30 credits at level HE7
This module aims to:
1. Develop the skills of review, design and evaluation in areas of social research.
2. Explore the philosophical and ethical aspects of different methodological approaches to the study of social problems.
3. Develop skills in relation to the deployment of quantitative and qualitative analyses of social science data in applied contexts.
Part 1: Empirical Enquiry and Quantitative Methods
Approaches to Social Research: What is the purpose of social research in applied criminology? Definitions, theoretical approaches and research questions.
Social Research in Practice: How does the theory of social research work in Practice? e.g. time management, ethics and sampling. Problems of studying deviant populations.
Nature of Quantitative Research: What is the purpose of quantitative research in applied fields? Descriptive vs. Inferential statistics, causality, validity and reliability.
Questionnaire & Survey Design: How to collect crime-related data using surveys. Open vs. Closed questions, question wording, types of scales.
Quantitative Data Analysis: What does my data tell me? Types of data, describing data, inferential techniques. Examples will be used from criminological studies.
Using SPSS: Details using SPSS to analyse quantitative data. Includes hands on analysis of large scale dataset, e.g. British Crime Survey.
Part 2: Qualitative Methods and Social Contexts
Nature of Qualitative Research: What is the purpose of qualitative research in applied fields? Historical development, accepted techniques and examples of crime-related contexts, e.g. deviancy, courtroom, offenders, victims, police.
Interviewing & Focus Groups: Examines appropriate ways of interviewing crime-related samples with guidance on question construction & sampling; crime interview extracts (individual or focus groups) from, e.g. burglars, criminal women, police.
Qualitative Data Analysis: How is qualitative data coded, analysed and reported? Practical work relating to Framework Analysis in policy areas; use of computer packages, e.g. NUDIST, CAQDAS.
Action Research: Examines the origins, characteristics, and purposes of Action Research in relation to crime & community, e.g. street sex workers, trans-national refugees, offending women.
Evaluation Studies: What is the meaning of evaluation in crime/justice contexts? An exploration of techniques, problems & issues in relation to, e.g. crime prevention projects, substance abuse schemes, truancy, offender programmes.
Applied Case Studies: Examines the rationales for, and utility of, in-depth illustrative case studies, e.g. life histories, intervention programme reports, investigatory inquiries in crime & justice areas.
Part 3: Examples of Real World Research in Applied Criminology: offender intervention programmes, youth court schemes, community safety initiatives, fear of crime surveys. These guest sessions will be informed by practitioner-led research seminars in specific applied areas of criminology.
This module comprises three essential parts: Part 1 is concerned with paradigmatic approaches to social research and with an examination of different methodological strategies for obtaining social data within an appropriate ethical framework. There is then an emphasis on developing the compeencies of the student in the production and analysis of quantitative data. Part 2 is concerned with qualitative research methods and evaluation techniques. Part 3 will utilise real-world research through guest seminars. Teaching throughout the module will take the form of lectures, workshops and seminars. Assessment will give a 50% weighting to each of two assignments from Parts 1 & 2.
when you have successfully completed this module you will:
to demonstrate that you have achieved the learning outcome you will:
|1.||Be able to design a research proposal to a professional standard, draw on appropriate conceptual frameworks and utilise appropriate methodologies.||Produce a research proposal which details appropriate design of an applied research question, showing ethical awareness and proficient communication|
|2.||Demonstrate competencies in the use of evaluation criteria with regard to proposed and published empirical research.||Produce a research proposal and research report which demonstrate an evaluative approach towards the generation and interpretation of data.|
|3.||Understand and be able to use basic techniques of data analysis in relation to real world social problems.||Produce a research report which details appropriate analytic and data-handling skills, demonstrates inferential reasoning and is communicated proficiently.|
Your achievement of the learning outcomes for this module will be tested as follows:
|Description||A research proposal which is designed to address a social problem pertaining to crime which will consist of: a brief review of the issue and any relevant research literature; the formulation of appropriate research questions; a methodological section giving a description and rationale for the use of specific methods/techniques, design and analysis; construction of materials (e.g. interview schedule, survey questions); statement of appropriate ethical precautions.||A research report of a given mixed-methods data set from a study in applied criminology, which will involve an analysis of the results using appropriate techniques and a concise discussion section.|
Before taking this module you must have successfully completed the following:
and/or be taking the following corequisite modules:
You cannot take this module if you are taking or have taken:
Bryman, A. (2006) 'Social Research Methods', 2nd ed. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Creswell, J. W. (2002) 'Research Design: Qualitative, Quantitative and Mixed Methods Approaches', 2nd ed. London: Sage.
Crow, I. & Semmens, N. (2008) 'Researching Criminology'. Maidenhead, Berkshire: Open University Press.
Field, A. (2005) 'Discovering statistics using SPSS for Windows: Advanced techniques for the beginner, 2nd ed. London: Sage.
Fink, A. (1995) 'How to Analyse Survey Data'. London: Sage.
Gilbert, N. (ed) (2001) 'Researching Social Life'. London: Sage.
Government Social Research Unit (2007). The Magenta Book: Guidance notes for Policy Evaluation and Analysis. Available online: http://www.nationalschool.gov.uk/policyhub/magenta_book/ (accessed 04/03/09).
Hart, C. (1998) 'Doing a Literature Review: Releasing the Social Science Research Imagination'. London: Sage.
Jupp, V; Davies, P. & Francis, P. (eds) (2000) 'Doing Criminological Research'. London: Sage.
King, R. D. & Wincup, E. (2000) 'Doing Research on Crime & Justice'. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Maxfield, M. G. & Babbie, E. (2006) 'Basics of Research Methods for Criminal Justice and Criminology'. Thomson Wadsworth.
Noakes, L. & Wincup, E. (eds) (2004) 'Criminological Research: Understanding Qualitative Methods'. London: Sage.
O'Leary, Z. (2004) 'The Essential Guide to Doing Research'. London: Sage.
Oppenheim, A. N. (2000) 'Questionnaire Design, Interviewing and Attitude Measurement'. London: Continuum.
Pawson, R. & Tilley, N. (1997) 'Realistic Evaluation'. London: Sage.
Robson, C. (2002) 'Real World Research', 2nd ed. Oxford: Blackwell Publishing.
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