MA Criminology

Year of entry: 2021

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Course unit details:
Evaluating Policy & Practice

Unit code CRIM70542
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? Yes


The unit aims to (1) introduce students to the principles, method and purposes of evaluation research, with a special emphasis on evaluation of criminal justice and crime prevention initiatives; (2) provide a forum for the critical analysis of the logic and methods of evaluation research; and (3) give students an understanding of how evaluations are conceived, conducted and disseminated.

Learning outcomes

On completion of the unit, the student will gain: (1) an understanding of the role and purpose of evaluation, and its applications in policy, practice and community action; (2) an understanding of different philosophical perspectives that underpin different approaches to evaluation; (3) a good knowledge of the different types of evaluation research and how these can be critically assessed; and (4) A basic understanding of: (i) the uses of qualitative and quantitative data in evaluation research ; (ii) experimental and quasi-experimental designs, as well as meta-analysis ; (iii) presentation and dissemination of evaluation findings, and their implications for policy and practice

Teaching and learning methods

Teaching in academic year 20/21 will reflect both University policy and local and national lockdown restrictions operating at the time of delivery. We will offer face-to-face teaching where possible and provide a like for like on-line experience for those unable to be on campus.

Our teaching models will be flexible and allow us to adapt to changing conditions, however, the common intention across units is to provide (1) media, activities and other learning material that should be engaged with before scheduled teaching; (2) a timetabled online lecture/workshop session used for a range of online Q&A and follow-up activities; (3) weekly opportunity for 1:1 support. In total, there will be the opportunity for a minimum of 20 hours of contact time.


Assessment methods

Method Weight
Written assignment (inc essay) 100%

Feedback methods

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).

Recommended reading

Bachman, R.D. and Schutt, R.K. (2017). The Practice of Research in Criminology and Criminal Justice. 6TH edn. Thousand Oaks: Sage.


Study hours

Independent study hours
Independent study 0

Teaching staff

Staff member Role
Julia Buxton Unit coordinator

Additional notes

Study hours: 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) timetabled contact hours, (ii) preparation, required and further reading. Part-time students study the same number of weekly hours per unit but take fewer units per semester.


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