Q1. Why would I do a Thesis?

The Thesis prepares students intending to pursue further thesis-based degrees such as doctorates because it gives people the opportunity to engage in sustained and substantial academic original research on a topic of interest.  An essential feature of the Thesis is demonstrated competence to complete a research project and present the findings.

Q2. What is the process for establishing a Thesis Advisor?

Students take the initiative to contact a potential advisor from the faculty pages of the Law website. Once students have chosen a Thesis Advisor and conferred with the Associate Dean, Research and Graduate Studies, the Advisor Student Guidelines (on JUMP) must be completed.

Q3. What are progress reports and when must they be submitted?

The Progress Reports are annual reports of a student’s academic progress through the program. They are completed after a meeting between the student and Advisor, then submitted to Associate Dean, Research and Graduate Studies for final approval before May 24 each year.

Q4. What is a Thesis Proposal and must it be submitted it for approval?

The Thesis Proposal is a 10–15-page proposal for thesis research prepared under the supervision of the Thesis Advisor. It is to be submitted to the Advisor after 9 credit hours of LLM work is complete and must be approved by the Thesis Advisory Committee before any research work can begin.

Q5. Who will be on my Thesis Advisory Committee?

The Advisory Committee is usually 3 members (an Advisor and 2 Examiners), organized by the Thesis Advisor and approved by the Associate Dean of Research and Graduate Studies.

Q6. Is there an oral defence for the Thesis Proposal?

No, but the Thesis Proposal must still be approved by the Thesis Advisor and Examiners.

Q7. How will the Thesis Proposal be graded?

The Thesis Advisory Committee passes or fails the Thesis Proposal by majority vote.

Q8. Does my Thesis research require ethics approval?

All candidates must receive ethics approval for any research that involves human subjects, and no data collection may commence until written approval is received.

Human Ethics Index

Q9. What are the specific Thesis requirements?

The Thesis demonstrates one’s mastery of a specific field of legal research and that one is fully conversant with the relevant literature. The document is 20,000-25,000 words of double-spaced typescript, including notes and bibliography, and makes an original contribution to knowledge in the field of law. This normally involves original research (i.e. interviews, surveys, participant observation, the analysis of jurisprudence, archival research, etc.) Thesis guidelines are strict.

Thesis guidelines

Q10. When do I need to have submitted my Thesis to my committee to graduate?

This depends on the individual. The university offers three graduation deadlines each year, details are found on the Faculty of Graduate Studies deadlines. Students must complete all graduation requirements within the prescribed University timelines, and to have paid all required University fees to be eligible to graduate.

Q11. Who is on the Examining Committee and how are they appointed?

This is the same committee as the Proposal Committee. They are appointed by the Thesis Advisor.

Q12. What are the main duties of the Thesis examiners?

The examiners evaluate and grade the Thesis.

Q13. Will there be an oral thesis defence of the Thesis?

Yes. The date is set by the Faculty of Graduate Studies and all members of the University of Manitoba community are invited to attend.

Q14. What is the format for the oral defence?

LLM candidates present a 10–15-minute summary of their research contribution, and then there are two rounds of questions from the examining committee, lasting up to 70 minutes.

Q15. How will my Thesis be graded?

The Thesis is graded as Acceptable with Minor Revisions, or Acceptable with Major Revisions, or Not Acceptable.

Q16. What happens when a Thesis is deemed to be “not acceptable”?

This is rare because the Thesis Advisor guides and advises the work to ensure production of a high quality academic document. If, however, two of the three examiners do not pass the Thesis, it will fail. It can be submitted for examination a second time (and no more than a second time).

Q17. What is required to graduate, once the Thesis is approved?

Students are individually responsible to ensure that they have met all graduation requirements. Students are required to upload their Thesis in its final form and correct format to MSpace. The Thesis Advisor must submit a Thesis Final Report.