Taught course

Social Research Methods (Criminology)

Durham University · School of Applied Social Sciences

Entry requirements

Normally an upper second class honours degree (2:1) or equivalent. English Language requirements Please check requirements for your subject and level of study.

Months of entry


Course content

The programme covers conceptual and practical underpinnings and implications of research, looking at various research techniques and the rationale behind them. It will enable you to develop essential skills in both quantitative and qualitative work and to apply those skills to specific criminological issues.

Please note that this course is currently a recognised pathway within the ESRC Doctoral Training Centre.

Course modules

In previous years, typical modules offered were:

Perspectives on Social Research (15 credits)
  • Introduction to social scientific research
  • Establishing cause and interpreting meaning in social sciences
  • Essentials of quantitative and qualitative research in the social sciences.
Statistical Exploration and Reasoning (15 Credits)
  • Spreadsheets and data analysis
  • Populations, sample data and sampling distributions
  • Point estimates and confidence intervals
  • Significance tests, cross-tabulation, and Chi-Square tests
  • Correlation and linear regression.
Research Design and Process (15 credits)
  • Formulating research questions
  • Evaluating and developing a research proposal
  • Reviewing relevant literature
  • Experimental vs. observational studies
  • Sampling and selecting respondents.
Qualitative Research Methods in Social Science (15 credits)
  • Introduction to theory and research practice in qualitative methods
  • Ethnography and grounded theory
  • Group discussions
  • Data analysis and management processes.
Quantitative Research Methods in Social Science (15 credits)
  • Survey data versus experimental data
  • Sampling and sample design, questionnaire design
  • Numerical taxonomy and cluster analysis in practice
  • Methods for representing complex systems.
Theorising Crime and Criminal Justice (30 credits)
  • Key criminological theories and concepts
  • Theory and practice of criminal justice
  • Application of theories and concepts to historical and contemporary issues and debates
  • Critical evaluation of criminological theories, evidence, practice and policy.
Policy Related and Evaluation Research (15 credits)
  • Relationship between theory and empirical research in evaluation
  • Defining and measuring outcomes
  • Case study analysis
  • Poster presentation and participatory evaluation.
Dissertation (60 credits)
  • 15,000 word Criminology dissertation based on a supervised criminological research project.

Information for international students

English Language requirements Please check requirements for your subject and level of study.

Fees and funding

UK students
International students

Scholarships and funding


Qualification and course duration


full time
12 months
part time
24 months

Course contact details

School of Applied Social Sciences
+44 (0)191 334 1505