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BASS Philosophy and Criminology

Year of entry: 2021

Course unit details:
Criminological Research Methods

Unit code CRIM10072
Credit rating 20
Unit level Level 1
Teaching period(s) Semester 2
Offered by School of Social Sciences
Available as a free choice unit? No


1. Introduction: research terms and key aspects of the research process
2. Methods of quantitative data collection
3. Quantitative research designs
4. Sampling in quantitative research
5. Key issues in qualitative research
6. Qualitative interviewing
7. Ethnography and observation
8. Alternative and visual research methods
9. Mixed methods research
10.Course Review and Assignment Advice


no pre-requisites.


The unit aims to: (1) introduce and promote a critical appreciation of the purposes and practice of research in criminology, (2) illustrate the diversity and scope of methods used, (3) develop transferable communications and cognitive skills, as well as subject knowledge

Learning outcomes

Category of outcome
Students will better grasp:
- the intellectual roots of empirical enquiry; key distinctions and traditions in social research; stages in the research process
- the application of the above to criminological enquiry
- the diversity of methods and designs used at different levels of analysis in criminology as illustrated via 'classic' & contemporary research studies
- the key features, advantages and limitations of featured approaches and studies
- the importance of independent thought and collaborative work; develop skills therein

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 2-hour online lecture/workshop slot used for a range of online Q&A and follow-up activities; (3) a timetabled weekly 1-hour seminar/activity slot that will be face-to-face if possible and ‘live’ online if not/preferred; (4) weekly opportunity for 1:1 support. In total, there will be the opportunity for up to 30 hours of contact time. 

Assessment methods

Assessment is by 100% coursework (3000 words).

See Understand what it is and avoid it: all essays will be fed through plagiarism detection software; all suspected cases will be investigated; both you and your group automatically fail and risk expulsion from the University.


Feedback methods

Feedback is a key mechanism for reflecting on learning (what one did well; how one could improve) and will be given to individuals and groups in the following way:
- formative (ongoing) feedback: one-to-one and group oral feedback by the seminar taker on completion of seminar activities.
- summative (on an end product): written, coursework feedback.

Recommended reading

You may find the following texts useful
-Davis, P., Francis, P. and Jupp, V. (2011) Doing Criminological Research (Second Edition). London: Sage.
- Bryman A (2012) Social Research Methods, 4th edition. Oxford: Oxford University Press). This book has an accompanying web-site ( includes self-assessment questions, podcasts and annotated web links.
- Crow I & Semmens N (2006) Researching Criminology. Maidenhead: McGraw-Hill. Note: Available as an e-book in the library
- Noaks L & Wincup E (200) Criminological Research: Understanding Qualitative Methods. London: Sage. Available as an e-book in the library
- King RD & Wincup D (Eds. 2008) Doing Research on Crime and Justice, 2nd edition. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
-Westmarland, L. (2011) Researching Crime and Justice: Tales from the field.  Abingdon: Routledge. Note: Available as an e-book in the library.

Study hours

Scheduled activity hours
Lectures 20
Seminars 10
Independent study hours
Independent study 3

Teaching staff

Staff member Role
Jo Deakin Unit coordinator

Additional notes

Restricted to: BA (Criminology) and LLB (Law with Criminology) students for which this subject is compulsory. Open to BA (Econ) all pathways.

No pre-requisites

See Law School Timetable

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