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Module Specifications

Archived Version 2015 - 2016

Module Title
Module Code

Online Module Resources

NFQ level 8 Credit Rating 5
Pre-requisite None
Co-requisite None
Compatibles None
Incompatibles None

This module aims to introduce students to important legal doctrines and enable them to understand how to find, use and understand key legal sources. The module aims to equip students with important skills in terms of how to undertake library-based and empirical legal research. The aim is to develop analytical techniques at the beginning of the programme, which will be developed as students progress through their degree.

Learning Outcomes

1. Locate and utilise core legal sources in order to solve practical legal problems.
2. Locate and analyse case law and legislation.
3. Undertake legal research both in terms of traditional library based research and empirical work (qualitative and quantitative).
4. Utilise legal databases as a research tool.

Workload Full-time hours per semester
Type Hours Description
Lecture24No Description
Independent Study48Reading for lectures
Independent Study12Research training
Assignment Completion24Research Project
Assignment Completion17Research design
Total Workload: 125

All module information is indicative and subject to change. For further information,students are advised to refer to the University's Marks and Standards and Programme Specific Regulations at: http://www.dcu.ie/registry/examinations/index.shtml

Indicative Content and Learning Activities

Weeks 1 to 12
Week 1​ Introduction Week 2​ Citation and Referencing Week 3​ Finding Legal Sources Week 4​ Researching Case Law Week 5​ Evaluating Internet Resources Week 6​ Researching Legislation Week 7​ Reading Week Week 8​ Statutory Interpretation Week 9​ Researching Constitutional Law & Constitutional Interpretation Week 10​ Positive Law and Natural Law Theory Week 11​ Theories of Legal Adjudication Week 12​ Conclusions

Assessment Breakdown
Continuous Assessment% Examination Weight%
Course Work Breakdown
TypeDescription% of totalAssessment Date
Reassessment Requirement
Resit arrangements are explained by the following categories;
1 = A resit is available for all components of the module
2 = No resit is available for 100% continuous assessment module
3 = No resit is available for the continuous assessment component
Indicative Reading List

  • Cotterrell,: 0, The Sociology of Law: An Introduction, (latest ed),
  • Higgins & Tatham,: 0, Successful Legal Writing, (latest ed),
  • Banaker & Travers,: 0, Theory and Method in Socio-Legal Research,
  • Schweppe et al: 2011, How to think, write and cite; Key skills for Irish law students, Roundhall,
Other Resources

Programme or List of Programmes