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Course summary

This course provides you with expert training in the latest methods and approaches used in criminological research. We're ranked 1st in Scotland and Top 10 in the UK for Criminology (Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide 2022). We cover the principles of collecting, analysing and reporting on qualitative and quantitative data whilst also taking account of ethics, reliability and validity. You’ll critically examine the theoretical foundations that underpin criminology and socio-legal research, as well as exploring issues with comparative research and developing an understanding of the relationship between criminological research and policymaking. The course is supported by staff from the Scottish Centre for Crime and Criminal Justice Research – a multi-university body with international influence and links to academics, policymakers and practitioners around the world. The course is recognised by the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) as meeting the research training guidelines for undertaking a PhD in the social sciences.


The compulsory modules are: The nature of social enquiry; research design and process; quantitative data analysis; qualitative data analysis; criminological perspectives; criminalisation, social control and human rights; research methods in criminology and socio-legal studies. You must also take one further module from a list including the following: Research placement; advanced quantitative data analysis; advanced qualitative data analysis; policy analysis and evaluation research; discourse analysis. In addition to the above modules, MRes students will complete the following: Research dissertation - MRes students must undertake an original social science research study and complete a research dissertation with academic supervision.

Assessment method

Assesment is based on: Essays, critical review essays, book reviews, research proposals, a computer lab-based assessment for quantitative data analysis, group project reports and the research dissertation.

Entry requirements

A minimum of a 2nd Class Honours degree (2.1 preferred) or equivalent in a relevant subject. Applicants without these formal qualifications but with significant appropriate/relevant work/life experience are encouraged to apply.

Fees and funding

Tuition fees

No fee information has been provided for this course

Additional fee information

for further information on course costs, please refer to the University website;

Sponsorship information

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Criminological Research at University of Stirling - UCAS