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Research Methods and Project


Module description

Drawing on the School of Law’s notable strengths in critical, interdisciplinary, theory-driven and philosophically oriented approaches to law and socio-legal research, this module provides critically oriented training in the fundamentals of research design, implementation, interpretation and communication. It introduces a broad range of pertinent research methods and methodological debates about research principles and practices, equipping you with a set of fundamental skills and understanding with which to both rigorously evaluate scholarship in the field as well as other pertinent research materials, and to pursue innovative and robustly designed research projects. Most specifically, the module introduces you to rhetorical skills, ethnographic and decolonising methods, negotiation skills, participatory action skills, practice-oriented legal skills and quantitative skills.

Indicative module syllabus

  • Introduction: an Economy of Methods
  • Law, Science and the Law and Economics Movement
  • Is There a Method to Law and Legal Practice?
  • Active Position in Ethnographic and Field Research
  • Gathering, Interpretation and Use of Quantitative Research Evidence

Learning objectives

By the end of this module, you will be able to:

  • identify, evaluate and critique a range of research methods used in the study of law and society
  • identify key ethical issues and responsibilities at stake when undertaking research
  • demonstrate a clear understanding of the fundamental principles of research design, execution and analysis
  • critically analyse, evaluate and compare a range of methodological approaches
  • identify strengths, weaknesses, values and limitations in empirical evidence
  • appreciate the importance of social, cultural, political and economic context for understanding sources used.