Comparative Social Policy - SOCI8720

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Module delivery information

Location Term Level1 Credits (ECTS)2 Current Convenor3 2024 to 2025
Autumn Term 7 20 (10) Jeremy Kendall checkmark-circle


This module provides practical example of the theories, logics and methods that underpin criminological research. As such, students will learn about the principles involved in designing, carrying out and interpreting research. The module focuses on the relationship between empirical data (what is observed/measured in the 'real world') and the development of theory (academic thought). Students are encouraged to learn how to ask appropriate criminological questions and to design studies which draw on the most appropriate methods to answer them. These methods include both primary empirical work (quantitative and qualitative) and secondary work (e.g. dataset analysis, literature analysis). The module thus is also concerned with how data can be interpreted and analysed. Beyond equipping students with intellectual and practical skills in the field of criminological research, the module fosters a capacity to critically evaluate research in general.


Contact hours

Total contact hours: 22
Private study hours: 178
Total study hours: 200


Criminology MA
Criminology with a term Abroad MA
Two year Master's in Criminology MA

Method of assessment

Main assessment methods

Coursework – essay (5000 words) – 100%

Reassessment methods

100% coursework.

Indicative reading

Jupp, V., Davies, P. and Francis, P. (2011), Doing Criminological Research (2nd edition),
London: Sage.
Wincup, E. ( 2017), Criminological Research: Understanding
Qualitative Methods (2nd edition) London: Sage.
May, T. (2011), Social Research: Issues, Methods and Process (4th edition), Maidenhead:
Open University Press.
Young, J. (2011), The Criminological Imagination, London: Polity Press.

See the library reading list for this module (Canterbury)

Learning outcomes

The intended subject specific learning outcomes.
On successfully completing the module students will be able to:

8.1 Critically engage with literature on methods and methodologies, including examples of empirical research based on a range of methods.
8.2 Evaluate and critique research studies which make use of both quantitative and qualitative research methods.
8.3 Extensively discuss, with reference to practical examples, the problems in using official statistics.
8.4 Demonstrate a substantial knowledge about a variety of research methods and how they have been used by criminologists and possess
familiarity with the strengths and weaknesses of qualitative and quantitative research.

The intended generic learning outcomes.
On successfully completing the module students will be able to:

9.1 Be aware of the ethical issues in social science research
9.2 Evaluate complex methodologies
9.3 Demonstrate sophisticated skills in communication and in utilization of research and empirical data
9.4 Critically synthesise the theoretical contribution of different schools and disciplines of enquiry


  1. Credit level 7. Undergraduate or postgraduate masters level module.
  2. ECTS credits are recognised throughout the EU and allow you to transfer credit easily from one university to another.
  3. The named convenor is the convenor for the current academic session.
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