Research Methods in Law - LAWS9291

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Module delivery information

Location Term Level1 Credits (ECTS)2 Current Convenor3 2023 to 2024
Canterbury
Combined Autumn and Spring Terms 7 40 (20) Amanda Perry-Kessaris checkmark-circle

Overview

This module is designed to enable and inspire students to conduct critical, creative and practical legal research by enabling and inspiring them to be critical, creative and practical about their research process. It pays attention to every aspect of the research process including conceptualisation, data collection, data analysis, dissemination, and evaluation. It emphasises principles of experimentation, transparency, sharing and reflection. Students will complete a series of highly specified tasks, each of which uses their own research project as a test case. Through these tasks they will come to understand their research project on different scales; from the inside and from the outside. Through these tasks they will explore and evaluate the anatomy of PhDs, legislation, presentations, interviews, books and articles; from the perspectives of participants, authors and audiences. And through these tasks they will engage in critical, creative and practical speculation about the implications of approaching their project as if it were, for example, quantitative, qualitative, archival, ethnographic, participatory, field-work based or object-based.

Details

Contact hours

Total study hours: 400
Contact hours: 40
Private study hours: 360

Availability

LLM in (Specialisation); LLM in Law (Taught)
LLM (Research), MPhil and PhD in Law / Socio-Legal Studies

Method of assessment

Main assessment methods
Portfolio of work, equivalent to a 5000 word essay (50%)

Critical reflection, 5000 words (50%).

Reassessment methods

Reassessment instrument: 100% Coursework

Indicative reading

• Banakar, R. and M. Travers, (2005), Theory and Method in Socio-Legal Research, (Hart: Oxford)
• Blastland, M. and A. Dilnot, (2007), The Tiger That Isn't: Seeing Through World of Numbers, (Profile: London)
• Edwards, R. and J. Holland, (2013), What is Qualitative Interviewing?, (Bloomsbury Press: London)
• McConville, M and W. H. Chui, (2007), Research Methods for Law (Edinburgh University Press: Edinburgh)
• Prown, J. D., (1982), 'Mind in Matter: An Introduction to Material Culture Theory and Method' 17:1 Winterthur Portfolio pp. 1-19.
• Watkins, D and M. Burton, (2013), Research Methods in Law, (Routledge: New York)

Learning outcomes

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

1. Demonstrate an advanced understanding of a range of significant methodologies used and developed within legal scholarship;
2. Demonstrate a comprehensive knowledge of key contemporary methodological debates within socio-legal studies;
3. Systematically identify and develop creative, critical, and practical ways of approaching legal sources (such as cases and statutes,
objects, images and people) and field research sites;
4. Demonstrate an advanced understanding of the methodological and ethical issues involved in designing and conducting empirical
(qualitative and/or quantitative) socio-legal research;
5. Demonstrate an advanced understanding of the unique qualities of socio-legal research process including conceptualisation, data collection, analysis; dissemination and reflection.

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

1. Understand core generic aspects of methodological debates;
2. Demonstrate a firm understanding of the generic qualities of the research process including conceptualisation, data collection, analysis;
dissemination and reflection;
3. Demonstrate core academic skills such as presenting, critiquing, audiencing and writing;
4. Critically reflect on their own work and the work of others.

Progression

Stage 1 for LLM in (Specialisation); LLM in Law (Taught) - 1+ 3 SeNSS

Notes

  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.
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