module specification

SS8069 - Research Methods 1 (2017/18)

Module specification Module approved to run in 2017/18, but may be subject to modification
Module title Research Methods 1
Module level Doctoral (08)
Credit rating for module 30
School School of Social Sciences
Total study hours 300
264 hours Guided independent study
36 hours Scheduled learning & teaching activities
Assessment components
Type Weighting Qualifying mark Description
Coursework 50%   Group assignment
Coursework 50%   Individual assignment
Running in 2017/18
Period Campus Day Time Module Leader
Autumn semester North - Not applicable

Module summary

This module is one of two Research Methods modules It provides an introduction to the concept of applied research and a range of methodologies that can may exploited when undertaking research in a policing and community safety environment.

It examines the ethics and practical use of research in relation to issues in obtaining, handling and the use of both sources and information. It deals with study and research techniques, including the purpose of study groups and supervision.

This module is taught in blocks,dates for 14-15 are 26 to 28 September 2014


Prior learning requirements


Module aims

The aims and objectives of this module are ,

to provide an introduction to practical research skills and their application

to develop and improve individual student’s discernment of information and sources for effective research

to ensure effective identification of, and handling and deploying various sources of data


Quantitative and qualitative research,
Inductive research
Introduction to, and use of Statistics
Basic research and academic terms
Research Ethics
Group exercises and practitioner lecturers from professional researchers.

Learning and teaching

This module is delivered on a long-weekend short course comprising lectures and seminars and based on a collaborative process involving students' active participation. Lectures are used to provide students with a framework of information about the nature and context of research into policing, security and community safety.

Whilst the lecture subjects themselves concern research methods and academic research and statisitics,the content of the lecture includes practical examples whereby the research methods anduse of statisitics are utilised in researching and assisting in the solving of policing related problems.In this way academic research methodology is delivered in a manner empathising with police and law enforcement students.

Where relevant, guest speakers will be invited to provide students with an overall learning strategy that is coherent, varied, stimulating, academically rigourous while remaining practically relevant.

Self directed learning allows students to explore substantive issues for themselves. Continued support and guidance will be offered during coursework and assessment. The learning is further developed through the considerable reading required.

Contact with the students of the cohort is continuous throughout the block module

Learning outcomes

Students, on successful completion of the module, will be able to:

demonstrate an awareness of differing research methodologies

critically evaluate differing types of information and relevant application of different data (or data sets)

show an awareness of the depth and contextually of sources required for a thesis

have an enhanced ability to gather and evaluate information

Assessment strategy

The Teaching programme is to provide a framework in which students will be able to explore the context and critical debates pertinent to research methods  to develop sophisticated responses to complex theories and issues of methodology.

The assessment is therefore weighted to coursework assignment. The practical assignment will be group assignments relating to their professional duties and to the lectures given, and to assist in researching the individual student’s chosen thesis area.

The individual assignment, to be completed for a later date, will be a 5000-word essay.

Students must pass both assignments


Booth, W. et al, 2003, The Craft of Research (2nd edition), University of Chicago Press, 0-226-06568-5

Bryman, A. 2004, Social Research Methods(2nd edition), Oxford University Press, 0-19-926446-5

King & Wincup, 2000, Doing Reseacrh on Crime and Justice, Oxford University Press, 0-19-876540-1

Murray, R.  2006, How to Write a Thesis, Maidenhead, Open University Press,
2nd edition, 0-335-21968-3

Murray R 2003 How to survive your Viva, Maidenhead OPUS 0 335212840