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2019/20 Taught Postgraduate Module Catalogue

LAW5022M Researching Crime, Security and Justice

30 creditsClass Size: 60

Module manager: Dr Jose Pina-Sanchez

Taught: Semesters 1 & 2 View Timetable

Year running 2019/20

Module replaces

LAW5021M Researching Crime and Justice LAW5306M Researching Security and Justice

This module is not approved as an Elective

Module summary

Researching Crime, Security and Justice will introduce students to key theories and methods of social research. Students will explore the theoretical underpinnings of different research methods. They will also explore different research designs, including both qualitative and quantitative methods, and consider their strengths and weaknesses. Students will also be encouraged to develop a detailed understanding of the different stages of the research process, and the skills needed to construct a research proposal. Students will also explore the political and ethical issues that impact upon social research.


This course will introduce students to key theories and methods associated with social research, with a particular focus on their use in the criminal justice / security context.

Learning outcomes
By the end of the course students should:

- have a detailed knowledge of the theories and methods that shape social research;
- know about the different research designs and appreciate their strengths and weaknesses;
- have a critical appreciation of key aspects of quantitative and qualitative research including their different theoretical underpinnings, the sampling strategies employed, different methods of data collection and analysis, and the interpretation of research findings;
- have a thorough understanding of the different stages of the research process, and be able to construct a research proposal;
- be aware of the political issues and ethical considerations that impact upon the research process;
- have acquired the necessary skills to complete their MSc dissertation.

Skills outcomes
The module is intended to help students develop specific quantitative and qualitative research methods knowledge and skills, and an understanding of the ethics and politics of social research.


An introduction to social research
Sampling methods and the politics and ethics of social research
The nature of quantitative research
Social surveys and questionnaire design
Data analysis using SPSS.1
Data analysis using SPSS.2
The nature of qualitative research
Ethnography and participant observation
Qualitative interviews and focus groups
Analysing Qualitative Data – Coding and Documentary Analysis
Research proposal presentations

Teaching methods

Delivery typeNumberLength hoursStudent hours
Computer Class22.004.00
Private study hours276.00
Total Contact hours24.00
Total hours (100hr per 10 credits)300.00

Private study

Students are expected to do a significant amount of guided, private study in preparation for the weekly seminars.
12 workshops - 6 hours each = 72 hours
3 assignments - 68 hours each = 204 hours

Opportunities for Formative Feedback

The module includes three assessments which are designed to monitor students' progress.

Methods of assessment

Assessment typeNotes% of formal assessment
Presentation1 x poster (A1 sized) presentation to an internal conference within the School100.00
Computer ExercisePass/fail software package assessment0.00
Total percentage (Assessment Coursework)100.00

Normally resits will be assessed by the same methodology as the first attempt, unless otherwise stated

Reading list

The reading list is available from the Library website

Last updated: 01/11/2019


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