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Law and Legal Studies: Post graduate research support

Thesis style

The law school requires theses to be presented in a particular manner as regards the front pages and content and referencing. The latest guide is attached below.

Go to ResearchSpace to see past theses from UKZN students and a copy of the SALJ referencing style guide is attached below.

Research methodology books

1. General research methodology, methods and design books are located in the main libraries at 001.42... and 300.7...

2. Books on legal research, postgraduate work:   340.7...

3. Books on academic and thesis writing and referencing: 808.06634 (mainly found in the main libraries).

Some useful books:

McConville. Research methods for law. Pmb: L 340.072 MACC; Dbn: 340.072 RES 

Morris. Getting a PhD in law. Pmb law library: 340.71141 MOR

Mouton. How to succeed in your master's and doctoral studies : a South African guide and
resource book: 808.02 MOU (Pmb main library; Durban law library)

Salter. Writing law dissertations. 808.06634 SAL  (Pmb and Durban law libraries)

Watkins & Burton. Research methods in law. Pmb & Dbn: 340.072 RES


There are several online publications available that will be helpful with the fundamentals of what is research, methodologies, qualitative vs quantitative; doing a literature review etc:

Sage Research Methods Online NO LONGER AVAILABLE

Research Methods Knowledge Base

How to research by Blaxter, Hughes and Tight (2001 - McGrawHill). This book deals with the basics of what is research, getting started, methods, reading/literature review, data collection and analysis, writing up etc.



Research cycle

Identify the research area

What kind of research are you doing and what is the research question/s and / or hypothesis that you wish to answer?
Design the research study
There are various broad types of research in law which may be qualitative or quantitative and each requires a particular methodology:

  Undertake a preliminary literature review and draw up a research proposal for your supervisor. Check whether ethical clearance is needed

Carry out research
Know your library collection in both print and electronic, know the tools for searching for information and understand how to evaluate resources. Situate your research within current research. Collect your evidence to answer your research question. Click on the Books, Journals, Databases and Theses tabs above for more information on sources of information and tools. A very useful  brief guide to aspects of the literature review and types of reviews etc has been put together by Chimene Tucker of the Unviersity of S California.
Analyse research results
What does your research / data collection tell you and in relation to your research question?
Publish research results
In what format / style must your thesis be written; ensure your referencing is correct and you have avoided plagiarism (click on the Referencing tab above)

Post graduate research methodology module

This module is compulsory for coursework masters students and all of you are registered on Moodle. All materials are available there. If you are not in the Moodle group please contact Dr Shannon Bosch at

UKZN Research Office

Research Office

The ethical clearance form must be done online via the RIG system. All postgraduates are automatically registered on RIG:

Doing and writing a literature review

Moodle (Learn@UKZN)

All resources for the research methodology module for postgraduate studies are available on a Moodle site.

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