MA Criminology

Year of entry: 2021

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Course unit details:
PG Crime Mapping: an introduction to GIS and Spatial Analysis

Unit code CRIM60142
Credit rating 15
Unit level FHEQ level 7 – master's degree or fourth year of an integrated master's degree
Teaching period(s) Semester 2
Offered by Criminology
Available as a free choice unit? No


The course provides a theoretically-contextualised and practically-oriented introduction to the use of geographic information systems for crime analysis and research using R and R Studio. It combines the study of a subject area (crime and place) with the development of spatial visualisation and analysis skills. The course will be of interest to students with a particular interest in learning GIS for the study of a variety of social or public health phenomena. The course responds to current calls from ESRC and the British Academy to improve the quantitative skills of social science graduates and fits within the Q-Step Manchester initiative.

Indicative content: (1) Introduction to the course; (2) Producing your first crime map; (3) Working with spatial data; (4) Thematic maps; (5) Mapping crime ‘hot spots’; (6) Hot spots in context; (7) Global/local spatial autocorrelation; (8) Regression & challenges of autocorrelation; (9) Basic spatial regression models; (10) Course review.


Pre-requisites: The course assumes the student has already taken an introductory data analysis course using appropriate software such as SPSS, STATA or R such as Modelling Criminological Data, Making Sense of Criminological Data, or Data Analysis with R and R Studio, or the equivalent in other Departments across SOSS. In case of doubt about whether you meet this criteria do not hesitate to contact the Course Unit Director.


The unit aims to (1) Enhance students' understanding of criminological theory in context with particular forms of violence; (2) Develop students' awareness of the links between approaches to research, theory construction and policy surrounding violence; (3) Explore the complex relationships between power, inequality and violence, drawing upon examples such as ethnicity and gender; (4) Examine knowledge and understanding of various forms of violence through critical discussion of empirical research and theory.