Legal Research and Writing Skills 1 - LAWS9193

Looking for a different module?

Module delivery information

Location Term Level1 Credits (ECTS)2 Current Convenor3 2024 to 2025
Spring Term 7 2 (1) Sophie Vigneron checkmark-circle


This first extracurricular module provides an introduction to the legal research and writing skills required to carry out research at Masters level, bearing in mind the international character of our LLM student body. This may include an introduction to the English Legal System (particularly important for international students); a session on the various traditions of Critical Legal Thinking; a session on researching and writing for an LLM essay (particularly important for international students); plagiarism; oral skills; and workshops on using REFWORKS, OSCOLA and other library resources.


Contact hours

Contact hours: 14
Private study hours: 6
Total hours: 20


Compulsory for students on the LLM in (Specialisation); LLM in Law; PG Diploma in (Specialisation) and PG Certificate in Law.

Method of assessment

Main assessment methods

September students (LAWS9191):

Students who attend the lectures/workshops and participate in the group discussion will be deemed to have met the learning outcomes of the module. Students will fail the module if they miss two or more of the lectures/workshops. Where there are legitimate reasons for non-attendance, the convenor will permit students to write a 250-word reflective summary for any other missed sessions. Non-submission of the reflective summaries for the missed sessions will result in failure of the module. Where there are no legitimate reasons for non-attendance, students will be required to submit a 1000-word essay which demonstrates their understanding of the material covered on the module as a whole. Non-submission of this essay will result in failure of the module.

January students (LAWS9193):

Due to their engagement with the module via e-learning, all January students are required to submit a 250-word reflective summary per session for at least five sessions to demonstrate their achievement of the module learning outcomes. Non-submission of at least five reflective summaries will result in failure of the module.

Re-assessment methods

100% coursework for both September and January students.

Indicative reading

• W.C. Booth, The Craft of Research (University of Chicago Press, 2009)
• P. Cane and HM. Kritzer (ed), The Oxford Handbook of Empirical Legal Research (Oxford University Press, 2010)
• H. Carr et al, Skills for Law Students (Oxford University Press, 2009)
• M. Davies, Asking the Law Question (Lawbook Co., 2008)
• S. Hanson, Legal Method, Skills and Reasoning 3rd Ed. (Routledge-Cavendish, 2010)
• JM. Smits, Mind and Method of the Legal Academic (Edward-Elgar Publishing, 2012)
• W. Twining and D. Miers, How to Do Things with Rules (Butterworths, 1999)
• D. Watkins and M. Burton, Research Methods in Law (Routledge, 2013)

Learning outcomes

The intended subject specific learning outcomes.
On successfully completing the module students will be able to:

1. Carry out advanced legal research by effectively locating and using primary and secondary legal and other relevant sources at the
national and international level (both paper and electronic);
2. Plan, structure, write up and edit a research project in a defined area of law;
3. Use a range of advanced research skills in law.

The intended generic learning outcomes.
On successfully completing the module students will be able to:

1. Apply the intellectual skills required for producing creative and original research;
2. Demonstrate advanced editing skills;
3. Demonstrate advanced critical writing skills.


  1. Credit level 7. Undergraduate or postgraduate masters level module.
  2. ECTS credits are recognised throughout the EU and allow you to transfer credit easily from one university to another.
  3. The named convenor is the convenor for the current academic session.
Back to top

University of Kent makes every effort to ensure that module information is accurate for the relevant academic session and to provide educational services as described. However, courses, services and other matters may be subject to change. Please read our full disclaimer.