module specification

SC6P00 - Criminology Project (2017/18)

Module specification Module approved to run in 2017/18
Module title Criminology Project
Module level Honours (06)
Credit rating for module 30
School School of Social Sciences
Total study hours 300
11 hours Scheduled learning & teaching activities
289 hours Guided independent study
Assessment components
Type Weighting Qualifying mark Description
Coursework 10%   Research Proposal
Oral Examination 20%   Oral Presentation of progress to peers
Dissertation 70%   Written Research Report
Running in 2017/18
Period Campus Day Time Module Leader
Year North Wednesday Afternoon

Module summary

In this module students have the opportunity to develop their interest in an area of criminology and related fields – exploring a topic of their own choosing in-depth by means of independent research. 

Students are given the opportunity to design and conduct their own research project focussing on a topic that relates to their degree course.  The self-directed third year project is a great opportunity for students to build upon the knowledge and research skills acquired throughout their studies. The research project can take a variety of forms – surveys, questionnaires, interviews etc., or it may take the form of library based theoretical work. 

Students are required to attend a series of dedicated workshops designed to support you through the research project.  From the outset, through to completion, students will also receive guidance from an allocated supervisor. 

The skills and experience gained throughout the project can also affect your employability and/or provide a reference for postgraduate study.

Module aims

The module aims to:

  1. Give students the opportunity to reflect upon their learning to date and define and research a topic of interest to them in the light of that experience
  2. Give students the opportunity to report upon their research to their peers, the reasons they found the topic significant, the problems raised by the research and the progress made
  3. Enable students to produce a written piece of research which demonstrates awareness of the relationship between criminology and related fields and the limits of knowledge.


The syllabus will focus on preparing students for their research project through a series of workshops in the autumn term.  The workshops provide advice and guidance on the key aspects:

  • Choosing a topic and planning your research project
  • Reviewing the literature
  • Methodology
  • Researching people – Ethics and Access
  • Good research guide–past students examples/experience
  • Presentations take place
  • Data collection/analysis                                                           
  • Writing up                                                                                       

After the autumn term, the module consists largely of students’ self-directed learning activity.

Learning and teaching

Workshops: Students attend up to 10 workshops which address issues relating to conducting a student research project.  The sessions are run by the module leader with the support of criminology colleagues and guests/past students.  Workshops are constructed in relation to key aspects of designing and conducting a research project.  The sessions will be interactive and will provide students with an opportunity to seek clarification on various stages of the research project.  Group activities and discussions also provide a forum for students to engage with their peers and discuss their progress and experience.  Opportunities are also provided for students to engage with guest speakers in relation to the research experience.

Supervision: Each student is allocated a supervisor who will offer guidance and advice throughout the research project.

Learning outcomes

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

  1. Demonstrate orally and in writing their capacity to define a research problem and research a topic within the criminological field (and related fields) and reflect upon the limits of the field/s
  2. Demonstrate reflexive practice in the development of research including reflecting upon the skills developed and the ways in which these may be useful in the future
  3. Use seminal and current research appropriately as a resource in research and other appropriate sources, recognising the limits of resources available and engaging critically with them
  4. Reflect, orally and in writing, upon the ethical issues which arise in research
  5. Specify and/or conceptualise problems arising in the research process
  6. Identify an appropriate methodology for a particular research project, recognising its limits

Assessment strategy

The module is assessed using a processual strategy.  This involves 3 units of assessment.

  1. Research Proposal (1000 - 1500 words) – (10%)
  2. Oral Presentation on chosen research topic/design/method/s (10-15 mins) – (20%)
  3. A written discursive project report (9,000 words) – (70%)



Below is a list of texts which may be of some general use in designing and planning your research project. 

Bell, J. (2005) Doing Your Research Project: a guide for first-time researchers in education and social science (fourth edition). England: Open University Press.

Bryman, A. (2004, 2008, 2012, 2016) Social Research Methods.  Oxford University Press

Crowther-Dowey, C. & Fussey, P. (2013) Researching Crime: approaches, methods and application. Hampshire: Palgrave Macmillan.

Davies, M. B. (2007) Doing a Successful Research Project: Using Qualitative or Quantitative Methods. New York: Palgrave MacMillan.

Denscombe, M. (1998) The Good Research Guide: For small-scale social research projects. Buckingham: Open University Press.

de Vaus, D.A. (1996). Surveys in Social Research (fourth edition). London: UCL Press

Jupp, V. Davies, P. & Francis, P. (2011). Doing Criminological Research (2nd Ed). Sage: London.

Robson, C. (2007) How to do a research project: a guide for undergraduate students. Oxford: Blackwell.

Silverman, D. (2001). Interpreting Qualitative Data: Methods for Analysing Talk, Text and Interaction. London: SAGE Publications

Silverman, D. (1999). Doing Qualitative Research: A Practical Handbook. Sage: London.

Winkler, A.C. (1994). Writing the Research Paper. Harcourt Brace: London.