Legal Research Methods

Legal Services

Unit Code
Level 7
Distance Learning
Class Room
Unit Code
Level 7
Distance Learning Fee
Face to Face Fee
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Total Fee £1600

£2360 (£1600 during the tuition waiver period)

Please see the Tuition Fee section to see if you are eligible for a scholarship.
Course Overview

This course aims to improve the necessary legal research skills to support learners at the postgraduate level. You will be able to develop key knowledge, understanding and skills relating to legal research, theoretical and methodological problems associated with legal studies. Learners will be able to cover key topics relating to research problems, conducting literature reviews, referencing, data collection and analysis techniques, and drawing conclusions from the analysed data. 

This course also deals with principles of research including formulations of research questions, hypothesis and objectives. The unit will cover literature reviews, referencing, data collection using interviews and surveys, questionnaire design, analysing and developing statistical modules, qualitative data analysis inferences and conclusions from the analysed data.

Course Content


 Legal Research and Research Methods

  • Introduction
  • Aims
  • Types of legal research
  • Empirical legal scholarship/ Socio-legal studies
  • International & comparative legal research
  • What do you understand about the research method for law?

Legal Research and Research Methods

  • Doctrinal research
  • Non-doctrinal research
  • Is doctrinal research qualitative research?
  • Qualitative doctrinal legal research
  • Non-doctrinal research: problems, policy & law reform

Quantitative Legal Research

  • Introduction
  • Why study quantitative research?
  • Phases of quantitative research design
  • The main techniques of data collection
  • Methods of data analysis

Doing Ethnographic Research: Lessons from a Case Study

  • Introduction
  • Background to the research
  • Formulating the question
  • Deciding when & where to interview
  • Qualitative interviewing
  • Negotiating access
  • The dynamic nature of research
  • Optimizing the data

Comparative Legal Scholarship

  • Introduction
  • The Columbia Experiment: A Comparativist
  • Imaginative comparative law
  • Comparative legal scholarship as ordinary legal scholarship

Integrating theory & method in the comparative contextual analysis of trial process

  • Introduction
  • Theoretical challenges
  • Contextual modelling
  • Methodology
  • Comparative contextual analysis
  • Evaluation
Learning Outcome & Assessment Criteria

1.  Develop the criteria and approaches to conduct legal research

  1. Identify the criteria to conduct legal research
  2. Outline key issues in the proposed research
  3. Recognise the implications of the tension between different research methodologies
  4. Assess the diversity of research methods used in socio-legal studies
  5. Critically identify ethical dimensions, strengths and criticisms of socio-legal approaches
  6. Critically assess features of the blackletter approaches to doctrinal legal research

2.  Perform a literature review, apply research techniques, gather and analyse data to complete a research study

  1. Conduct literature review and complete research proposals
  2. Select a suitable research technique to analyse data
  3. Use research tools to gather and analyse data
  4. Present conclusion and justify your research

3.  Analyse the quality issues associated with data handling

  1. Assess the legal and ethical consideration of data management, copyright, reciprocity and trust and conflict of interest while conducting research
  2. Analyse the use of bibliography and referencing systems to assure quality of data handling
  • The assessment strategy for this course is designed to test all the learning outcomes.
  • Learners must demonstrate successful achievement of all learning outcomes to pass the course.
Assessment Marking Criteria


Citizens of the following countries are eligible for a 50% scholarship upon writing a personal statement. All scholarships are to be approved by the Academic Board. The list of countries are: Sri Lanka, Indonesia, Philippines, Bhutan, Morocco, Vietnam, Papua New Guinea, Laos, Cambodia, India, Nigeria, Ghana, Bangladesh, Laos, Myanmar, Pakistan, Nepal and South Africa. Please talk to your student counselor and ask for the Coupon Code to get the 50% Tuition Waiver.

  • The assessment criteria for a pass will be presented with the summative exercise.
  • Further information and guidance on the assessment will be made available through the tutor.
Unit Pass Requirements

To pass the unit a 40% overall grade must be achieved.

Frequently Asked Questions
What is included in the cost of my programme?
  • All course material, including online modules and written assignments
  • Unlimited personal tutor support with online sessions
  • Dedicated student support
  • Access to an online community learning forums
  • Assignment marking and feedback
Am I eligible for this programme?

You are eligible if you meet our stipulated entry requirements.

Standard ROUTE

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Access to LMS

Easy 12 instalments

Complete in 12 months

Unlimited tutor support

Requires submitting 1 assignment per month



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Access to LMS

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Complete in 6 months

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Requires submitting 2 assignments per month

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Access to LMS

No monthly payments

Complete at your own pace

Priority support

Unlimited tutor support

Dedicated counselor

No additional bank charges

Career guidance & advise

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