LW7010 - Professional Practice Dissertation

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What will I learn on this module?

You will learn to reflect independently on, and critically analyse, an aspect of professional practice either observed in practice or stemming from your time in the Student Law Office or as a result of legal inquiry related to the broader concept of professional practice. You will be able to identify and utilise an appropriate research methodology to conceptualise, theorise and undertake research into practice based issues. This will advance your understanding and knowledge of professional practice and/or the issues relevant to practising law.

How will I learn on this module?

The module will predominately focus on independent learning, centred upon you identifying appropriate reading and research methodology to provide a deeper/broader knowledge of legal professional practice. Where specialist research is necessary and mandatory training may be required; places on this training may be limited. If there are more students wishing to undertake the specialist research than can be accommodated on the mandatory training students will be chosen through the usual dissertation ballot system.

You will receive one-on-one support, guidance and feedback from an academic supervisor. . . You will attend a series of large group sessions which will introduce you to the process of researching and writing your dissertation. These will set out expectations of students engaged on the module, provide general advice on formulating a viable research question within your field of study, point to key dates and provide recommended timelines, and advice on relevant ethical considerations. Large group sessions will also provide generalised guidance on writing/structuring your dissertation, and on researching/referencing skills. Extensive guidance on these matters is also provided in a detailed module handbook.

How will I be supported academically on this module?

The University is well placed to support you in learning and research with an excellent library, access to on-line databases and resources and appropriate software

You will receive support, guidance and feedback from an academic supervisor on a one-to-one basis.
You will receive academic support and guidance on your research topic from your allocated supervisor. You will discuss the viability of your dissertation topic, and agree a synopsis and chapter outline before proceeding. Your supervisor will provide formative feedback throughout the process. Your supervisor will read and comment on draft chapters and will point out particular strengths and advise you on how any weaknesses might be remedied. It is your responsibility to arrange and attend supervision meetings.

The Module Tutor will oversee the allocation of an appropriate supervisor with expertise in your area of research, and will deliver a series of lectures providing guidance on research/referencing skills, writing and structuring your dissertation, and setting out expectations of students. The Module Tutor will also be available to discuss general issues or concerns at a number of drop-in sessions.

The programme administration and student liaison teams are responsible for the non-academic administration of the module, such as receiving your completed assignment, returning your marked assignment and returning your marks. They will contact you through the duration of your module with any relevant details about the module.

What will I be expected to read on this module?

All modules at Northumbria include a range of reading materials that students are expected to engage with. The reading list for this module can be found at: http://readinglists.northumbria.ac.uk
(Reading List service online guide for academic staff this containing contact details for the Reading List team – http://library.northumbria.ac.uk/readinglists)

What will I be expected to achieve?

Knowledge & Understanding:
At the end of the module you will have:

Developed the skills to appropriately research and theorise on an area of professional practice in order to advance understanding and interpret knowledge in the area of professional practice.

Developed an ability to conceptualise, theorise and undertake research to create in depth knowledge and understanding of your particular research topic, and be able to display and critically apply scholarship at the forefront of your area of research, and create new knowledge through an understanding of the knowledge process.

Intellectual/Professional Skills & Abilities
At the end of the module you will have:

Developed the ability to conduct enquiries in your field of study, and to locate and use a variety of appropriate sources and data in order to support your arguments.

Developed the ability to properly structure and compose a piece of long form academic writing, and to communicate legal arguments in a clear and accessible fashion, within accepted academic conventions.

Developed the ability to consolidate and apply your knowledge and understanding of your area of research to complex practical or hypothetical situations, and to advance understanding to provide solutions and construct sustainable and evidenced arguments.

Personal Values Attributes
At the end of this module you will have:

Developed the ability to work independently, exercising initiative, judgement and self-management skills in the process of researching and writing your dissertation, whilst reflecting on and using the feedback provided from your supervisor

How will I be assessed?

Formative Assessment will be achieved through the submission of a project synopsis. You will outline your proposed methodology, main research themes, the anticipated structure of the project and a basic literature review. The function of the exercise is to clarify these points at an early stage and for you to obtain feedback on your proposed research. You must complete a synopsis to the satisfaction of your supervisor before proceeding with your dissertation.

Formative feedback will also be gained throughout the module through the submission of draft chapters to your project supervisor in good time and in advance of any deadlines relating to summative assessment. Your supervisor will provide oral and written feedback on these drafts as required. Supervisors will not normally look at a single draft chapter more than once.

Summative Assessment will be undertaken on an individual basis via the submission of your completed dissertation. This work constitutes 100% of the mark awarded for this module. The completed work must be 15,000 words in length.

This assessment provides an opportunity to display high level research and legal writing skills and to explore an area of substantive inquiry in-depth. It will also allow you to gain awareness of critical scholarship in your area of study.

Assessment criteria are provided in a marking grid to enable you to understand what is expected of you and how you will be judged on your performance.

You will be provided with appropriate written feedback from your dissertation supervisor following the submission of the completed work.





Module abstract

This module provides you with an opportunity to consider an aspect of professional practice. You can draw upon your previous experience in a legal organisation, or during your time in the Student Law Office, to identify and reflect upon an aspect of professional practice. Alternatively the PPD allows you to conduct legal inquiry in order to explore professional practice in its broader sense, this could include, but is not limited to, archival research into historical legal issues. You will critically engage with the literature, utilising Northumbria University’s extensive online databases and library facilities, to demonstrate knowledge and understanding of that aspect of professional practice. Throughout the course of the module you will receive support, guidance and feedback on a one to one basis from an academic supervisor. Your final assessment will be by way of dissertation, which will consolidate your understanding and evidence the learning acquired throughout the course of the module.

Course info

UCAS Code M100

Credits 40

Level of Study Undergraduate

Mode of Study 4 years full-time

Department Northumbria Law School

Location City Campus, Northumbria University

City Newcastle

Start September 2020

Fee Information

Module Information

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