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2017/18 Undergraduate Module Catalogue

LAW2286 Researching Crime and Criminal Justice (for undergraduates)

20 creditsClass Size: 60

Module manager: Jose Pina-Sanchez

Taught: Semesters 1 & 2 (Sep to Jun) View Timetable

Year running 2017/18

This module is mutually exclusive with

LAW2680Researching Law

Module replaces

LAW2285 Criminological Research Methods

This module is not approved as a discovery module


On completion of this module, students should be able to:

- examine the theoretical and epistemological foundations of research on crime and criminal justice;
- analyse the methods used in research on crime and criminal justice;
- foster a critical, methodological understanding of the manner in which knowledge about crime and criminal justice is generated.

Learning outcomes
By the end of the module:

- Students will understand the theoretical principles and methodological practices involved in criminological research;
- Students will be able to critically evaluate the methods used in particular pieces of research;
- Students will possess the research skills needed to conduct basic, scale research projects.

Skills outcomes
Subject specific skills:
- Ability to identify and critically assess the methods used in criminological research projects;
- Basic skills in planning and undertaking criminological research projects.


Data and Theory
Sampling Methods
Survey Research
Secondary Data, Variables and Descriptive Statistics
Introduction to Data Analysis Using SPSS
Research in Action
Qualitative Methods
Document Analysis
Comparative Research
Planning Research

Teaching methods

Delivery typeNumberLength hoursStudent hours
Private study hours171.00
Total Contact hours29.00
Total hours (100hr per 10 credits)200.00

Private study

Much of the private study will be directed. This will be constituted by normal seminar preparation (i.e. specific readings) as well as three specific assignments that composed the coursework. Tasks will include practical activities, such as conducting qualitative interviews or designing and analysing a victimisation survey, as well as critical tasks, such as reading a piece of research and analysing data using SPSS. As well as this directed learning, students will be expected to read for every lecture and seminar independently.

Opportunities for Formative Feedback

This can be done through standard means, such as seminars and assessment, as well as through the more innovative use of seminar based coursework. These tasks will be conducted either in preparation for specific seminars. This form of assessment will enhance the extent to which students can seek and gain feedback as they are going through the module (rather than at the end in a purely summative fashion).

Methods of assessment

Assessment typeNotes% of formal assessment
Report1 x 1,500 word statistical report using SPSS25.00
Presentation1 x group presentation covering reporting the research steps taken to answer a given research question using qualitative interviews and Nvivo25.00
Research Proposal1 x 3,000 word research plan50.00
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: 11/10/2017


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