Full- unit Dissertation on an approved legal topic

This information is for the 2016/17 session.


This course is available on the LLB in Laws. This course is not available as an outside option nor to General Course students.

Course content

A second or third year LLB student may write a full-unit dissertation on a legal topic approved by the Law Department. Students wishing to do a full-unit dissertation should first consult their academic adviser in the preceding summer term to discuss:

• whether a dissertation is a suitable option for the student

• the particular dissertation topic

• who might be an appropriate dissertation supervisor


In light of their discussion with their academic adviser, a student wishing to pursue this option should approach a possible supervisor for their approval.The supervisor of the essay must be a permanent or ex-permanent member of staff.

It is not be possible to submit a full unit dissertation, LL299 and half unit dissertation, LL298 in the same year

Because this option requires considerable independent study, it is generally not advisable to opt to write a dissertation unless the student has been achieving marks of an upper second class standard in their examinations to date. The dissertation subject must be of a suitable academic character which has not already or will not have been explored in depth in any taught subject taken by the student but is related to subjects taught in the School. It is necessary for a student to have the approval of both a member of staff who is willing to supervise the dissertation and the Chair of the LLB Part I and II Exam Board for the proposed dissertation, by 31 October of the year in question. Once they have their supervisor’s approval, students will need to make a formal detailed application to the Chair of Exams for approval; a form for this will be circulated to those writing a dissertation early in the MT.

The dissertation should be word-processed and be accompanied by a bibliography. Footnotes can be placed at the end of the text or at the bottom of the page to which they relate (the latter is preferable). The essay should be 12,000-15,000 words in length (including footnotes and excluding bibliography). The dissertation should be submitted not later than the first day of the ST.  

It may be possible to use the dissertation option to do some work in a subject which is not being offered as a taught course in the year in question. Alternatively, students may be able to use it to do some more detailed work on a topic of particular interest to them, providing that this does not overlap with any course that they are taking to an unacceptable extent. It should be stressed that no member of staff is under an obligation to agree to supervise any proposed dissertation. However where a member of staff agrees to act as supervisor, students can expect to see their supervisor to discuss their work on a regular basis in each of the first two terms, with at least three meetings in each term.


1 hour of lectures in the MT.

Beyond the one-to-one supervision sessions held with the student's dissertation supervisor there is no formal teaching as such. However, a one hour session will be held in the Michaelmas term for all full-unit and half-unit dissertation students to orient them to the dissertation requirements.

Indicative reading

There is no essential reading as such. There is a moodle site dedicated to the LLB half and full-unit dissertations.


Dissertation (100%, 15000 words) in the ST.

Key facts

Department: Law

Total students 2015/16: 19

Average class size 2015/16: Unavailable

Capped 2015/16: No

Value: One Unit

Guidelines for interpreting course guide information

PDAM skills

  • Self-management
  • Communication
  • Specialist skills