Module Information

Module Identifier
Module Title
Criminology Research Skills 1
Academic Year
Intended for use in future years
Other Staff

Course Delivery

Delivery Type Delivery length / details
Lecture 30 hours total
Seminars / Tutorials 6 hours. 3 x 2 hour seminars.


Assessment Type Assessment length / details Proportion
Semester Assessment Essay  of 3000 words required in week 11  100%
Supplementary Assessment Essay  of 3000 words  100%

Learning Outcomes

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

1. Appreciate the value of empirical research to the study of law, the examination of the criminal justice system and the development of crime policy.

2. Critically appraise quantitative research studies.

3. Critically appraise qualitative research studies.

4. Appreciate the importance of linking or inter-relating qualitative and quantitative data.

5. Design a simple research study using quantitative and/or qualitative methods.

6. Construct a questionnaire and design an interview schedule.

7. Conduct a semi-structured, qualitative research interview.

8. Appreciate the benefits to be gained from interdisciplinary research and appreciate the potential pitfalls.

9. Describe the nature of the relationship between criminological research and policy.

10. Relate criminological theory to policy debates.

11. Read and critically assess empirical research studies in criminology.

12. Recognise the limitations of empirical data and understand how they can be misused.

13. Display a critical appreciation of major analytical methods and adopt a reflective approach to the discipline in general.

Brief description

The module will involve training in how to collect, interpret and use both quantitative and qualitative data in criminological research. The importance of interdisciplinary research, mixed-methods research designs and comparative studies will be emphasised.

Students are expected to invest time in reading around the subject. As a rough guide, over the semester, we expect you to:
Attend lecture for 30 hours
Attend seminars for 6 hours
Prepare for seminars for 40 hours (about 13 hours per seminar)
Prepare for the coursework assignment for 40 hours (this should be spread over a number of weeks)
Revise for the examination for 40 hours
Conduct additional private study for 44 (about 4.5 hours per week)


The primary aim of this module is to provide students with a basic grounding in the fundamental principles of data collection and analysis. From a quantitative perspective they will be introduced to some basic techniques for handling statistical data. The emphasis will be on developing an intuitive understanding of statistical methods rather than the rigorous derivation of statistical techniques. As regards qualitative approaches, the core aim is to ensure that students gain an understanding of the principal methods and techniques for collecting and analysing qualitative data.


1. An introduction to criminological research:
  • Why undertake research?
  • Who conducts criminological research?
  • How does the knowledge produced from such research activity differ from the knowledge obtained from other sources?
  • What is the relationship between criminological research and crime policy?
2. Theory and research:
  • The role of theory in the research process: theory construction and theory testing.
3. Methods and methodologies:
  • Research design.
  • Sampling.
  • Questionaire design.
  • Crime surveys.
4. Making sense of quantitative data:
  • An introduction to descriptive statistics.
  • Examining the relationship between variables.
  • Hypothesis testing using inferential statistics.
5. Qualitative Approaches:
  • Theory and concepts.
  • Participant observation.
  • Interviews and surveys in qualitative research.
  • Documentary analysis.
  • Content analysis.
6. Integrating research perspectives:
  • Comparative research skills in criminology.
  • Interdisciplinary research in criminology.


This module is at CQFW Level 4