module specification

SC4003 - Researching Crime and Deviance (2017/18)

Module specification Module approved to run in 2017/18
Module title Researching Crime and Deviance
Module level Certificate (04)
Credit rating for module 30
School School of Social Sciences
Total study hours 300
81 hours Scheduled learning & teaching activities
219 hours Guided independent study
Assessment components
Type Weighting Qualifying mark Description
Coursework 40%   Workbook 1000 words
Seen Examination 50%   2 hour examination
Coursework 10%   Seminar attendance and participation
Running in 2017/18
Period Campus Day Time Module Leader
Year North Tuesday Afternoon
Year North Tuesday Morning

Module summary

This module provides a broad introduction to the scope of criminological research, introducing the students to the fascinating range of research undertaken within this field. There will be a particular emphasis on the aims, methods and findings of such criminological investigation. Using an embedded approach the module will also develop key academic skills and competences, including searching for sources, reading, writing and referencing.

Module aims

The module aims to:
1. Introduce and familiarise students with a wide range of criminological research
2. Introduce students to various research methods and approaches used in criminological investigation
3. Introduce students to a range of issues that need to be taken into account when undertaking criminological research.
4. Familiarise students with the processes involved in conducting criminological research and the structure and format of research reports adopted by academics
5. Build and develop core academic skills and competences, including searching for sources, referencing, and reading and writing academically.
6. Prepare students for levels 5 and 6


The syllabus will introduce the students to the fascinating range of criminological research – both within the UK and internationally.   Both qualitative and quantitative approaches to criminological work on crime and deviance will be introduced and explored and the work of key criminological practitioners examined. The module is divided into two parts; a general introduction to criminological research with an emphasis on reading and discussion, while in the second semester the students will have the opportunity to listen to and ask questions to speakers (academics and practitioners) about their own research. Indicative topics include research on prison violence, gangs, organised crime, domestic abuse, and drugs.
The module has the dual function of developing students’ academic literacies and uses an embedded approach to introduce and build these key skills.

Teaching will be heavily student centered and will employ a ‘guided discovery’ approach to learning that puts a strong emphasis on reading and discussion.

Learning and teaching

Teaching is delivered through a range of formats; workshops, seminars, lecturers, blended learning and independent study. The sessions will facilitate learning of core research methods material and provide a framework for further reading and independent study.

Students are expected to spend approximately 6 hours per week in independent study and writing.

Learning outcomes

On successful completion of this module students will be able to:

1. Understand the different research methods used in criminological research
2. Describe the strengths and weakness of particular research approaches
3. Explain the key issues that researchers need to take into consideration when undertaking criminological research
4. Explain the process of criminological research and be familiar with the structures of research reports.
5. Summarise and review criminological investigations.
6. Show they have developed their academic skills and competencies and are thoroughly prepared for progression to levels 5 and 6

Assessment strategy

The assessments comprises a workbook (1) an examination (2) and seminar attendance and participation (3).

Assessment 1 -The workbook specifically assesses students’ grasp of criminological research and the ability to specify the strengths, limitations and implications of particular approaches. The workbook will assess learning outcomes 1, 2, and 3

Assessment 2 – 2 hour examination that assesses the student’s understanding of the material studied over the previous two semesters. This will cover learning outcomes 3, 4 and 5

Assessment 3 – Seminar attendance and participation – For these assessment students are required to attend the seminars and participate in the activities set throughout the module. Students will be required to read set materials provided and discuss and critically debate topics as required. The assessment relates to learning outcome 6.


Required reading

Crowther-Dowey, C., & Fussey, P. (2013). Researching Crime: Approaches, Methods and Application. Palgrave Macmillan

Suggested reading

Babbie, E. (2015). The Practice of Social Research.  Nelson Eduction

Bachman, R., & Schutt, R. K. (2013). The practice of research in criminology and criminal justice. Sage.

Bryman, A. (2015). Social Research Methods (second edition). Oxford : Oxford University Press

Cottrell, S. (2013). The study skills handbook. Palgrave Macmillan

Creswell, J (2002). Research Design: Qualitative, Quantitative and Mixed Method Approaches. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage