Supervised Research Paper

A research paper may be taken as part of a Bachelor of Laws, Bachelor of Laws (Hons), Juris Doctor, Master of Laws or Master of Legal Practice program. The course is worth 12 units and involves the completion of a 11,000-16,000 word research thesis. The specific length will vary, depending on what course or program you are enrolled into.

Ensure you meet minimum program requirements

  • LLB - a distinction (70%) average across all completed law courses and be in your ultimate or penultimate semester of your degree.

Begin thinking about your proposed 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;
  • Propose a timetable for writing the thesis;
  • 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 500 words in length.

If empirical research is to be carried out, you must indicate that any relevant ethics approval has been sought. In practice, you should get ethics clearance at least 6 to 8 weeks before the research is scheduled to occur. You will also need to consider the feasibility of completing the research in time to enable submission of your paper by the due date.

Approaching a potential supervisor

You will need to discuss your proposed research topic with an ANU College of Law academic staff member. Please refer to the list of potential supervisors.

PDF icon List of potential Superviors for Semester 1, 2020 (173.64 KB)

Once your supervisor is confirmed, please obtain a confirmation email from them and upload it when you submit your online application.

How to apply

Research Paper Application

Please note, the closing date for Semester 1, 2020 applications is 5pm Sunday, 29 September 2019 (closing date extended to 5pm Sunday, 13 October 2019)


If your application is approved, you will be sent a permission code to enrol in the relevant course code and semester:-

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