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MSc/ Diploma in Social Science Research Methods (Criminology)

Criminology Pathway Information

The criminology pathway through the Social Research Methods MSc is suitable for two groups of people:

  • People, especially those wishing to embark on careers in the criminal justice system or related profession, who want to develop their understanding of and skills in criminological research
  • Those planning to undertake a PhD on a criminology related topic

In addition to core research methods modules that are taken by all students on the MSc in Social Science Research Methods, there are five 10-credit modules to be chosen as specialist for the criminology pathway. All criminology pathway students are required to take Criminological Theory, Explaining Trends and Patterns of Crime and Key Issues in Policing Research. Students also then choose 20 credits’ worth of modules, all designed to open up specific areas of expertise and understanding relevant for criminological research. These include a range of module types:

* Substantive options that cover specialist criminological topics (e.g. Penal Theory and Practice; Law and Criminal Process);

* Specialist methodological modules, designed to extend understanding and expertise in specific areas of methodology (e.g. Methods and Evidenced Based Policy and Practice in Community Safety and Youth Justice; Interviews and Interviewing; Discourse and Conversational Analysis);

Option choices are made in discussion with personal tutors or supervisors, with specific reference to the proposed topics of study. Most are 10-credit modules, but there are also a few worth 20 credits. It is quite likely that taking a 20 credit module would mean having a heavier assessment load in one semester than the other.

In order to have meaningful contact with criminological research being conducted by staff in the school, students will be linked to the Centre for Crime, Law and Justice. Students can also join other research groups within the school that cover various research interest: childhood; health and society; risk, interaction and organisation; sexualities and gender (please see school website for an up-to-date list).

Students will be supervised by academic staff that have extensive experience of funded research for local and national government and voluntary sector bodies, as well as experience of research collaboration with local and national criminal justice organisations and good links with local policy-makers and practitioners. These staff members are actively involved in disseminating criminological research via publications in books, academic and practitioner journals and presentations at conferences. Several staff members have been involved in editing journals related to criminology (Criminology and Criminal Justice and Policing and Society). 

For further information please contact Dr Matthew Williams: WilliamsM7@cardiff.ac.uk.