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Module SXL-3135:
Legal Research Jurisprudence

Module Facts

Run by School of Law

20 Credits or 10 ECTS Credits

Semester 2

Organiser: Dr Sarah Nason

Overall aims and purpose

Legal Research Jurisprudence is an optional module in the LLB programme. The aim of the module is to enable students to acquire and demonstrate an accurate knowledge and appreciation of fundamental questions concerning the nature of law, the relationship of law and morality, theories of justice and rights and other related topics. Students will conduct both independent and guided legal research enabling them to compare, contrast and critically evaluate particular works of legal philosophy with reference to key contemporary legal, political and moral issues.

Course content

This course examines key issues in jurisprudence and legal philosophy such as legal positivism and natural law, the relationship of law and morals, theories of justice and rights and the nature of the good life. Students will critically examine selected legal philosophies with reference to key current concerns such as the relationship between different branches of the State, domestic and international political issues including terrorism and security, the right to privacy and the rule of law principle.

Assessment Criteria


An answer which, while predominantly correct in its presentation of material, contains a significan level or error and is therefore not entirely reliable.


A comprehensive answer, containing all the material relevant to the question and no irrelevancy, all the material and references being accurate and correct, there being no inaccuracy or error, the whol presented in an argument which, while clear, logical and critical, leaves room for improvement in its construction and presentation. An answer which shows complete competence in the subject.


An outstanding, possibly brilliant answer, containing all the material relevant to the question and no irrelevancy, all the material and references being accurate and correct, there being no inaccuracy or error, the whole presented in a clear, logical, critical argument with little room for improvement. An answer which demonstrates a complete mastery of the subject.

Learning outcomes

  1. Conduct independent and focused research.

  2. Identify and obtain relevant research materials from a variety of sources including the use of information technology and online materials.

  3. Review, compare, contrast and critically evaluate sources of research material.

  4. Engage in critical evaluation of the selected works of ancient, modern and contemporary legal philosophers.

  5. Apply relevant philosophies to key legal and political issues, demonstrating an awareness of the place of legal and moral philosophy in the broader political, social and cultural context.

  6. Present clearly structured written arguments pertaining to key issues in jurisprudence and legal philosophy.

  7. Demonstrate an ability to properly present research conclusions utilising legal referencing systems.

Assessment Methods

Type Name Description Weight
ESSAY Assignment 1 50
ESSAY Assignment 2 50

Teaching and Learning Strategy


This course will be taught by way of 20 two-hour seminars per week over two semesters. Seminars will routinely require students to engage individually and in groups in acquiring, commenting upon and applying the principles and details of the subject under the guidance and instruction of the tutor. Students will be expected to engage in substantial private reading around the key issues presented in seminars.

Private study 160

Transferable skills

  • Self-Management - Able to work unsupervised in an efficient, punctual and structured manner. To examine the outcomes of tasks and events, and judge levels of quality and importance
  • Exploring - Able to investigate, research and consider alternatives
  • Information retrieval - Able to access different and multiple sources of information
  • Inter-personal - Able to question, actively listen, examine given answers and interact sensitevely with others
  • Critical analysis & Problem Solving - Able to deconstruct and analyse problems or complex situations. To find solutions to problems through analyses and exploration of all possibilities using appropriate methods, rescources and creativity.
  • Presentation - Able to clearly present information and explanations to an audience. Through the written or oral mode of communication accurately and concisely.
  • Teamwork - Able to constructively cooperate with others on a common task, and/or be part of a day-to-day working team
  • Argument - Able to put forward, debate and justify an opinion or a course of action, with an individual or in a wider group setting
  • Self-awareness & Reflectivity - Having an awareness of your own strengths, weaknesses, aims and objectives. Able to regularly review, evaluate and reflect upon the performance of yourself and others

Pre- and Co-requisite Modules

Courses including this module

Optional in courses: