LAWS5512 Supervised Research

6 points
(see Timetable)
Semester 1UWA (Perth)Face to face
Semester 2UWA (Perth)Face to face
This unit involves the completion of a short assessable proposal, followed by the submission of a 7000-word supervised research paper. It also requires attendance in or listening to three seminars prescribed for Advanced Legal Research A and B.

The unit aims to provide students with the opportunity to choose a specific topic on an area of the law which interests them, and to produce a written piece of legal research which is in a publishable form. It therefore promotes research skills and facilitates the publication of their work.
Students are able to (1) develop their skills in independent legal research, including the location of journal articles and other publications relevant to their topic of research, time management, and independent thinking; (2) navigate the research project process; (3) construct a summary of the research to be undertaken, including strategising methodology to be used and clarifying the scope of the research, to justify the value of the research; and (4) appraise and argue a very specific, narrow and particular legal theory and/or application of law in practice.
Indicative assessments in this unit are as follows: (1) submission of a 1000-word research proposal and (2) submission of a 7000-word research paper on a topic approved by the student's supervisor. Further information is available in the unit outline.

Supplementary assessment is not available in this unit.
Unit Coordinator(s)
Dr Melanie O'Brien
Unit rules
a minimum of 72 credit points which must include: LAWS4101 Foundations of Law and Lawyering and 30 points from LAWS4102 Criminal Law, LAWS4103 Contract, LAWS4104 Property, LAWS4106 Torts, LAWS4107 Land Law, LAWS4108 Foundations of Public Law, LAWS5106 Legal Theory and Ethics
LAWS4109 Legal Theory and Ethics
Contact hours
This research unit involves unstructured contact with a supervisor throughout the semester.
Unit Outline
Semester 1-2020 [SEM-1-2020]
Students must not enrol in this unit until they have discussed the suitability and relevance of a potential topic with the proposed supervisor. Enrolment in this unit is conditional on the availability of an appropriate supervisor. Guidelines for style, format and submission of research papers are the same as for Advanced Legal Research dissertations; refer to the Advanced Legal Research Guidelines.


Students are required to read relevant chapters of the below texts (more detail in unit outline):

Mike McConville, and Wing Hong (Eric) Chui (eds.), Research Methods for Law, (2nd ed., Edinburgh University Press, 2017).

Dawn Watkins and Mandy Burton, Research Methods in Law, (2nd ed., Routledge, 2017).

Terry Hutchinson, Researching and Writing the Law (4th ed, Lawbook Thomson Reuters, 2018).

  • The availability of units in Semester 1, 2, etc. was correct at the time of publication but may be subject to change.
  • All students are responsible for identifying when they need assistance to improve their academic learning, research, English language and numeracy skills; seeking out the services and resources available to help them; and applying what they learn. Students are encouraged to register for free online support through GETSmart; to help themselves to the extensive range of resources on UWA's STUDYSmarter website; and to participate in WRITESmart and (ma+hs)Smart drop-ins and workshops.
  • Books and other material wherever listed may be subject to change. Book lists relating to 'Preliminary reading', 'Recommended reading' and 'Textbooks' are, in most cases, available via the Booktopia Textbook Finder, which has the functionality to search by course code, course, ISBN and title, and may also be posted or available at the appropriate school's administrative offices. Where texts are listed in the unit description above, an asterisk (*) indicates that the book is available in paperback.