Supervised Research Paper

A research paper may be taken as part of a Bachelor of Laws (Honours). The course, LAWS4300, is worth 12 units and involves the completion of an 11,000-13,000 word research thesis.

Further information can be located within the Research Paper Guidelines


Ensure you meet minimum program requirements

LLB (Hons) - a distinction (70%) average across all completed law courses and students must be in the final or penultimate semester of their degree.


Topics and Supervision

Students are required to nominate two academic staff members as potential supervisors for the course. This can be actioned by preparing:

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


Begin thinking about the proposed topic/s 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 outline must be such as to convince a supervisor that the topic is sufficiently developed and refined and that the paper can be successfully completed within the semester. It is expected that the outline is a maximum of 2000 words in length.

If empirical research is to be carried out, 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.


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 Second Semester 2023 Supervisors List 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, cicumstances may require the allocation of another supervisor.



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.

Applications for Second Semester, 2023 will open on 6 March and will close at 11:59pm on 26 April. 

Updated:  10 August 2015/Responsible Officer:  College General Manager, ANU College of Law/Page Contact:  Law Marketing Team