module specification

SS7079 - Criminological Research Methods (2024/25)

Module specification Module approved to run in 2024/25
Module title Criminological Research Methods
Module level Masters (07)
Credit rating for module 20
School School of Social Sciences and Professions
Total study hours 200
155 hours Guided independent study
45 hours Scheduled learning & teaching activities
Assessment components
Type Weighting Qualifying mark Description
Coursework 50%   2000 word essay
Coursework 50%   2500 word data analysis exercise (utilising SPSS)
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

The module seeks to provide a good grounding in the understanding and appreciation of criminological research methods. You will be taken through the process of conducting social research from the formulation of a research question through to the completion of a research project. You will learn how to design social research, analyse research data and present it in a clear and accessible way.

The module is comprised of lectures and seminar/workshops sessions. These are designed to help you understand the practicalities and challenges of conducting research in the 'real world'. You will receive tuition on quantitative methods with an emphasis on the use of SPSS in quantitative data analysis.

The module aims to:

1. Provide a thorough grounding in the understanding and appreciation of criminological research methods.
2. Develop a competence in understanding the strengths and limitation of quantitative and qualitative research.
3. Develop a competence in analysing quantitative and qualitative research data and writing research reports.
4. Assist you in designing and conducting research for your thesis, and in developing skills of critical reflection and analysis.
5. To critically appraise quantitative and qualitative research produced by statutory agencies (such the Home Office, the Metropolitan Police) and voluntary sector
organisations related to the Criminal Justice System to enhance your employment prospects.

Prior learning requirements

Available for Study Abroad? NO


 The module will be delivered through a three-hour workshop and will focus on the following topics/issues.

• Research approaches in Criminology and Criminal Justice Policy. (LO1,2)
• Questionnaire construction. (LO3)
• Asking questions: the qualitative approach. (LO1,2)
• Conducting ethnographic research. (LO1,2)
• Content Analysis: Historical and archival analysis. (LO3)
• Quantitative data collection and analysis. (LO1,2)
• Research ethics: reflexivity and safety. (LO5)
• Researching vulnerable groups. (LO3,4)
• Researching police practices. (LO6)

Balance of independent study and scheduled teaching activity

The teaching strategy for the module consists of three hours face-to-face contact with you each week; to run consecutively. Each teaching session will vary in content week by week. The sessions will comprise of three-hour workshops, featuring lecturing, exercises and discussion. This will allow you five hours per week for independent research and study. You will have virtual contact with the module leader via Weblearn. The Weblearn material will consist of lecture notes, seminar workshops, articles and audio-visual material pertinent to the module.

Learning outcomes

 On successful completion of this module, you will be able to:

1. Distinguish between theoretical research and theoretically informed empirical research and to distinguish the latter from simple ‘fact finding’.
2. Critically evaluate examples of empirical research in criminology and criminal justice.
3. Demonstrate an enhanced knowledge of a wide range of research concepts, terminology and methods, and an enhanced knowledge of the methodological literature.
4. Apply your understanding of criminological research methodologies to your own research practice.
5. Have an understanding of ethical principles of social research.
6. Complete practical quantitative and qualitative research exercises and write a research report that is of potential use to criminal justice practitioners and the criminological research community.