module specification

SC4003 - Researching Crime and Deviance (2021/22)

Module specification Module approved to run in 2021/22
Module title Researching Crime and Deviance
Module level Certificate (04)
Credit rating for module 30
School School of Social Sciences
Total study hours 300
81 hours Scheduled learning & teaching activities
219 hours Guided independent study
Assessment components
Type Weighting Qualifying mark Description
Coursework 40%   Workbook 1000 words
In-Course Test 60%   In class test (1.5 hours)
Running in 2021/22
Period Campus Day Time Module Leader
Year North Tuesday Morning

Module summary

The module aims to:
1. Introduce and familiarise students with a wide range of criminological research
2. Introduce students to various research methods and approaches used in criminological investigation
3. Introduce students to a range of issues that need to be taken into account when undertaking criminological research.
4. Familiarise students with the processes involved in conducting criminological research and the structure and format of research reports adopted by academics
5. Prepare students for levels 5 and 6


The syllabus will introduce students to the fascinating range of criminological research – both within the UK and internationally. LO1

   Both qualitative and quantitative approaches to criminological work on crime and deviance will be introduced and explored and the work of key criminological practitioners examined. The module is divided into two parts; a general introduction to criminological research with an emphasis on reading and discussion, while in the second semester the students will have the opportunity to listen to and ask questions to speakers (academics and practitioners) about their own research.  LO2

Indicative topics include research on prison violence, gangs, organised crime, domestic abuse, and drugs.
The module has the dual function of developing students’ academic literacies and uses an embedded approach to introduce and build these key skills.  LO3,LO4

Teaching will be heavily student centered and will employ a ‘guided discovery’ approach to learning that puts a strong emphasis on reading and discussion. LO5

Balance of independent study and scheduled teaching activity

Teaching is delivered primarily through workshops. The sessions will facilitate learning of core research methods material and provide a framework for further reading and independent study. 
Students are expected to spend approximately 7 hours per week in independent study and writing.

Learning outcomes

On successful completion of this module students will be able to: 
1. Understand the different research methods used in criminological research and their strengths and weaknesses
2.   Explain the key issues that researchers need to take into consideration when undertaking criminological research
3. Explain the process of criminological research and be familiar with the structures of research reports.
4.  Summarise and review criminological investigations.
5. Prepare students for levels 5 and 6

Assessment strategy

The assessments comprises a workbook (1) an in class test (2).

Assessment 1 -The workbook specifically assesses students’ grasp of criminological research and the ability to specify the strengths, limitations and implications of particular approaches. The workbook will assess learning outcomes 1, 3 and 4

Assessment 2 – in-class test that assesses the student’s understanding of the material studied over the previous two semesters. This will cover learning outcomes 2 and 5


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.
Core Reading :
Crowther-Dowey, C., & Fussey, P. (2013). Researching Crime: Approaches, Methods and Application. Palgrave Macmillan
Additional Reading:
Babbie, E. (2015). The Practice of Social Research.  Nelson Eduction
Bachman, R., & Schutt, R. K. (2013). The practice of research in criminology and criminal justice. Sage.
Bryman, A. (2015). Social Research Methods (second edition). Oxford : Oxford University Press
Cottrell, S. (2013). The study skills handbook. Palgrave Macmillan
Finch, E., & Fafinski, S. (2016). Criminology Skills. Oxford University Press.
readwell, J. (2012). Criminology: the essentials. Sage.