module specification

SC6P06 - Evidence-based Policing Research Project (2020/21)

Module specification Module approved to run in 2020/21
Module title Evidence-based Policing Research Project
Module level Honours (06)
Credit rating for module 30
School School of Social Sciences
Total study hours 300
30 hours Scheduled learning & teaching activities
270 hours Guided independent study
Assessment components
Type Weighting Qualifying mark Description
Coursework 10%   1000-1500 word Research Proposal
Oral Examination 90%   9000 word Dissertation/Research Report
Running in 2020/21
Period Campus Day Time Module Leader
Year North Wednesday Morning

Module summary

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. Evaluate a complex body of policing related knowledge
3. Give students the opportunity to report upon their research to their peers, including the evidence base for their chosen focus, the problems raised by the research and the progress made
4. Ensure they demonstrate a comprehensive understanding of the potential impacts of recommendations on workplace, workforce and service.
5. Enable students to produce a written piece of research which demonstrates awareness of the relationship between policing and related fields in criminology 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.

Balance of independent study and scheduled teaching activity

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.

o 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 in writing their capacity to define a policing problem, and to research the evidence base for an effective 'What Works' police response.
2. Apply this knowledge and understanding in a manner that indicates a professional analytical approach to policing work and to understanding and solving complex problems
3. Identify an appropriate methodology for a particular research project, recognising its limits.
4. 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
5. 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
6. Reflect in writing upon the ethical issues which arise in research
7. Specify and/or conceptualise problems arising in the research process

Assessment strategy

This module is a policing option for the Criminology Dissertation module and is identical apart from the choice of topic. Students chose a subject relevant to modern policing and carry out an evidence-based research project. The module is assessed using a processual strategy involving 2 units of assessment.

1. Research Proposal (1000 - 1500 words) – (10%)

2. A written project report (9,000 words) – (90%)


Identify core and additional reading
Liaise with Library Services to confirm availability of on-line licenses in academic year

Where possible, the most current version of reading materials is used during the delivery of this module.  Comprehensive reading lists are provided to students in their handbooks.  Reading Lists will be updated annually.

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. ( 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.

Lum. C. and Koer, C. (2015) Evidence-Based Policing

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.

Key source of ‘what works’ is the Society of Evidence based Policing UK