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Methods of research for criminology

Offer semester
1st semester

Lecture time
Friday 6.30pm – 10.00pm

Lecture venue
CPD-G.02 (KB111 in the week of 7-13 Oct)

Course description

A robust understanding of the principles and practice of social research methods is central to postgraduate-level study in criminology. An ability to critically analyse previous academic research, identify gaps in the literature, and design novel and rigorous new studies are vital to a criminologists tool-kit – these skills form a foundation for a deeper knowledge and understanding of the discipline.

In this course, students will learn core concepts and skills in research methods, and become equipped with the skills to pursue independent study.

Course learning outcomes

By the end of this programme, students should be able to:

1. Identify and discuss the strengths and limitations of diverse methodological approaches;
2. As a group, define a research problem and devise an appropriate methodological strategy;
3. Devise an interview schedule and carry out basic transcription and analysis;
4. Critically evaluate the relative strengths and weaknesses of published research, including discussion of ethical and political issues.


Interview Project – 3,000 words, excluding references and appendices40%
Group Project30%

Recommended reading

Haynes, A. S., Derrick, G. E., Chapman, S., Redman, S., Hall, W. D., Gillespie, J., & Sturk, H. (2011). From “our world” to the “real world”: Exploring the views and behaviour of policy-influential Australian public health researchers. Social Science & Medicine, 72(7), 1047-1055.

Course co-ordinator and teachers

Student view

It has been a delightful experience to learn about Criminology research methods through vivid examples and interesting opportunities provided by this course.

– Joyce Lam, Year 1 MSocSc Criminology student