LAWS 4016 Legal Research and Methodology

Credit Points 10

Description This subject provides an opportunity for law students to further develop and refine their legal research and writing skills and to explore and analyse a supervised and structured legal research project. It includes advanced training in legal and inter-disciplinary research methodologies, exploration of theoretical frameworks leading to the development of a research proposal or project. This subject is a requirement for students who are intending to undertake the Bachelor of Laws (Honours) program. However, this subject is open to all law students seeking to further refine their legal research and writing skills who do not wish to join the Bachelor of Laws (Honours) program.

School Law

Student Contribution Band

Check your HECS Band contribution amount via the Fees page.

Level Undergraduate Level 4 subject

Pre-requisite(s) 200978 Legal Analysis and Critique


Students must have successfully passed 180 Law subject credit points.

Learning Outcomes

  1. Develop and articulate a research proposal for a thesis or for a legal research project.
  2. Select and apply appropriate research methods
  3. Utilise legal research resources and skills
  4. Analyse and evaluate legal sources, arguments and literature

Subject Content

  1. Formulating a research topic 
  2. Designing a plan for writing and research   
  3. Research Ethics and Project Management
  4. Putting together a literature review
  5. Standard Doctrinal Research Methodologies 
  6. Social Science Methodologies for Lawyers
  7. Effective Legal Research  
  8. Writing a Research Proposal  
  9. Legal Theories 
  10. Writing and structuring a thesis 
  11. How to get published
  12. Handling Revisions and rejections  

Special Requirements

Legislative pre-requisites

Dependent on research topic and will be assessed on a case by case basis.

Essential equipment

Dependent on research topic and will be assessed on a case by case basis.


The following table summarises the standard assessment tasks for this subject. Please note this is a guide only. Assessment tasks are regularly updated, where there is a difference your Learning Guide takes precedence.

Item Length Percent Threshold Individual/Group Task
Literature Review 2000 words 35 N Individual
Proposal 1500 words 45 N Individual
Presentation 10 minutes 20 N Individual

Prescribed Texts

Hutchinson, Terry, Researching and Writing in Law (Thomson Reuters, 4th ed, 2018)
Jensen, Joli, Write No Matter What: Advice For Academics, (The University of Chicago Press, 2017)

Teaching Periods