LL4F9      Half Unit
Legal Research and Writing Skills

This information is for the 2021/22 session.

Teacher responsible

Professor Susan Marks


This course is compulsory on the LLM (extended part-time) and LLM (full-time). This course is not available as an outside option.

Course content

This course on Legal Research and Writing has a taught component focusing on research and writing skills and a stand-alone dissertation (details about which may be found in the LLM Handbook), to be written in a substantive law area of the student’s choice.

The taught part of the course is designed to enable students to gain a better understanding of:

• the nature of research in general and of legal research in particular, and the range of questions and research methodologies to be found within legal scholarship;

• the processes involved in legal research, including research design, refining a research question, resource identification, and searching for relevant materials;

• legal writing skills, including issues of style, process, the use of sources and the presentation of findings and arguments.


This course is typically delivered through a combination of classes and lectures throughout Lent Term. Students will usually have additional hours in the Summer Term.  

Formative coursework

Students will be invited to prepare short writing samples and dissertation plans.


Dissertation (100%, 10000 words) post-summer term.

See the LLM handbook for full details and regulations about the dissertation.

Course selection videos

Some departments have produced short videos to introduce their courses. Please refer to the course selection videos index page for further information.

Important information in response to COVID-19

Please note that during 2021/22 academic year some variation to teaching and learning activities may be required to respond to changes in public health advice and/or to account for the differing needs of students in attendance on campus and those who might be studying online. For example, this may involve changes to the mode of teaching delivery and/or the format or weighting of assessments. Changes will only be made if required and students will be notified about any changes to teaching or assessment plans at the earliest opportunity.

Key facts

Department: Law

Total students 2020/21: 265

Average class size 2020/21: 14

Controlled access 2020/21: No

Value: Half Unit

Guidelines for interpreting course guide information