Module Information

Module Identifier
Module Title
Academic Year
Semester 1
Other Staff

Course Delivery

Delivery Type Delivery length / details
Seminars / Tutorials 11 x 2 hour seminars


Assessment Type Assessment length / details Proportion
Semester Assessment Three written reports exploring the use of (a) Quantitative data, (b) qualitative data, and (c) methodology in law and science, in selected and approved subject areas (2000 words each)   Written assignment or assignments up to a maximum of 3000 words  80%
Semester Assessment Oral Presentation  20%
Supplementary Assessment Resubmission of failed element of assessment 

Learning Outcomes

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

Demonstrate a knowledge and understanding of the epistemic underpinnings of the social sciences

Demonstrate a knowledge and understanding of a range of quantitative and qualitative research methodologies in the social sciences

Critically understand and appreciate the way in which social scientific research method may be employed in legal and criminological research and in policy development

Critically engage in the discussion of the epistemic presuppositions, method and social and political implications of social scientific research method

Demonstrate a general understanding of the implications of social science research methodology for the development of particular research projects

Apply a critical and well-informed understanding of social scientific research methodology to the effective development of an original research problematic or project in the field of Law and Criminology

Brief description

This module provides an introduction a) the way in which theories are constructed and tested for the purposes of social scientific research; b) an understanding of social scientific research methodology in relation to academic research and policy development and c) an awareness of the epistemological underpinnings of such research and its ethical, social and political implications.


- Introduction to the module
- The philosophy of the social sciences
- Research sampling and design
- A basic introduction to descriptive statistics
- Interviewing techniques and the use of focus groups
- Analysis of interviewing
- Documentary content, narrative and visual analysis
- Risk and ethics in social scientific research

Module Skills

Skills Type Skills details
Application of Number Statistical Analysis.
Communication Written and oral communication skills are developed through informal seminar discussion and through formal assessment. The ability to communicate complex ideas concerning general issues of general questions of method and context is a unifying theme within the context of the development of the module teaching as a whole.
Improving own Learning and Performance At various points in the course and in particular as regards the assessment process, researchers are encouraged to apply and develop the views, techniques and methods which they have encountered in the context of their own work.
Information Technology The module considers the role played by various forms of linguistic media, including modern communications media and information technology in the context of the general disciplinary matrix of the Social Sciences.
Personal Development and Career planning The course as a whole will focus on personal development in so far as it encourages researchers in the fields of Law and Criminology to reflect on the presuppositions of social scientific research, its relationship to their own work and ethical questions concerning the uses to which it can be put.
Problem solving Problem solving skills are developed over the course as a whole. At all stages, the course emphasises the development of a critical awareness of the implications of social scientific research for the development of particular research problematics.
Research skills The module provides a focused and sustained opportunity for researchers to reflect upon the epistemic presuppositions and methodology of social scientific research and to apply the results of such reflection in the fields of Law and Criminology.
Subject Specific Skills None.
Team work Team working skills will be encouraged and developed via participation in seminar discussions.


This module is at CQFW Level 7