MRes Criminology (Social Statistics) / Course details
Year of entry: 2023
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Course unit details:
Qualitative Research Methods
|Unit level||FHEQ level 7 – master's degree or fourth year of an integrated master's degree|
|Teaching period(s)||Semester 1|
|Available as a free choice unit?||Yes|
This course familiarise students with academic debates around qualitative methods in social research.
Indicative content: (1) What is qualitative research?; (2) Interviewing; (3) Observation & ethnography; (4) Unsolicited data & visual methods; (5) Research ethics; (6) Ethical review exercise; (7) Qualitative data analysis; (8) Qualitative data analysis Pt.2 & assignment support.
The aim of the course is to familiarise students with academic debates around qualitative methods in social research. This will be achieved through developing an understanding of various methods of gathering qualitative data (in-depth interviewing, focus groups, observation, and ethnography) and with analysing textual and non-textual material (content analysis, discourse analysis, grounded theory). The course explores the application of these methods to criminological and socio-legal contexts.
Students who take full advantage of the course will: (1) gain practical experience of conducting in-depth interviews, or fieldwork observation; (2) become familiar with key methodological debates and literatures informing qualitative research; (3) become aware of the range of unsolicited (often online) data available to researchers for qualitative analysis; (4) be familiar with approaches to qualitative data analysis and interpretation; (5) develop a reflexive approach to their own methodological practice and those of others through an understanding of what counts as quality in qualitative research; (6) develop discussion skills through class work, and analytic and writing skills through the assessment.
Teaching and learning methods
Teaching in academic year 21/22 will be flexible and allow us to adapt to changing conditions, however, the common intention across units is to provide a blended offer of the best in online and on-campus teaching that includes: (1) a workshop used for a range of discursive exercises; (2) high quality learning materials; (3) 1:1 support via a subject-specific contact hour
Transferable skills and personal qualities
Employability skills: In addition to subject-specific knowledge and understanding, Criminology units foster highly employable skills such as the ability to (i) analyse, critique and (re-)formulate a problem or issue; (ii) rapidly and thoroughly review/rate argument and evidence from targeted bibliographic searches; (iii) plan, structure and present arguments in a variety of written formats and to a strict word limit, (iv) express ideas verbally and organise work effectively in small teams for a variety of written and oral tasks; (v) obtain, manipulate and (re-)present different forms of data; (vi) manage time effectively; (vii) reflect on and improve performance through feedback.
- Analytical skills
- Oral communication
- Problem solving
- Written communication
|Written assignment (inc essay)||75%|
Formative feedback (both individual and collective) will be given on (1) on tasks and contribution in class, (2) developing essay plans. Detailed summative feedback will be given on the submitted essay via Blackboard (Grademark).
Denzin, N. and Lincoln. Y. (2008) Collecting and Interpreting Qualitative Materials. London: Sage.
|Scheduled activity hours|
|Practical classes & workshops||16|
|Independent study hours|
|Jo Deakin||Unit coordinator|
Across their course units each semester, full-time students are expected to devote a ‘working week’ of 35-40 hours to study. Accordingly each course unit demands 9-10 hours of study per week comprised of (i) teacher-led activities and sessions, (ii) preparation, required and further reading.
Part-time students study the same number of weekly hours per unit but take fewer units per semester.