Advanced Legal Research

Subject LAWS40081 (2013)

Note: This is an archived Handbook entry from 2013.

Credit Points: 12.50
Level: 4 (Undergraduate)
Dates & Locations:

This subject is not offered in 2013.

Time Commitment: Contact Hours: Students should keep in regular contact with their supervisors. Students are required to attend one class on research techniques and methods or undertake an equivalent research and writing task.
Total Time Commitment:

120 hours.


Legal Method and Reasoning; Principles of Public Law; Torts; Legal Theory; or in each case their equivalents.

Requires approval of ALR coordinator.



Recommended Background Knowledge:


Non Allowed Subjects:


Core Participation Requirements:

For the purposes of considering requests for Reasonable Adjustments under the Disability Standards for Education (Cwth 2005), and Students Experiencing Academic Disadvantage Policy, academic requirements for this subject are articulated in the Subject Description, Subject Objectives, Generic Skills, and Assessment Requirements of this entry.

The University is dedicated to providing support to those with special requirements. Further details on the disability support scheme can be found at the Disability Liaison Unit website:


Melbourne Law School Student Centre
Tel: +61 3 8344 4475

Subject Overview:

The subject includes study of a selected area of law at an advanced level; the subject allows the student to engage in self-directed research, subject to the supervision of a member of staff with expertise in the student's field of inquiry.


The subject aims to enhance the student's capacity to undertake independent research. The student is required to plan his or her own research project with the supervisor's assistance, and to develop the research skills necessary to successfully complete the project.

  • 5,000 word research assignment;
  • As a hurdle requirement to successfully complete the subject students are required to attend one class on research techniques and methods or undertake an equivalent research and writing task.
Prescribed Texts:


Breadth Options:

This subject is not available as a breadth subject.

Fees Information: Subject EFTSL, Level, Discipline & Census Date
Generic Skills:

On completion of the subject, students should have developed the following generic skills:

  • The capacity for critical and independent thought and reflection the capacity to communicate in writing;
  • The ability to develop a research project;
  • The capacity to plan and manage time;
  • Attitudes towards knowledge that include valuing truth, openness to new ideas and ethics associated with knowledge creation and usage;
  • Legal research skills, including an ability to:

    - Find primary historical sources relevant to their topic;
    - Find secondary sources relevant to their topic;
    - Identify the most relevant and up-to-date primary and secondary sources and justify the research process
  • Legal writing skills, including an ability to:

    - Use primary sources as part of legal analysis;
    - Use secondary sources as part of legal analysis;
    - Analyse legal principles;
    - Use proper referencing and citation;
    - Present an appropriately structured and supported complex legal argument.

The essay in this subject is regarded as a substantial piece of legal writing for honours purposes.

Download PDF version.