MRes Criminology (Social Statistics) / Course details

Year of entry: 2021

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Course description

The MRes in Criminology (Social Statistics) course provides you with a thorough grounding in research methods, as well as the tools to collect and analyse advanced quantitative statistical data, with a focus on criminological research, theory, policy and practice.

Combining criminology and social statistics teaching from research-active staff in the School, this course encourages you to critically examine the theoretical foundations that underpin applied criminological and sociological research, and give you an advanced understanding of social statistics.

You will develop a critical understanding of quantitative and qualitative research methods and their application, as well as specialist knowledge of the issues within contemporary criminological and criminal justice debates.


  • To meet national and regional demands for new research and policy-oriented competencies in criminology or socio-legal studies with a focus on advanced quantitative data analysis.
  • Contribute to the national need for skilled social science researchers in criminological, socio-legal and related matters.
  • Ensure the necessary grounding both to understand and to contribute to the future development of quantitative methods in these research areas.
  • To provide advanced, systematic and critical knowledge of research methods and theoretical arguments in criminology or socio-legal studies which are at the forefront of the subject area in a vibrant research context.
  • Offer a course integrating a grounding in research methodology with understanding of the implications for policy.
  • Offer you the opportunity for developing your understanding of the key theoretical and epistemological debates within the subject area and to assist you to engage in theoretical debates at an advanced postgraduate level.
  • Provide a formal, comprehensive, multi-disciplinary training for you in research methodology and transferable employment related skills.
  • Prepare you for PhD level research careers in academic life or as professionals in government and voluntary agencies.
  • Train you to appreciate the relationship between research and the application and operation of policy and practice in the implementation of justice.
  • To provide you with the tools for further research or study in criminology and/or socio-legal studies.

The University has its own dedicated Careers Service that you would have full access to as a student and for two years after you graduate. At Manchester you will have access to a number of opportunities to help boost your employability .

Special features

This acclaimed course has ESRC recognition as a Foundation Course for Research Training and is an essential step if you wish to progress onto doctoral studies or pursue a career in research in the public or voluntary sectors.

Teaching and learning

This course is taught by an interdisciplinary team of experts using a variety of delivery methods, including:

  • lectures;
  • workshops;
  • student-led presentations and debate;
  • group work; and
  • individual research.

Coursework and assessment

The dissertation component of this course will focus on in-depth quantitative data analyses in an area of your interest, under the interdisciplinary supervision of two academic experts, one from criminology and one from social statistics.

Course unit details

To meet the requirements of the taught element of the course, all students must take course units totalling 120 credits. This is normally attained with eight 15-credit course units, as listed below, with 60 credits taken each semester. Students take 6 core units. The availability of individual optional course units is subject to change (due, among other factors, to staff availability to deliver the course units in any given year).  Information that is sent to students in the month of August preceding registration onto the course will clearly state the course units that are available in the academic year ahead.

In addition, students who pass the taught element of the course and who are permitted to progress to the research element of the course must also submit a dissertation of between 12,000 and 15,000 words worth 60 credits.

Part-time students take three out of the six compulsory course units in the first year, and then take the other three in year two.  The remaining 60 credits of optional course units are selected and taken accordingly over the two years. 


  • Dissertation of 12-15,000 words during summer, supported by two area supervisors.

Exit awards

Students who fail to fulfil the requirements to pass the 180 credits necessary to attain the final degree of MRes can leave the course with the award of Postgraduate Diploma by passing 120 credits at the pass mark of 40%, or can qualify for the Postgraduate Certificate by passing 60 credits at the pass mark of 40%.  Students who do not fulfil the criteria for passing the taught element of the course at the Masters' level of 50% will not be permitted to progress to the dissertation element of the course, and will leave the course with the highest award that the credits that have been passed will allow.

Course unit list

The course unit details given below are subject to change, and are the latest example of the curriculum available on this course of study.

1 5 credit core units:

Designing Criminological Research LAWS70311

Qualitative Research Methods LAWS71361

Statistical Foundations SOST70151

Introduction to Statistical Modelling SOST70011

Evaluating Policy and Practice LAWS70542

15 credit optional units:

Drugs: Markets, Policies and Consumption LAWS70572

Crime Mapping: Introduction to GIS and Spatial Analysis LAWS60142

International Security and Law LAWS70022

Economic and Financial Crime LAWS71052

Criminology of Mass Violence LAWS61052

International Criminal Law and Justice  LAWS70432

Advanced Survey Methods SOST70032

Comparative Studies in Crime and Criminal Justice LAWS 60642

Short course optional units:

Structural Equation Modelling SOST70042

Longitudinal Data Analysis SOST70022

Social Network Analysis SOST71032

Course unit list

The course unit details given below are subject to change, and are the latest example of the curriculum available on this course of study.

TitleCodeCredit ratingMandatory/optional
Dissertation CRIM65000 60 Mandatory
Evaluating Policy & Practice CRIM70542 15 Mandatory
Qualitative Research Methods CRIM71361 15 Mandatory
Introduction to Statistical Modelling SOST70011 15 Mandatory
Statistical Foundations SOST70151 15 Mandatory
PG Crime Mapping: an introduction to GIS and Spatial Analysis CRIM60142 15 Optional
Criminology and Mass Violence CRIM61052 15 Optional
Understanding Violence CRIM70552 15 Optional
Prisons: Exploring the Carceral World CRIM72212 15 Optional
Research Strategy and Project Management SOCY60412 15 Optional
Longitudinal Data Analysis SOST70022 15 Optional
Complex Survey Designs and Analysis SOST70032 15 Optional
Demographic Forecasting SOST70102 15 Optional
Quantitative Evaluation of Policies, Interventions and Experiments. SOST70172 15 Optional
Social Network Analysis SOST71032 15 Optional
Displaying 10 of 15 course units

Scholarships and bursaries

We offer a number of postgraduate taught scholarships and merit awards to outstanding applicants and international students.

In addition, the Manchester Alumni Scholarship Scheme offers a £3,000 reduction in tuition fees to University of Manchester alumni who achieved a first-class bachelor's degree and are progressing to a postgraduate taught master's course.

For more information, see fees and funding or search the University's postgraduate funding database .


As a School of Social Sciences student, you are supported by first-class resources.

In addition to a variety of networked study areas, you also have access to one of the best-resourced academic libraries in the country, The University of Manchester Library .

Disability support

Practical support and advice for current students and applicants is available from the Disability Advisory and Support Service. Email: