Full time 12 Month(s), Part time 24 Month(s)
What are the key ethical considerations concerning criminological research? How does criminological research differ from other social science research? And how does it inform policy formation? The MSc Criminology and Social Research Methods tackles these key issues in the field of criminology research and offers excellent postgraduate training.
This degree, which is eligible for ESRC 1+3 funding, guides you through the theory of criminological research and advances your skills in the collection, analysis and reporting of qualitative and quantitative data. Distinct in its integration of criminal justice and criminology modules, it gives you a much broader overview of current research in criminology and criminal justice, and of more specialised socio-legal research and debates.
You will be taught by lecturers who are nationally and internationally renowned researchers. Our Law School is home to the Centre for Crime, Law and Justice, the Centre for Law and Society, and the Centre for Child and Family Justice; these centres underpin our postgraduate teaching, which is research-led and research-informed.
Your core modules are: Research Projects in Practice; Qualitative Methods in the Social Sciences; Quantitative Research Methods; Crime and Criminal Justice in the 21st Century; Criminological Theory; and Criminological Research in Practice. A research-based Criminology dissertation completes your degree.
Your postgraduate degree prepares you for research jobs in the Home Office, Probation Service, Social Services, and other government departments of voluntary organisation. You will develop the skills to undertake and critically evaluate criminological research, which are highly prized by employers in the public and private sectors. The analytical and communications skills developed through your studies also enhance your employability.
You will study a range of modules as part of your course, some examples of which are listed below.
The Criminology Dissertation gives students the opportunity to further develop their practical skills relevant to the study of criminology that inform decisions about the design and application of research and the use of critical analytical perspectives on applied research in the field or in library based research. Students will engage in their own piece of research (empirical or library based) and produce a 15,000 word dissertation based on this.
The Crime and Criminal Justice in the 21st Century module introduces students to the nature and extent of crime and criminal justice policy in contemporary society. Students gain an overview of crime and cirminal justice statistics, with a critical understanding of how such statistics are socially constructed. They also gain an overview of current and recent trends in criminal justice policy, and an in-depth understanding of some of the key social dimensions of crime and justice (e.g. age, gender, race, social class) and some key criminological challenges for the 21st century (e.g. Cybercrime, Corporate Crime, Environmental Crime).
The module aims to:
Develop a critical understanding of the concepts (for instance, ‘crime’, ‘offender’ and ‘victim’) central to criminological study and their relationships to each other;
Foster a critical awareness of the role of power (including individual, corporate and political power) in defining crime, developing policies to deal with it and in labelling offenders and victims;
Identify, debate, analyse and understand emerging patterns of crime and criminal justice that look to characterise and dominate the early 21st century;
Critically study contemporary bases of crime and criminalisation and its intellectual and historical antecedents.
The Criminological Theory module provides students with knowledge and understanding of the key concepts and theoretical approaches that have been developed, and are continuing to develop, in relation to crime, victimisation and responses to crime and deviance.
The module gives students the opportunity to further develop the critical, analytical and written skills necessary to conceptualize and explain criminological problems— as well the evaluative skills necessary to assess and put criminological theories into operation through research.
The Criminological Research in Practice module presents cutting-edge research to provide students with insights into the realities of criminological research in practice, the process of research from inception of idea through development of research proposals (and applications for funding) and execution of fieldwork to dissemination of findings and contributions to development of theory and knowledge. Lectures showcase individual research projects, highlighting methodological (including practical and ethical) difficulties and how they are overcome, and the relationship between the research process and expanding the body of knowledge within the field of criminology.
Develop a critical understanding of the realities of criminological research from project inception through to dissemination of findings.
Foster a critical awareness of experiencing unforeseen methodological, practical and ethical challenges in the research process and ways to overcome these.
Provide a working familiarity with a range of funding sources and how to apply to them.
Develop knowledge and understanding of cutting-edge developments in a selection of criminological topics.
This module provides you with first-hand experience of organising and undertaking a group research project on a subject of your own choosing. You will work through processes of research design and strategy, developing research questions, planning and carrying out fieldwork and analysis, and presenting and evaluating research.
Working together in groups of four or five, you will produce a high-quality project report which could take various forms – for example, an article for publication, a multimedia website, or a report suitable for presentation to a funding body. You also make an oral presentation of your work.
Although the module is essentially practical, it also provides the opportunity for you to examine generic issues involved in doing social research and to learn about the contemporary context of research policy and funding.
This module offers an introduction to qualitative research methods that are commonly used in the social sciences. The modules includes sessions on interviewing, ethnography, text analysis, focus groups, mixed methods research and other approaches. These approaches will be discussed looking at examples of studies from different subject areas and in relation to students' own planned or current research.
This module is a general introduction to statistical analysis for students in the arts and social sciences. It assumes some background equivalent to FASS508 or FASS509. After a brief review of that background, the module looks in more detail at the nature and calculation of probabilities; at different approaches to intervals and hypothesis testing; and at the analysis of relationships between variables using correlation and regression. The course is split equally between theoretical input and practical work on the computer using the "R" environment for statistical analysis. Students taking the course for credit undertake three short data-analysis assignments using "R".
Information contained on the website with respect to modules is correct at the time of publication, but changes may be necessary, for example as a result of student feedback, Professional Statutory and Regulatory Bodies' (PSRB) requirements, staff changes, and new research.
Undergraduate Degree: 2:1 (Hons) degree (UK or equivalent) in an appropriate discipline.
If you have studied outside of the UK, you can check your qualifications here: International Qualifications
English Language: IELTS - Overall score of at least 6.5, with no individual element below 5.5
We consider tests from other providers, which can be found here: English language requirements
If your score is below our requirements we may consider you for one of our pre-sessional English language programmes
Pre-sessional English language programmes available:
4 Week Overall score of at least 6.0, with no individual element below 5.5
10 Week Overall score of at least 5.5, with at least 5.5 in writing and no individual element below 5.0
Funding: All applicants should consult our information on Fees and Funding; Faculty Scholarships and Funding; Law School Fees and Funding
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