Graduate Research Unit

A research paper may be taken as part of a Juris Doctor, Master of Laws, Master of Financial Management and Law or Master of International Law and Diplomacy. Completion of LAWS8301 Graduate Research Unit is required. The course is worth 12 units and is undertaken over a single semester, culminating in completion of an 12,000-16,000 word research thesis.

Further information can be located within the Research Paper Guidelines.


Ensure you meet minimum program requirements

Juris Doctor:

Master of Laws, Master of Financial Management and Law, and Master of International Law and Diplomacy:

1Students undertaking LAWS8301 Graduate Research Unit in First Semester 2024 may undertake LAWS8800 Advanced Introduction to Legal Methods and Legal Writing concurrently.


Begin thinking about a topic and prepare an outline

The outline should comprise of;

  • the proposed research topic and its boundaries;
  • the key issues to be addressed;
  • the methodology adopted to address the issues;
  • a timetable proposal for writing the thesis;
  • a preliminary literature review and a bibliography; and
  • the list of literature consulted.

The purpose of the outline is to persuade a potential supervisor that the topic is sufficiently developed and refined and that the paper can be successfully completed within the semester. The outline should be a maximum of 2000 words in length.

If empirical research is to be conducted, students must indicate that any relevant ethics approval has been sought. In practice, ethics clearance is required at least six to eight weeks before the research is scheduled to occur. Feasibility of completing the research in time to enable on-time submission must be a primary consideration.


Topics and supervision

Students are required to nominate two academic staff members as potential supervisors for the course:

  • One topic and two prospective supervisors OR
  • Two topics with a different supervisor for each topic.

Approaching a potential supervisor

The proposed research topic/s must be discussed with two ANU College of Law academic staff members. Students should approach supervisors that have the appropriate knowledge in the relevant field of research. The Law Research Paper Supervisor List document provides a list of potential supervisors' availability and their field/s of expertise. Whilst every effort will be made to assign students with their preferred supervisor, circumstances may require the allocation of another supervisor.

Law Research Paper Supervisor List, Semester Two 2024


Submitting an application

Once your supervisors have confirmed that they are willing to supervise you, please obtain an approval email from them and upload it when you submit your online application. Please note that the allocation of supervisors is based on academic availability. Whilst every effort will be made to assign you to one of the two supervisors selected, circumstances may require you to be allocated to another supervisor.

Apply Here

Applications for Second Semester, 2024 will open at 9:00am on 5 March 2024 and will close at 11:59pm on 19 May 2024. No late applications will be considered.

Students will be notified the outcome of their application by 15 July 2024.