GDL PfP2 Research

Here’s a reminder about the range of available resources which might help when you are researching and writing up your coursework. For useful general guidance on extended essay and dissertation writing techniques, take a look at the titles on offer in the library’s Legal Skills section (shelfmark SKLL).


Here’s a guide on how the library can help:


How do I find out what resources are available?

The library catalogue covers all material available through the Library:  printed books, loose-leaf texts, legal reference works, law reports, and journals as well as linking to materials available electronically –  e-books, e-journals etc.

What if the book or article I want is not at Manchester?

Manchester library should hold copies of every hard copy resource you need, but occasionally you may want to see a book or journal article only available  in another centre library. Please ask a member of library staff to arrange a loan or photocopy. If you’re trying to find a book or journal article which isn’t available at any of the University’s centres, you probably don’t need it!

How many library books can I borrow?

You can borrow up to a maximum of 5 items at a time.

How long can I keep library books for?

All students can borrow standard-loan items for 7 days.

Short-loan items can be borrowed for 3 days by full-time students.

How do I renew my library books?

There are several ways to renew your library books.  You can do it yourself via ELITE > Library Portal  > Renew Your Loans or use the self-issue machine in the Library.  Alternatively you can contact the Library by phone or email, or ask at the Library Desk.  You can also reserve books but only if all Manchester library copies are currently on loan.  Don’t forget to renew your loans to avoid paying fines.  For further information about borrowing books please visit the Library FAQs page.

How do I reserve library books?

For step-by-step instructions, click on the FAQs tab at the top of the Manchester library blog homepage.  Be aware that you can have no more than 5 reservations in place at any one time.

Top tips to speed up your reservations…

If there is more than one copy of the title you’re reserving, select ‘Any copy’ rather than ‘This copy’.

How do I find practitioner texts on a particular subject?

Manchester library has a wide selection of practitioner works, shelved according to their subject content. Popular with practitioners because they are updated on a regular basis and because they provide detailed and comprehensive coverage of the law in a particular subject area, they provide commentary on the law, but often contain primary legal resources and relevant statutes. Some of these titles are available as bound volumes, others as loose-leaf works. Many are available online. If you need help to identify practitioner texts in a particular subject area, or need guidance in how to use them, please ask the library staff.

Also, don’t forget the library’s collection of legal research encyclopedias such as Halsbury’s Laws, available in hard copy and on LexisLibrary, as an authoritative source of commentary on the law in all subject areas.

How do I find electronic resources on a particular subject?

Under ELITE > Library Portal > eResources  you will find lists of electronic resources by Subject and by Course. Here you will find links to useful websites and also to books, journals and practitioner texts  available online.

How do I find journal articles?

Westlaw and LexisLibrary both contain collections of full text journals, but Westlaw provides the most comprehensive coverage. LJI (Legal Journals Index), part of the Westlaw database, abstracts articles from every substantive legal journal published since 1986. When you search Westlaw you will not be able to see the full text of every article indexed. For abstract only articles your next step is to search the library catalogue to see if there is a link to an online version in another database or if the hard-copy journal is held in the Manchester library.

Newspaper Articles

The ‘News’ search option offered by LexisLibrary covers most UK broadsheets and other nationals.  Using this database’s structured searching of newspaper content will probably be more efficient than searching separate newspaper websites.

How can I get more help?

In March, the library  will be offering lunchtime workshops on how to find and use commentary resources: dictionaries, Halsbury’s Laws, practitioner works and journal articles.  Workshops have been scheduled for the following dates:

Thursday 19th March, 12.45pm to 1.30pm
Thursday 26th March, 12.45pm to 1.30pm

Sign up via Elite > Student Hub > Events & Sign Ups.

Grab a copy of the  ‘Library Research Tips’ leaflet.  This gives advice on researching for your assessments. Access the tips here:

Why not view our Library Podcast entitled GDL Preparing for practice:

You can also consult the Legal Research FAQs, Research Guides Help sheets, and the multi-media i-Guides on both hard copy and online legal research, all of which can be accessed via Elite>Library Services Portal.

The Library Team are here to help and keen for you to get the most out of the resources available to you.  If in doubt, just ask library staff, or email

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