LLAW6054 9-credit dissertation

1.1 Course details

Course code: LLAW6054
Course name: 9-credit Dissertation
Programme offered under: LLM Programme
Semester: First + Second
Prerequisites / Co-requisites: No
Credit point value: 9 credits

1.2 Course description

An individual research project on an approved topic carried out under the supervision of an assigned teacher, resulting in the submission of a research paper with required range from 8,000 to 10,000 words (excluding tables of cases and statutes, notes, appendices and bibliographies). The dissertation must provide evidence of original research work and a capacity for critical legal analysis and argument.

1.3 Instructions and Important Dates 

(LLM(MEL) students please see here for programme-specific and additional instructions instead.)

If you hope to undertake a research dissertation as part of your programme, you should first contact a potential supervisor as early as possible to discuss the proposed topic. Begin by checking the research interests of faculty members listed at Faculty's website.  You may also approach Programme Director/Deputy Programme Director of your programme if you wish to seek further advice.

It is the responsibility of each student to find a member of the academic staff to act as the supervisor of their dissertation. Different faculty members have different considerations and requirements on the decision to supervise a student, but it is typically expected that the student when approaching the faculty member should have a reasonably viable research topic/proposal that falls into the research/teaching interest of the faculty member.

Students should, to the extent possible, approach a full-time academic staff member for supervision. You must obtain prior approval from the General Office if you intend to invite a part-time academic staff member to be your supervisor. Please contact Ms Daisy Lai (LLMMCL@hku.hk) for further information on this matter before you get in touch with a part-time academic staff member.

Please also pay attention to the following important dates for add-drop and submission for LLAW6014 18-credit Dissertation and LLAW6054 9-credit Dissertation (“dissertation courses”):

21 Sep 2020
(1st semester)
Add-drop deadline for dissertation courses.
10 Nov 2020 Deadline for students to submit their dissertation title and name of supervisor (via Moodle).
10 Mar 2021
(2nd semester)
Deadline for students to inform the General Office the submission deadline for their dissertation (via Moodle).
10 Apr 2021 Deadline for students to make any changes to the title.
10 May 2021
10 Jul 2021
Submission deadline* of dissertation (via Moodle).

* You may choose to submit your dissertation by either 10 May 2021 or 10 July 2021:

For students who submit their dissertation on/before 10 May 2021, they will receive their grade in early July 2021. (Non-local students are advised to submit their dissertation by this deadline; see the important note below.)

For students who submit their dissertation after 10 May 2021 and on/before 10 July 2021, they will receive their grade in mid-September 2021.

Important note for non-local students:

Final year students intending to apply for a new Hong Kong student, work or IANG visa after completing their programmes should note that all applications to the Immigration Department must include appropriate proof of completion, for example, a final transcript or certificate of graduation issued by the HKU Registry. Course grades for 2nd semester are normally available each year in late June or early July; grades for Summer semester courses will be available only after September. The Immigration Department typically takes 8 weeks to process visa applications, and it is recommended that non–local students complete ALL of their programme requirements (including submitting a final dissertation if necessary) by the end of the 2nd semester to avoid a delay in the issue of a new visa.

See more:
Difference between MPhil and LLM Dissertation

2.1 Course Learning Outcomes (CLOs) for this course

CLO 1 Formulated a thesis that a member of staff has supervised.

CLO 2 Undertaken a sustained piece of legal research under the guidance of the supervisor.

CLO 3 Developed skills in legal research.

CLO 4 Refined their abilities in legal writing.

CLO 5 Developed their capacity to identify good legal writing.

CLO 6 Completed a substantial written paper that aims to be of publishable standard.

2.2 LLM Programme Learning Outcomes (PLOs)

PLO A On successful completion of the curriculum, students should be able to demonstrate a solid understanding of the body of legal knowledge and the capacity to conduct research on, critically analyse and evaluate legal principles, at a level required to meet the standards and expectations of the legal profession and the community at large.

PLO B On successful completion of the curriculum, students should be able to apply their legal knowledge and research skills to practical situations or theoretical challenges, and utilise their comparative understanding of the law and its political, social and cultural contexts to provide original and creative insights to legal problems.

PLO C On successful completion of the curriculum, students should be able to apply the knowledge, lawyering skills and legal reasoning to real and novel situations in life, with a view to resolving issues, problems and disputes within the legal parameters.

PLO D On successful completion of the curriculum, students should be able to demonstrate the ability to present effectively legal arguments in the professional context, as well as conveying and explaining the law effectively to lay clients and members of the larger community.

PLO E On successful completion of the curriculum, students should be able to appreciate the underlying moral values of the law and ethics in the profession and the legal system in the broad social, economic, political and cultural contexts: justice, the Rule of Law, and protection of rights and liberties which form the fabrics of a civilised society, and the importance of upholding these values by the legal community.

PLO F On successful completion of the curriculum, students should be able to develop a strong awareness of social issues and conditions, and utilise analytical abilities and rhetorical advocacy to provide leadership for the betterment of the human community.

2.3 Programme Learning Outcomes to be achieved in this course

CLO 1  ✓  ✓
CLO 2  ✓  ✓  ✓
CLO 3  ✓  ✓
CLO 4  ✓
CLO 5  ✓

3.1 Assessment Summary

Assessment task Due date Weighting Feedback method* Course learning outcomes
Dissertation 10 May 2021 or 10 July 2021 100% 1 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6
  *Feedback method (to be determined by course teacher)
1 A general course report to be disseminated through Moodle
2 Individual feedback to be disseminated by email / through Moodle
3 Individual review meeting upon appointment
4 Group review meeting
5 In-class verbal feedback

3.2 Assessment Detail

To be advised by course convenor(s).

3.3 Grading Criteria

Please refer to the following link: http://www.law.hku.hk/course/grading-criteria/


4.1 Learning Activity Plan

Seminar: Not applicable
Private study time: TBC

Remarks: the normative student study load per credit unit is 25 ± 5 hours (ie. 150 ± 30 hours for a 6-credit course), which includes all learning activities and experiences within and outside of classroom, and any assessment task and examinations and associated preparations.

4.2 Details of Learning Activities

To be advised by convenor(s).

5.1 Resources

Reading materials: Reading materials are posted on Moodle
Core reading list: TBA
Recommended reading list: TBA

5.2 Links

Please refer to the following link: http://www.law.hku.hk/course/learning-resources/

By the publication of the course profile online, the Faculty deems the student as having been notified of the course requirements.11