Supervised Research Paper

A research paper may be taken as part of a Bachelor of Laws (Honours). You do not need to write a thesis in the Bachelor of Laws (Honours) program to be awarded a degree with Honours, however; you must complete LAWS4300 Supervised Research Paper in order to be considered for a University Medal. The course is worth 12 units and is undertaken over a single semester, culminating in 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

  • Enrolment in the Bachelor of Laws (Honours) program;
  • a 70% weighted average mark across all completed courses in the subject area LAWS at the time of application; and
  • in the penultimate or final semester of the degree program

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 outline should 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 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 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, First Semester, 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.

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

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

Apply Here


Bachelor of Laws (Honours) Law Research Capstone Nomination

This course has been identified as an Bachelor of Laws (Honours) Research Capstone. Completing a Research Capstone course allows you to meet the requirements of your Bachelor of Laws (Honours) program. Like all other courses within the Bachelor of Laws (Honours), it is not marked differently and depending on your final course result, may or may not be discounted from your final honours grade.

If you have commenced Bachelor of Laws (Honours) or have transferred into an Bachelor of Laws (Honours) from 2021, and would like to nominate this course as your research capstone course as part of your degree, please complete the Bachelor of Laws (Honours) Law Research Capstone Nomination form.