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MRL901 - Advanced Legal Research


2023 unit information

Enrolment modes:Trimester 1: Online
Trimester 2: Online
Credit point(s):1
EFTSL value:0.125
Unit Chair:Trimester 1: Ben Saunders
Trimester 2: Ben Saunders


Incompatible with:


Typical study commitment:

Students will on average spend 150 hours over the trimester undertaking the teaching, learning and assessment activities for this unit. This will include 2 hours seminars and additional face-to-face activities per week, reading and writing assignments, and preparing and performing a presentation on their research project.

Scheduled learning activities - online:

The equivalent of 2 hours weekly online activities (including seminars, discussions, and presentations)


This unit is designed to teach Law PhD students advanced aspects of legal research and writing, including successful publication strategies, effective presentation skills, and providing constructive feedback. In particular, students will improve their research skills by reading and commenting on other scholars’ papers, and by engaging in a conversation about research papers. They will gain important skills in providing productive criticism on other scholars’ works, and by writing reflection papers regarding selected papers. Students will be exposed to various methodological approaches to legal research, and expand their horizon with regard to advanced legal research’ options and opportunities. Additionally, the unit puts emphasis on the students’ ability to become contributing members of their legal community, including being able to engage with research outside of their own narrow field of research, as well as to incorporate other areas of law into their legal thinking and problem-solving methods. Finally, this unit will advance students presentation skills, and teach them how to effectively communicate their research findings to potential readers, colleagues, and the broader academic community.

ULO These are the Learning Outcomes (ULO) for this unit. At the completion of this unit, successful students can: Deakin Graduate Learning Outcomes
ULO1 Effectively present their research and explain the main contributions of their work.

GLO1: Discipline-specific knowledge and capabilities
GLO2: Communication


Reflect on and critically discuss other scholars’ work, providing constructive feedback orally and in writing.

GLO1: Discipline-specific knowledge and capabilities
GLO4: Critical thinking


Develop a publication strategy for a paper or project you are working on.

GLO6: Self-management


Write an op-ed linking their current research to real-life problems and presenting their ideas and contributions to a broad readership. GLO2: Communication
GLO8: Global citizenship

These Unit Learning Outcomes are applicable for all teaching periods throughout the year.


Assessment Description Student output Grading and weighting
(% total mark for unit)
Indicative due week
Assessment 1 (Individual) discussion paper 500 words 10% Week 2
Assessment 2 (Individual) discussion paper 500 words 10% Week 4
Assessment 3 (Individual) discussion paper 500 words 10% Week 6
Assessment 4 (Individual) discussion paper 500 words 10% Week 10
Assessment 5 (Individual) Strategy for future publications memo 1000 words 20% Week 11

Assessment 6: (Individual) Oral presentation (In Class) 

20 minutes 30% TBA

Assessment 7: (Individual) Opinion Piece 

500 words 10% Week 11

The assessment due weeks provided may change. The Unit Chair will clarify the exact assessment requirements, including the due date, at the start of the teaching period.

Learning Resource

Texts and reading lists for units can be found on the University Library via the following link. Note: Select the relevant trimester reading list. Please note that a future teaching period's reading list may not be available until a month prior to the start of that teaching period so you may wish to use the relevant trimester's prior year reading list as a guide only.

Unit Fee Information

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