module specification

SC6P50 - Criminological Research Practice (2024/25)

Module specification Module approved to run in 2024/25
Module title Criminological Research Practice
Module level Honours (06)
Credit rating for module 15
School School of Social Sciences and Professions
Total study hours 150
15 hours Scheduled learning & teaching activities
135 hours Guided independent study
Assessment components
Type Weighting Qualifying mark Description
Coursework 100%   Report on research
Running in 2024/25

(Please note that module timeslots are subject to change)
Period Campus Day Time Module Leader
Spring semester North Wednesday Morning

Module summary

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.


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. (LO1, LO2, LO3) 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. (LO4)

Workshop tutors will act as facilitators and consultants responding to students’ research ideas and research problems, rather than providing lectures (LO3, LO4). 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 (LO5). 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 Outcomes LO1 - LO5

Balance of independent study and scheduled teaching activity

Teaching is delivered primarily through workshops and blended learning tasks, with a heavy emphasis on student centered activities.
Students are expected to spend approximately 6 hours per week in independent study and writing. During the workshops students are encouraged to generate discussions through which they can invite and receive advice and support from their peers and tutors.
Seminar tutors act as facilitators and consultants responding to students’ research ideas and research problems.

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


Core reading
Bachman, R. & Schutt, R. (2017). The Practice of Research in Criminology & Criminal Justice. London: Sage

Additional reading
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.