• Class Number 9401
  • Term Code 2960
  • Class Info
  • Unit Value 6 units
  • Mode of Delivery In Person
    • Prof Mark Nolan
    • Prof Mark Nolan
  • Class Dates
  • Class Start Date 22/07/2019
  • Class End Date 25/10/2019
  • Census Date 31/08/2019
  • Last Date to Enrol 29/07/2019
SELT Survey Results

This course is offered to Juris Doctor (JD) (on campus) students in the final or penultimate semester of study in their program.  

In consultation with the convenor prior to the beginning of the course, students identify a substantial individual research project that addresses a complex problem of their choice. The research project may be undertaken in a range of professional settings. The professional settings may include, but are not limited to, legal internships, legal clinics, and/ or independent legal research projects (including academic journal article, or report on professional practice or legal policy).  

In consultation with the convenor, students will identify the format of the substantial research report and will negotiate a presentation style and format appropriate to the professional setting selected.

Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion, students will have the knowledge and skills to:

  1. Identify, plan, manage and execute a substantive and original written research project addressing a complex problem, and do so independently, and to a high professional standard appropriate to the professional setting.
  2. Demonstrate persuasive and inclusive written and oral communications skills appropriate to specialist and non-specialist audiences, and a given professional setting.
  3. Integrate and apply multiple areas of legal knowledge, skills and professional values gained throughout the JD program.
  4. Recognise and apply JD graduate attributes such as, but not limited to: an extended understanding of recent developments in law and its practice; high level research skills; high level conceptualisation; the ability to generate and evaluate complex ideas; legal technical and communication skills; a reflective and ethical approach, and high level personal autonomy and accountability.
  5. Reflect on and review key elements of a growing professional and ethical identity by, for example, naming and debating specific interests, interpersonal skills, emotional intelligence, and career motivations and aspirations.
  6. Recognise and apply a negotiated range of legal skills relating to one or more of: their intended research, professional conduct rules and/or ethical practice, specific professional work context.
  7. Describe, analyse and critique how advanced knowledge and skills acquired through the study of law are brought to bear in a specific way for  a particular purpose in a given professional setting,
  8. Identify, describe, and reflect on their workplace experiences individually and in collaboration with students and work colleagues, particularly in terms of their own professional growth.

Research-Led Teaching

The convener’s experience doing legal research and the work of other colleagues will be used as examples of how to craft written work in the style of other academic writing, policy writing, or practice work.

Required Resources

Readings/Resources as provided on the WATTLE site.

All citation is to be done via the Australian Guide to Legal Citation style guide.

Staff Feedback

Students will be given feedback in the following forms in this course:

  • written comments
  • verbal comments
  • feedback to the whole class, to groups, to individuals, focus groups

Student Feedback

ANU is committed to the demonstration of educational excellence and regularly seeks feedback from students. Students are encouraged to offer feedback directly to their Course Convener or through their College and Course representatives (if applicable). The feedback given in these surveys is anonymous and provides the Colleges, University Education Committee and Academic Board with opportunities to recognise excellent teaching, and opportunities for improvement. The Surveys and Evaluation website provides more information on student surveys at ANU and reports on the feedback provided on ANU courses.

Other Information

Extensions late submission and penalties - https://law.anu.edu.au/current-students/policies-procedures/extensions-late-submission-and-penalties

Deferred examination: http://www.anu.edu.au/students/program-administration/assessments-exams/deferred-examinations

Special consideration: http://www.anu.edu.au/students/program-administration/assessments-exams/special-assessment-consideration

Penalties for excess word length: https://law.anu.edu.au/current-students/policies-procedures/word-length-and-excess-word-penalties

Distribution of Grades Policy: Effective from Winter Session and Second Semester 2018 (and until further notice), an interim scaling guideline applies to all courses in the LLB (Hons) and JD programs. Please see: https://law.anu.edu.au/current-students/policies-procedures/grading

Further Information about the Course: is available from the course WATTLE page. Students are required to access the WATTLE site regularly throughout the course for details on weekly classes and any announcements and updates relating to the course.

Class Schedule

Week/Session Summary of Activities Assessment
1 Priorities for Self-Study: Read course outline, assessment descriptions, and all recommended reading Meeting Type: All students to meet with Convenor in Room 7.2.16 (or a venue to be advised) on Thurs 25 July 10-11am.
2 Priorities for Self-Study: Start preparing a project outline. Meeting Type: Make an individual appointment with convenor to discuss your research project ideas.
3 Priorities for Self-Study: Continue preparing a project outline. Meeting Type: Make an individual appointment with convenor to discuss your research project ideas (if you did not do this in Week 2).
4 Priorities for Self-Study: Project outline. Meeting Type: No meeting (unless requested by the student). Project Outline due Thursday 15 Aug 23:55.
5 Priorities for Self-Study: Continue researching project. Commence sketching out reflective piece on how you need to integrate knowledge gained across your JD to complete your project. Feedback on project outline returned by Friday 23 Aug by 5pm. Meeting Type: No meeting (unless requested by the student).
6 Priorities for Self-Study: Reflect on feedback on your project outline and revise project outline prior to meeting with the convenor. Meeting Type: Make an individual appointment with convenor to discuss feedback on your project outline; NB Friday office hours not available this week.
7 Priorities for Self-Study: Continue researching project. Start preparing oral presentation and reflective piece; reading advice on reflective writing styles. Meeting Type: No meeting (unless requested by the student).
8 Priorities for Self-Study: Continue researching project, preparing oral presentation, and reflective piece. Meeting Type: Make an individual appointment with convenor to discuss preparation of your oral presentation and reflective piece.
9 Priorities for Self-Study: Continue researching project, preparing oral presentation, and reflective piece. Meeting Type: No meeting (unless requested by the student).
10 Priorities for Self-Study: Continue researching project, preparing oral presentation, and reflective piece. Meeting Type: No meeting (unless requested by the student).
11 Priorities for Self-Study: Project presentations with feedback provided at the presentation. Meeting Type: Collective meeting of all students and the convenor for oral presentationas. Oral presentations on Monday 14 Oct from 10:00 venue TBA. Feedback on oral presentation by Friday 18 Oct.
12 Priorities for Self-Study: Review feedback on oral presentation. Meeting Type: No meeting (unless requested by the student).

Assessment Summary

Assessment task Value Due Date Return of assessment Learning Outcomes
Project Outline 0 % 15/08/2019 23/08/2019 1
Project Oral Presentation 10 % 14/10/2019 18/10/2019 1,2,3
Research Paper 70 % 12/11/2019 28/11/2019 1,2,3,4,6
Reflection 20 % 14/11/2019 28/11/2019 3, 4, 5, 7, 8.

* If the Due Date and Return of Assessment date are blank, see the Assessment Tab for specific Assessment Task details


ANU has educational policies, procedures and guidelines, which are designed to ensure that staff and students are aware of the University’s academic standards, and implement them. Students are expected to have read the Academic Misconduct Rule before the commencement of their course. Other key policies and guidelines include:

Assessment Requirements

The ANU is using Turnitin to enhance student citation and referencing techniques, and to assess assignment submissions as a component of the University's approach to managing Academic Integrity. For additional information regarding Turnitin please visit the ANU Online website. In rare cases where online submission using Turnitin software is not technically possible; or where not using Turnitin software has been justified by the Course Convener and approved by the Associate Dean (Education) on the basis of the teaching model being employed; students shall submit assessment online via ‘Wattle’ outside of Turnitin, or failing that in hard copy, or through a combination of submission methods as approved by the Associate Dean (Education). The submission method is detailed below.

Moderation of Assessment

Marks that are allocated during Semester are to be considered provisional until formalised by the College examiners meeting at the end of each Semester. If appropriate, some moderation of marks might be applied prior to final results being released.


Spending 10 hours per week (minimum) on planning, research, and reflection will be required to complete this course and its assessment successfully.

This is a course in reading, thinking and arguing. Effective participation in this course requires around 6 hours of self- guided reading each week

To further enhance your learning in this course you may also find it useful to regularly access the course WATTLE site and participate in the online discussion there.

Assessment Task 1

Value: 0 %
Due Date: 15/08/2019
Return of Assessment: 23/08/2019
Learning Outcomes: 1

Project Outline

Details of task: Completion of this project outline is a formative assessment task aimed at consolidating the planning for the research paper discussed with the convenor in the first meeting in Week 1 and/or in any other individual meetings in Weeks 2 or 3) and to focus the discussion in the meeting with the convenor in Week 6.

Nature of task: Failure to complete the outline will not result in a penalty but will be a missed opportunity for early feedback.

Value or weighting: 0%

Release Date: Students can commence the outline from week 1.

Due date: Thursday 15 August 23:55 via WATTLE. Late submission without extension will be permitted.

Word limit: 800 words

Estimated return date: Fri 23 August, by 17:00 via WATTLE.

Assessment Criteria:

  • Overview of the chosen project and legal issues involved;
  • Integration of knowledge obtained in the JD program to date;
  • Identification of source material

Assessment Task 2

Value: 10 %
Due Date: 14/10/2019
Return of Assessment: 18/10/2019
Learning Outcomes: 1,2,3

Project Oral Presentation

Details of task: Students are to give a presentation that addresses the assessment criteria below and explains the chosen complex problem, the writing style to be adopted, and how answering the complex problem requires synthesis of knowledge and skills from across their entire JD program of compulsory and elective courses. The presentation will also demonstrate identification of relevant primary and secondary literature and will discuss methodological approach to answering the question posed.

Nature of task: Compulsory. Failure to submit will result in a mark of 0 for this assessment task.

Value or weighting: 10%

Due date: Monday 14 Oct from 10:00. Due to the nature of the task, late submissions (without an extension) are not permitted.

Time limit: Students are to speak for 10 minutes and be expected to respond to questions for a further 5 minutes.

Estimated Feedback date: Fri 18 Oct, 17:00 via course WATTLE site.

Assessment Criteria:

  • Identification of a complex problem;
  • Details a plan for answering the problem;
  • Engaged the audience;
  • Timing of presentation;
  • Categorises project as academic, policy, or practice-focused clinical work;
  • Research of primary legal and scholarly secondary sources

Assessment Task 3

Value: 70 %
Due Date: 12/11/2019
Return of Assessment: 28/11/2019
Learning Outcomes: 1,2,3,4,6

Research Paper

Details of task: Students will answer a question or questions about a complex legal problem of their own choosing and can select to write in an academic style, in policy/law reform style, or in legal practice style for a practitioner or client audience.

Nature of task: Compulsory. Failure to submit it will result in a mark of 0 for this assessment item.

Value or weighting: 70%

Word Limit: 4500 words

Release Date: Students can choose their own research topic in Week 1.

Due date: Tues 12 Nov, 23:55 via Turnitin. Late submission (without extension) is permitted, however, late penalties will apply.

Estimated Feedback date: After release of results on 28 November via Turnitin.

Assessment Criteria:

  • Complex problem identified
  • Appropriate style for academic, policy or practice work
  • Research of primary legal (case law and legislation), policy and scholarly secondary sources.
  • Paper is persuasive and well structured
  • Referencing used is appropriate for the style of the chosen work.

Assessment Task 4

Value: 20 %
Due Date: 14/11/2019
Return of Assessment: 28/11/2019
Learning Outcomes: 3, 4, 5, 7, 8.


Details of task: Students will submit a written reflection on the experience in this course and the challenge of posing and answering your own research question.

Nature of task: Compulsory. Failure to submit will result in a mark of 0 for this assessment task.

Word limit: 800 words.

Value or weighting: 20%

Release Date: n/a

Due date: Thursday 14 Nov by 23:55 via WATTLE dropbox. Late submissions (without an extension) are permitted, although late penalties will apply.

Estimated Feedback date: After release of results on 28 Nov.

Assessment Criteria:

  • Identification of elements of knowledge, skills, and professional values that have been used and integrated to produce the paper;
  • Identification of CALD threshold learning outcomes (TLOs) and ANU College of Law graduate attributes demonstrated when completing the paper;
  • Reflection on personal growth achieved via writing of the paper and capstone course interactions.
  • Elements of knowledge, skills and values integrated in paper are identified
  • Identification of TLOs / graduate attributes demonstrated in completion of the paper.
  • Reflection on personal growth during writing the paper and other course activities.

Academic Integrity

Academic integrity is a core part of the ANU culture as a community of scholars. At its heart, academic integrity is about behaving ethically, committing to honest and responsible scholarly practice and upholding these values with respect and fairness.

The ANU commits to assisting all members of our community to understand how to engage in academic work in ways that are consistent with, and actively support academic integrity. The ANU expects staff and students to be familiar with the academic integrity principle and Academic Misconduct Rule, uphold high standards of academic integrity and act ethically and honestly, to ensure the quality and value of the qualification that you will graduate with.

The Academic Misconduct Rule is in place to promote academic integrity and manage academic misconduct. Very minor breaches of the academic integrity principle may result in a reduction of marks of up to 10% of the total marks available for the assessment. The ANU offers a number of online and in person services to assist students with their assignments, examinations, and other learning activities. Visit the Academic Skills website for more information about academic integrity, your responsibilities and for assistance with your assignments, writing skills and study.

Online Submission

You will be required to electronically sign a declaration as part of the submission of your assignment. Please keep a copy of the assignment for your records. Unless an exemption has been approved by the Associate Dean (Education) submission must be through Turnitin.

Hardcopy Submission

No hardcopy submission required.

Late Submission

Individual assessment tasks may or may not allow for late submission. Policy regarding late submission is detailed below:

  • Late submission permitted. Late submission of assessment tasks without an extension are penalised at the rate of 5% of the possible marks available per working day or part thereof. Late submission of assessment tasks is not accepted after 10 working days after the due date, or on or after the date specified in the course outline for the return of the assessment item. Late submission is not accepted for take-home examinations.

Referencing Requirements

Accepted academic practice for referencing sources that you use in presentations can be found via the links on the Wattle site, under the file named “ANU and College Policies, Program Information, Student Support Services and Assessment”. Alternatively, you can seek help through the Students Learning Development website.

Extensions and Penalties

Extensions and late submission of assessment pieces are covered by the Student Assessment (Coursework) Policy and Procedure. The Course Convener may grant extensions for assessment pieces that are not examinations or take-home examinations. If you need an extension, you must request an extension in writing on or before the due date. If you have documented and appropriate medical evidence that demonstrates you were not able to request an extension on or before the due date, you may be able to request it after the due date.

Resubmission of Assignments


Privacy Notice

The ANU has made a number of third party, online, databases available for students to use. Use of each online database is conditional on student end users first agreeing to the database licensor’s terms of service and/or privacy policy. Students should read these carefully. In some cases student end users will be required to register an account with the database licensor and submit personal information, including their: first name; last name; ANU email address; and other information.
In cases where student end users are asked to submit ‘content’ to a database, such as an assignment or short answers, the database licensor may only use the student’s ‘content’ in accordance with the terms of service – including any (copyright) licence the student grants to the database licensor. Any personal information or content a student submits may be stored by the licensor, potentially offshore, and will be used to process the database service in accordance with the licensors terms of service and/or privacy policy.
If any student chooses not to agree to the database licensor’s terms of service or privacy policy, the student will not be able to access and use the database. In these circumstances students should contact their lecturer to enquire about alternative arrangements that are available.

Distribution of grades policy

Academic Quality Assurance Committee monitors the performance of students, including attrition, further study and employment rates and grade distribution, and College reports on quality assurance processes for assessment activities, including alignment with national and international disciplinary and interdisciplinary standards, as well as qualification type learning outcomes.

Since first semester 1994, ANU uses a grading scale for all courses. This grading scale is used by all academic areas of the University.

Support for students

The University offers students support through several different services. You may contact the services listed below directly or seek advice from your Course Convener, Student Administrators, or your College and Course representatives (if applicable).

Prof Mark Nolan
+61 2 6125 8354

Research Interests

Prof Mark Nolan

Thursday 10:00 11:00

Responsible Officer: Registrar, Student Administration / Page Contact: Website Administrator / Frequently Asked Questions