LAWS14003 - Dissertation A
Term 1 - 2017


All details in this unit profile for LAWS14003 have been officially approved by CQUniversity and represent a learning partnership between the University and you (our student). The information will not be changed unless absolutely necessary and any change will be clearly indicated by an approved correction included in the profile.

Overview

Legal professionals are required to solve complex legal problems by conducting research, critically analysing authorities through interdisciplinary knowledge and transmitting concepts to different audiences including clients, other professionals and public organisations. In this unit you will conduct research into a legal issue agreed with your supervisor, critically examine the problem and prepare a written analysis suitable for publication. Over the duration of the two terms of your honours course you will develop a specialised knowledge in this field of law and apply advanced legal research skills in critical analysis, design of research projects and transmission of results. You will work closely with an academic supervisor and with your peers to cultivate a research community and develop your capacity to provide and respond to feedback on progress. On completion of this unit you will have produced a body of research work that demonstrates professional expertise in a variety of career destinations and forms appropriate evidence of academic research skills attainment for admission into higher degrees.

Details

Career Level Undergraduate
Unit Level Level 4
Credit Points 12
Student Contribution Band 3
Fraction of Full-Time Student Load 0.25

Pre-requisites or Co-requisites

Enrolment in CH75 Bachelor of Laws (Honours)

Attendance Requirements

All on-campus students are expected to attend scheduled classes – in some units, these classes are identified as a mandatory (pass/fail) component and attendance is compulsory. International students, on a student visa, must maintain a full time study load and meet both attendance and academic progress requirements in each study period (satisfactory attendance for International students is defined as maintaining at least an 80% attendance record).

Offerings

Term 1 - 2017
  • Mixed Mode

Website

This unit has a website, within the Moodle system, which is available two weeks before the start of term. It is important that you visit your Moodle site throughout the term. Go to Moodle

Recommended Student Time Commitment

Each 12-credit Undergraduate unit at CQUniversity requires an overall time commitment of an average of 25 hours of study per week, making a total of 300 hours for the unit.

Class Timetable

Assessment Overview

Assessment Task Weighting
1. Portfolio 20%
2. Written Assessment 80%

This is a graded unit: your overall grade will be calculated from the marks or grades for each assessment task, based on the relative weightings shown in the table above. You must obtain an overall mark for the unit of at least 50%, or an overall grade of ‘pass’ in order to pass the unit. If any ‘pass/fail’ tasks are shown in the table above they must also be completed successfully (‘pass’ grade). You must also meet any minimum mark requirements specified for a particular assessment task, as detailed in the ‘assessment task’ section (note that in some instances, the minimum mark for a task may be greater than 50%). Consult the University’s Grades and Results Procedures for more details of interim results and final grades.

All University policies are available on the IMPortal.

You may wish to view these policies:

  • Grades and Results Procedure
  • Assessment Policy and Procedure (Higher Education Coursework)
  • Review of Grade Procedure
  • Academic Misconduct Procedure
  • Monitoring Academic Progress (MAP) Policy and Procedure – Domestic Students
  • Monitoring Academic Progress (MAP) Policy and Procedure – International Students
  • Refund and Excess Payments (Credit Balances) Policy and Procedure
  • Student Feedback – Compliments and Complaints Policy and Procedure
  • Acceptable Use of Information and Communications Technology Facilities and Devices Policy and Procedure

This list is not an exhaustive list of all University policies. The full list of University policies are available on the IMPortal.

On successful completion of this unit, you will be able to:
  1. Conduct legal research and attain advanced theoretical and technical knowledge of a specialised area of law
  2. Analyse critically, evaluate and transform knowledge of legal authorities and critical academic commentaries
  3. Scope, design and conduct a research project independently with the ability to adapt to changing circumstances
  4. Transmit knowledge and ideas in an academic research context
  5. Collaborate with academic supervisors and peers in a research community, providing and responding to feedback.

Alignment of Assessment Tasks to Learning Outcomes

Assessment Tasks Learning Outcomes
1 2 3 4 5
1 - Portfolio
2 - Written Assessment

Alignment of Graduate Attributes to Learning Outcomes

  • Introductory Level
  • Intermediate Level
  • Graduate Level
Graduate Attributes Learning Outcomes
1 2 3 4 5
1. Communication
2. Problem Solving
3. Critical Thinking
4. Information Literacy
5. Team Work
6. Information Technology Competence
7. Cross Cultural Competence
8. Ethical practice          

Textbook Information

There are no required textbooks.

IT Resources

You will need access to the following IT resources:
  • CQUniversity Student Email
  • Internet
  • Unit Website (Moodle)
All submissions for this unit must use the Australian Guide to Legal Citation, 3rd ed referencing style (details can be obtained here). For further information, see the Assessment Tasks below.
Unit CoordinatorScott Beattie (s.beattie@cqu.edu.au)
Note: Check the Term-Specific section for any additional contact information provided by the teaching team
Week Begin Date Module/Topic Chapter Events and Submissions
Week 1 06-03-2017

As a dissertation unit, students will conduct independent study and hold regular meetings with their supervisor and mentor.

Ron Adams, Demystify your thesis (Victoria University 2013)

Kate Williams, Planning your dissertation (Palgrave Macmillan 2013)

Week 2 13-03-2017

Independent study

Week 3 20-03-2017

Independent study

Week 4 27-03-2017

Independent study

Problem Analysis and Dissertation Plan Due Friday (31 Mar 17) 10:35 AM AEST
Week 5 03-04-2017

Independent study

Vacation Week 10-04-2017
Week 6 17-04-2017

Independent study

Week 7 24-04-2017

Independent study

Week 8 01-05-2017

Independent study

Week 9 08-05-2017

Independent study

Week 10 15-05-2017

Independent study

Week 11 22-05-2017

Independent study

Week 12 29-05-2017

Independent study

Review/Exam Week 05-06-2017
Exam Week 12-06-2017
Dissertation Paper Due Thursday (15 Jun 17) 10:40 AM AEST

1 Portfolio

Assessment Title Problem Analysis and Dissertation Plan
Task Description

A legal research project requires careful planning and scoping before substantive research and writing can begin. Once you have established a research topic with your supervisor and course mentor, you will develop a portfolio of resources which map out your plan and establish the foundation of your dissertation. This portfolio will include:

  • A statement of your research topic, expressed as a critical argument
  • An analysis of jurisdictional issues and map of regulatory networks
  • An overview of the current field of research, including key stakeholders and important research voices and significant publications
  • A project plan stating key timelines such as meetings with your supervisor and deadlines for drafts being available for feedback
  • Other material that your supervisor or course mentor may require.

This portfolio will be due in week four to allow your supervisor and course mentor to be able to provide timely feedback.

Assessment Due Date Week 4 Friday (31-Mar-2017) 10:35 AM AEST
Return Date to Students Week 6 Friday (21-Apr-2017)
Weighting 20%
Assessment Criteria
  • Design of research topic and problem solving skills
  • Planning and time management
  • Research methodology
  • Critical analysis of legal and interdisciplinary issues
  • Clear and professional expression of project outcomes and elements

Full rubric is available on the unit site.

Referencing Style Australian Guide to Legal Citation, 3rd ed
Submission Online

Learning Outcomes Assessed
This section can be expanded to view the assessed learning outcomes

1. Conduct legal research and attain advanced theoretical and technical knowledge of a specialised area of law

2. Analyse critically, evaluate and transform knowledge of legal authorities and critical academic commentaries

3. Scope, design and conduct a research project independently with the ability to adapt to changing circumstances

4. Transmit knowledge and ideas in an academic research context

5. Collaborate with academic supervisors and peers in a research community, providing and responding to feedback.

Graduate Attributes
This section can be expanded to view the assessed graduate attributes

1. Knowledge

2. Communication

3. Cognitive, technical and creative skills

4. Research

5. Self-management

6. Ethical and Professional Responsibility

7. Leadership



2 Written Assessment

Assessment Title Dissertation Paper
Task Description

As an honours student you will attain specialised knowledge in a field of law that you will develop through two dissertation papers, each of an appropriate length for publication in an academic journal (6000-8000 words). These two papers should be connected in theme and will typically involve a more general overview of the field in Dissertation A followed by a more detailed investigation of a specific issue in Dissertation B.

It is crucial that your supervisor is aware of your progress and has the opportunity to view early drafts and to provided feedback on these. These timelines are negotiated in your portfolio assessment item and you are responsible for managing these.

Assessment Due Date Exam Week Thursday (15-Jun-2017) 10:40 AM AEST
Return Date to Students Exam Week Friday (16-Jun-2017)
Papers will be returned within two weeks and submitted for external review.
Weighting 80%
Assessment Criteria
  • Statement of an innovative research problem and argument design
  • Legal and interdisciplinary research methodology
  • Critical analysis of legal and interdisciplinary data and theories
  • Investigation of the social and ethical context of the problem
  • Professional presentation of final dissertation

Full rubric is available on the unit site.

Referencing Style Australian Guide to Legal Citation, 3rd ed
Submission Online

Learning Outcomes Assessed
This section can be expanded to view the assessed learning outcomes

1. Conduct legal research and attain advanced theoretical and technical knowledge of a specialised area of law

2. Analyse critically, evaluate and transform knowledge of legal authorities and critical academic commentaries

3. Scope, design and conduct a research project independently with the ability to adapt to changing circumstances

4. Transmit knowledge and ideas in an academic research context

5. Collaborate with academic supervisors and peers in a research community, providing and responding to feedback.

Graduate Attributes
This section can be expanded to view the assessed graduate attributes

1. Knowledge

2. Communication

3. Cognitive, technical and creative skills

4. Research

5. Self-management

6. Ethical and Professional Responsibility

7. Leadership




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