module specification

SC6P01 - Criminology and Policing Project (2017/18)

Module specification Module approved to run in 2017/18
Module title Criminology and Policing 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
Practical Examination 25%   Oral presentation of progress to peers
Dissertation 75%   Written research report, 9000 words
Running in 2017/18 No instances running in the year

Module summary

In this module students have the opportunity to define their own academic terrain and produce a structured and original piece of research based on an individual piece of empirical research relating to criminal justice and/or policing.

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 relating to criminal justice and/or policing 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 explores the relationship between policing, criminology and criminal justice.


Students attend four workshops of two hours each at the beginning of the module during which time they receive guiding assistance in formulating a research problem/question relating to criminal justice and/or policing.  After this they are allocated individual supervisors.  Students are entitled to a minimum of six meetings with their supervisors during the course of the module when they discuss their findings, material of interest and problems they are encountering.  The module consists largely of students’ self-directed learning activity.

Learning and teaching

Students attend four workshops (8 hours in total) early in the module which address issues relating to method, resources and formulating a manageable topic/question.  The module guide is made available on Blackboard.  After this they engage individually with supervisors in relation to the progress of their research and to discuss their own self-development.  Each student is entitled to six meetings of 30 minutes each with his/her supervisor during the module.

Students are required to write a reflective report on what they have learned during the module, the skills (both subject-specific and generic) which they have developed, and the relationship between the research and possible career possibilities.

Learning outcomes

On successful completion of this module, students will be able to:
1. define a research problem orally and in writing and research a topic relating to criminal justice and/or policing and reflect upon any unresolved problems
2.  engage in reflexive practice in the development of research by reflecting in writing 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.  Students present a brief account of their project topic, their ‘findings’ to date and the problems which have arisen in the process of research, including ethical problems, to a group of their peers in week 13 of the module (25% of the assessment) (learning outcomes 1,3,4,5,6).  This presentation incorporates a commentary on the generic and subject-specific skills developed and developing in the research process.  They write and submit a written discursive project report addressing their chosen problem/topic (9,000 words). This project also incorporates a self-reflective chapter of the process of research and of the skills developed, including the ways in which these might contribute to the development of their CVs (500 words) (75% of the assessment) (learning outcomes 1,2, 3,4,5,6). This final component is due in week 28.


International Journal of Policing and Practice

The following may also be of some general use but students are also encouraged to refer to their work on Measuring and Interpreting Crime and other relevant modules and are required to generate their own research materials for their 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.(1988) Quantity & Quality in Social Research, London: Unwin Hyman
Davies, M.B. (2007) Doing a Successful Research Project: Using Qualitative or Quantitative Methods, New York:Palgrave MacMillan
Gilbert, N. (ed) (1993) Researching Social Life, London: Sage
King, R.D. & Wincup, E. (eds) (2000) Doing Research on Crime and Justice, New York:Oxford University Press
Jupp, V. (1989) Methods of Criminological Research, London:Routledge
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