Methods of research for criminology

Offer semester
1st semester

Lecture time
Wednesday 18:30 – 21:20

Lecture venue

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 and Report40%
Group Presentation – Group Mark20%
Group Presentation – Individual Mark10%

Required reading

Each week, there will typically be two required readings that students must read in preparation (e.g. two journal articles). The required readings for this course are principally drawn from a range of journal articles and book chapters. PDFs of all required readings will be available online for students, students are not required to purchase any reading materials for this course.

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