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The Master of Laws by Research is designed for people desiring to extend their research skills on a legal topic of their choice. Candidates will be required to complete the core unit LLM 600 Research Methodology and Theory, before completing a thesis of up to 40,000 words.
The Committee or its Delegated Authority will normally require a student to complete a probationary period not exceeding six months for full-time students and 12 months for part-time students. Before completion of the probationary period, the Committee or its Delegated Authority shall seek a Confirmation of Candidature report from the Confirmation of Candidature Panel as to how the candidature should proceed.
Period of Candidature
Unless otherwise specified in the Annex for an individual degree of Master by Research, the period of candidature shall be:
(i) two years as a full-time student; or
(ii) four years as a part-time student. The minimum period of candidature shall be not less than one year full time (or part-time equivalent) in cases where application is made in accordance with the attached Annexes or Rule 5. below.
Transfer from Another Institution
An applicant who has been a student in a Research Master degree in another institution may be admitted to a degree of Master by Research in this University. The Committee or its Delegated Authority shall decide, on recommendation of the Head of School, what period of the candidature completed in the other institution shall be counted as part of the period of candidature in the University, provided that not more than half of the maximum period of candidature shall be allowed.
Upgrade to Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)
Students who are undertaking research which, in the view of the principal supervisor, is approaching PhD standard, may apply to be upgraded into the three-year PhD program. In such cases, the principal supervisor shall forward to the Committee or its Delegated Authority, through the relevant Head of School, a request for upgrade along with any supporting evidence.
The Committee or its Delegated Authority will wish to see either explicit evidence of refereed research publications by the student or reviews of at least two thesis chapters before considering a request to upgrade from Master to PhD. The reviews shall be carried out by two reviewers, one who may be internal and one who must be external to the University. Each reviewer should have a doctoral degree or equivalent. Any application for an upgrade with evidence attached must be endorsed by the Principal Supervisor and Head of School and forwarded to the Dean of Graduate Studies, following one year equivalent full-time candidature and not exceeding 18 months full-time candidature, to ensure enough candidature is left to continue on into the PhD. The Committee or its Delegated Authority will determine the appropriate period of PhD candidature, should the upgrade be approved.