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SP30360: Criminology dissertation

[Page last updated: 01 August 2022]

Academic Year: 2022/23
Owning Department/School: Department of Social & Policy Sciences
Credits: 18 [equivalent to 36 CATS credits]
Notional Study Hours: 360
Level: Honours (FHEQ level 6)
Academic Year
Assessment Summary: CW 10%, DS 90%
Assessment Detail:
  • Synopsis 10% (CW 10%)
  • Dissertation 90% (DS 90%)
Supplementary Assessment:
Like-for-like reassessment (where allowed by programme regulations)
Learning Outcomes: On successful completion of this unit students will be able to:
* Identify a relevant criminological research topic and design a project that meets the study's research aims;
* Select appropriate methods, conceptual/theoretical framework, and analytical tools to undertake the project;
* Analyse, synthesise, and critically evaluate relevant sources of evidence, knowledge, and/or understanding;
* Produce a dissertation in an appropriate academic style, systematically and coherently organised.

Aims: The core aim of the dissertation is for students to design and undertake their own criminological project, culminating in a coherent, long-form piece of writing comprised of a set of interrelated components. This capstone project requires students to draw upon the skills and knowledge acquired during their first and second years of study that contributes to understanding within criminology and/or criminal justice. Supported by an academic supervisor, students will independently identify a relevant research question, select an appropriate research design, methods, and analytical approach to tackle that question, and marshall and critically evaluate relevant material (theoretical, conceptual, and/or empirical).

* Identify, describe and critically evaluate key concepts and theories
* Critically analyse the relationship between crime and migration
* Critically analyse the relationship between criminal justice and migration control
* Critically assess the differential impact of migration on different groups
* Critically evaluating the available academic literature from a range of disciplines
* Describe and critically evaluate the role of key institutions in the practice of border criminology
* Writing clearly and concisely
* Constructing a persuasive argument
* Planning, preparing and drafting a time bound written answer
* Use of appropriate IT software to prepare the assessment.

Content: Students will design, independently research and write a 10,000 word dissertation. This would normally include desk-based research (such as a literature review) but could also include empirical research as appropriate to the project and research questions. Students will focus on dissertations of criminological enquiry, but may do so from an inter-disciplinary or multi-disciplinary perspective.

Programme availability:

SP30360 is Compulsory on the following programmes:

Department of Social & Policy Sciences


  • This unit catalogue is applicable for the 2022/23 academic year only. Students continuing their studies into 2023/24 and beyond should not assume that this unit will be available in future years in the format displayed here for 2022/23.
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