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Unit information: Supervised Individual Study (Socio-legal Studies) in 2019/20

Please note: Due to alternative arrangements for teaching and assessment in place from 18 March 2020 to mitigate against the restrictions in place due to COVID-19, information shown for 2019/20 may not always be accurate.

Please note: you are viewing unit and programme information for a past academic year. Please see the current academic year for up to date information.

Unit name Supervised Individual Study (Socio-legal Studies)
Unit code LAWDM0109
Credit points 20
Level of study M/7
Teaching block(s) Teaching Block 4 (weeks 1-24)
Unit director Professor. Morag McDermont
Open unit status Not open



LAWDM0084 and LAWDM0083

School/department University of Bristol Law School
Faculty Faculty of Social Sciences and Law


Supervised Individual Study (Socio-legal Studies) is offered as part the training component of the MSc in Socio-legal Studies, a Research Masters Degree offered through the School of Law. The unit is specifically designed for students enrolled on the MSc in Socio-legal Studies and can only be taken by students enrolled on this programme.

The unit aims to ensure that students deepen their understanding of the field and its research methods within the specific area of their expected research and/or broaden their understanding of the field and its research in other areas of the subject through an individualised programme of study.

Supervised Individual Study (Socio-legal Studies) is only offered where an exceptional case can be made that student research needs cannot be met by taking one of the 20 or 30 credit unit options offered in Law, Sociology, Politics and International Studies.

Intended learning outcomes

  • In-depth understanding of a selected topic in relation to the field of socio-legal studies
  • In-depth understanding of how generic research methods may be deployed to study this selected topic
  • In-depth study across or between existing taught units

Teaching details

Supervised Individual Study will normally be conducted independently with regular, negotiated, supervisory contact. The programme is delivered innovatively and flexibly, which is of particular value to part-time students. It can involve a mix of one-to-one or group workshops (with the prospective supervisor and student) and seminar participation in parts or all of particular units from an approved list, varied according to the needs of the individual and with formal learning outcomes.

Assessment Details

The assessment will usually be an extended essay of 4000 words showing an in-depth understanding of the selected topic, but equivalent forms of assessment can be discussed with the Pathway Director.

The topic chosen should be related to the student’s prospective dissertation topic (or PhD project where applicable), but it should not duplicate work submitted for the dissertation proposal or synopsis

Reading and References

The reading and references will by nature be specific to the individual student's research topic, and are negotiated on a case by case basis.

The Socio-Legal Studies Pathway Director agrees with each student and their prospective supervisor a programme of supervised study relevant to their expected area of research. The supervisor is either the student’s likely dissertation supervisor or assigned PhD supervisor (where applicable).