published or written by another person except when due reference is made in the text of the dissertation, together with an acknowledgment of any help given or work carried out by another person or organisation. There should also be included a signed statement as to the word length of the dissertation (see 2 above).

    Students should submit three (3) copies of their Dissertation, two unbound copies and one bound copy (the General Office will arrange binding for you)
    The Dissertation must also be submitted electronically via Turnitin.

    Due Date - Unless the course coordinator grants an extension, dissertations must be completed and submitted by Friday 5th June 2015 at 2.00pm.

    Extensions - Submissions to the course coordinator for an extension of time should be based only upon special or unforeseen personal or research circumstances.

    Dissertations must be submitted by the due date in hard copy to the Law School Office and in electronic form to Turnitin (link available on MyUni).

    Be sure to leave plenty of time to submit electronically, get a receipt and still get your hard copy in by the deadline.

    The thesis supervisor and an independent examiner will mark the thesis. Having reached a mark independently, the supervisor and independent examiner will agree a final mark between them. If the supervisor and independent examiner cannot agree on a final mark, a further examiner will be appointed, and a majority position reached.

    Course Grading

    Grades for your performance in this course will be awarded in accordance with the following scheme:

    M10 (Coursework Mark Scheme)
    Grade Mark Description
    FNS   Fail No Submission
    F 1-49 Fail
    P 50-64 Pass
    C 65-74 Credit
    D 75-84 Distinction
    HD 85-100 High Distinction
    CN   Continuing
    NFE   No Formal Examination
    RP   Result Pending

    Further details of the grades/results can be obtained from Examinations.

    Grade Descriptors are available which provide a general guide to the standard of work that is expected at each grade level. More information at Assessment for Coursework Programs.

    Courses for which a result of conceded pass has been obtained may not be presented towards the degree requirements for the Bachelor of Laws or the Honours Degree of Bachelor of Laws programs, or any postgraduate law program, nor to satisfy prerequisite requirements within any law course.

    Final results for this course will be made available through Access Adelaide.

  • Student Feedback

    The University places a high priority on approaches to learning and teaching that enhance the student experience. Feedback is sought from students in a variety of ways including on-going engagement with staff, the use of online discussion boards and the use of Student Experience of Learning and Teaching (SELT) surveys as well as GOS surveys and Program reviews.

    SELTs are an important source of information to inform individual teaching practice, decisions about teaching duties, and course and program curriculum design. They enable the University to assess how effectively its learning environments and teaching practices facilitate student engagement and learning outcomes. Under the current SELT Policy ( course SELTs are mandated and must be conducted at the conclusion of each term/semester/trimester for every course offering. Feedback on issues raised through course SELT surveys is made available to enrolled students through various resources (e.g. MyUni). In addition aggregated course SELT data is available.

  • Student Support

    The University Writing Centre provides academic learning and language development services and resources for local, international, undergraduate and postgraduate coursework students enrolled at the University of Adelaide.

    Practical advice and strategies for students to master reading, writing, note-taking, time management, oral presentation skills, referencing techniques and exam preparation for success at university through seminars, workshops and individual consultations.

    For more information please check out the Writing Centre website at

  • Policies & Guidelines

    This section contains links to relevant assessment-related policies and guidelines - all university policies.

    Further information regarding the Law School Policies and Procedures in relation to Supplementary Assessment, Extensions, and Remarks etc can be found at:

    Plagiarism and other forms of cheating

    Plagiarism is a serious act of academic misconduct. All students must be familiar with the Adelaide Law School Enrolment Guide 2014, and should note in particular the sections relating to plagiarism, grievance procedures and academic conduct within the Law School and the University.

    Plagiarism is a serious matter and is treated as such by the Law School and the University. Please be aware that “academic dishonesty” (which goes beyond plagiarism) can be a ground for a refusal by the Supreme Court of South Australia to refuse to admit a person to practice as a legal practitioner in South Australia.

    Academic honesty is an essential aspect of ethical and honest behaviour, which is central to the practice of the law and an understanding of what it is to be a lawyer.

  • Fraud Awareness

    Students are reminded that in order to maintain the academic integrity of all programs and courses, the university has a zero-tolerance approach to students offering money or significant value goods or services to any staff member who is involved in their teaching or assessment. Students offering lecturers or tutors or professional staff anything more than a small token of appreciation is totally unacceptable, in any circumstances. Staff members are obliged to report all such incidents to their supervisor/manager, who will refer them for action under the university's student’s disciplinary procedures.

The University of Adelaide is committed to regular reviews of the courses and programs it offers to students. The University of Adelaide therefore reserves the right to discontinue or vary programs and courses without notice. Please read the important information contained in the disclaimer.