Module delivery information

Location Term Level1 Credits (ECTS)2 Current Convenor3 2022 to 2023
Autumn Term 7 4 (2) checkmark-circle
Spring Term 7 4 (2) checkmark-circle


This module does not form part of the formal 180 credits (for the standard) or 240 credits (for the extended) LLM. Therefore, assessment of this module does not formally 'count' for the degree. The module represents extra learning and an opportunity to gain advanced legal research skills, including transferable skills to enhance employability. The module is built around 12 practical, discussion, and in-class research seminars, delivered weekly over the course of one term. They cover the ethical, ontological, epistemological, and methodological issues in Law and modes of reasoning (deduction, induction) and levels of analysis (agency, structure, and co-determination). The module will problematize how these questions are reflected in different subject-specific contexts that represent the main fields of inquiry at BSIS, including legal analysis, political analysis, historical analysis, and economic analysis. The module also involves practical questions of research and dissertation writing, including the construction of a paper proposal, the Dissertation Proposal, and the Dissertation and research papers themselves, the use of research materials (qualitative and quantitative data) and resources (libraries, documentation, and the internet); and drafting and writing, including the use of appropriate academic style and format.


Contact hours

Total contact hours: 38
Private study hours: 2
Total study hours: 40


Compulsory to the LLM Specialisation (Brussels)

Method of assessment

Main assessment methods

The module is assessed on a pass/fail basis. Seminar attendance of at least 12 out of 14 hours is required to pass. If students fail to meet this requirement, this they must complete a recovery essay 1500 words (100%) as an alternative

Reassessment methods

Reassessment Instrument: 100% coursework

Indicative reading

• Béland, D. and Cox, R. (2011). Ideas and Politics in Social Science Research. 1st ed. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
• de Vaus, D. (2014). Surveys in Social Research. 1st ed. New York: Routledge.
• Husa, J. and van Hoecke, M. (2013). Objectivity in Law and Legal Reasoning, Oxford: Hart Publishing.
• Johnstone, I. (2011). The Power of Deliberation: International Law, Politics and Organizations, Oxford: Oxford University Press.
• King, G., Keohane, R., and Verba, S. (1996). Designing Social Inquiry: Scientific Inference in Qualitative Research, Princeton, NJ:
Princeton University Press.
• Klatt, M. (2008). Making the Law Explicit: The Normativity of Legal Argumentation, Oxford: Oxford University Press.
• Orcher, L. (2014). Conducting Research. 1st ed. Los Angeles: Taylor and Francis.
• Watkins, D. and Burton, M. (eds.) (2013). Research Methods in Law. 1st ed. New York: Routledge.

Learning outcomes

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

1. Conceptualise a question for investigation, and to design the appropriate research methodology.
2. Demonstrate a sophisticated understanding of the relationship between a problem, theoretical approach, research design, and analysis.
3. Follow logically the research design, overcoming any anticipated and unanticipated problems in the empirical research, realising the
successful conclusion of the product in the form of a research paper.
4. Apply theoretical perspectives in law, politics and international relations to case studies.

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

1. Engage theoretical debates with empirical issues.
2. Demonstrate a critical awareness of the ethical, theoretical, and methodological dimensions of the scholarly work done in their discipline in
general and in their own work.
3. Undertake an analysis of complex, incomplete or contradictory areas of knowledge and make carefully constructed arguments.
4. Demonstrate a level of conceptual understanding that will allow them to critically evaluate research, policies, and practices.
5. Be reflective and self-critical in their work.
6. Use the libraries, the internet, bibliographic search engines, online resources, and effectively conduct complex research.
7. Engage in sophisticated academic and professional communication with others.


  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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