module specification

SC6P50 - Criminological Research Practice (2017/18)

Module specification Module approved to run in 2017/18
Module title Criminological Research Practice
Module level Honours (06)
Credit rating for module 15
School School of Social Sciences
Total study hours 150
 
15 hours Scheduled learning & teaching activities
135 hours Guided independent study
Assessment components
Type Weighting Qualifying mark Description
Oral Examination 30%   Oral Presentation
Coursework 70%   4,500 word research report
Running in 2017/18
Period Campus Day Time Module Leader
Spring semester North Friday Morning

Module summary

This module requires students to produce a piece of independent research which provides them with the opportunity to bring together and develop their interests, knowledge, research and report writing skills gained whilst taking other modules on their degrees. Students’ research will be facilitated by workshops and discussions with peers and tutors which will provide support, discipline and advice on their chosen research topic, and on writing up their results in a research report. The module workshops also aim to develop students’ ability to work in collaborative environments where they must offer and accept, and evidence application of, constructive criticisms.

Module aims


This module aims to:

  1. Develop students’ research skills which they will potentially be able to apply with the confidence and competence appropriate to an honours graduate in their future careers. Students will be required to develop self-reflexivity to know the limits of their competence and how to seek and offer constructive advice.
  2. Develop students’ report writing skills to enable them accurately to communicate the results of research to its intended audience in an appropriate manner, and adapted to influence decision making, policy formation and public debate. This will necessarily involve considering the ethical, legal and political implications of research.
  3. Develop students’ ability to manage their time over an extended period and meet successive deadlines.
  4. Develop students’ ability to work constructively with colleagues as part of a team.
  5. Provide students with practical experience of orally presenting research to peers and to develop their ability personally to deliver coherent commentary on the research methodology and skills employed and key research considerations and problems addressed and/or overcome.
  6. Develop students’ knowledge of the specific criminological topic they have chosen to research.

 

Syllabus

The syllabus will centre on a research project undertaken by students on a topic of their choice.  The project must include an element of original research and requires students to generate new qualitative or quantitative data and analyse them.  For example students may carry out and analyse ethnographic interviews or observations, carry out and analyse a structured survey, or analyse existing qualitative or quantitative data in relation to a research problem they have formulated.

Workshop tutors will act as facilitators and consultants responding to students’ research ideas and research problems, rather than providing lectures. During the three-hour weekly workshops students will also receive advice and support from their colleagues with whom they are encouraged to collaborate in developing their ideas and discussing their progress and problems they encounter. The project relies on students’ motivational and organisational skills whereby they are responsible for generating discussion and inviting critical engagement from colleagues. Blackboard will be used to provide information and teaching/learning materials to support the learning process. The module requires approximately 7 hours per week of independent reading, research and writing.

Learning and teaching

Each teaching session runs through three hours comprising a lecture or presentation by guest speaker, seminar and/or workshop. Tutorial support is offered throughout the module by way of tutor availability during office hours, seminar discussions and email. Seminar tutors act as facilitators and consultants responding to students’ research ideas and research problems. During the workshops students are encouraged to generate discussions through which they can invite and receive advice and support from their peers and tutors.  Sessions are also organised to facilitate students’ reflection upon the contributions of guest speakers and connect their work on the module to consideration of their career aspirations. Blackboard will be used to provide information and teaching/learning materials to support the learning process. The module requires approximately 7 hours per week of independent reading, research and writing.

Learning outcomes

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

  1. Formulate a research problem and specify the limits of the knowledge on which they draw and which they generate
  2. Write a report which addresses appropriate audiences
  3. Manage their own learning and meet deadlines
  4. Critically evaluate arguments and draw on relevant current research
  5. Work effectively in collaborative environments and reflect in writing upon their contribution to workshops

 

Assessment strategy

The module will be assessed by an individual presentation to peers and a research report. The research report of 4,500 words will be marked on the following criteria: grasp of research skills, the ability to apply them, the ability to meet deadlines and the ability to write a report in a format appropriate to a particular audience.

Bibliography

Bachman, R. & Schutt, R. (2017). The Practice of Research in Criminology & Criminal Justice. London: Sage
Bell, J. (2010). Doing your research project: a guide for first-time researchers in education and social science (fifth edition). England: Open University Press
Bryman, A. (2015) Social Research methods. Oxford: Oxford University Press
Coleman, C. & Moynihan, J. (1996). Understanding crime data : haunted by the dark figure. Buckingham: Open University Press
Field, A. (2013) Discovering Statistics using SPSS. London: Sage
Jupp, V. Davies, P. & Francis, P. (2011). Doing Criminological Research. Sage: London.
Silverman, D. (2006). Interpreting Qualitative Data: Methods for Analysing Talk, Text and Interaction. London: SAGE Publications
Silverman, D. (2013). Doing Qualitative Research: A Practical Handbook. Sage: London.