You are required to submit TWO 2000 word essay:
ONE 2000 word research proposal (+/10%) and ONE 2000 word small scale study (+/10%, You must also complete the ethics component
(A) Research Proposals 2000 words in total
2,000 words in total, a large part of this will be found in the literature review, design and methods,
and ethics sections. Individual proposals will vary in the emphasis given to particular parts of the
proposal methodology and ethics, for example. Word totals are thus expressed as a guideline about
how to apportion your efforts. The headings below provide a structure for how you will present your
proposal. Work that is totally literature based will have more written under ‘previous work’. You may
wish to have more emphasis on theory and how this has shaped what has been written in your
chosen area. Instead of ‘design and methods’ you could detail how you are going to do the full
search for the thesis i.e. key words, bibliographic databases, journals, any specialist libraries and so
Title – brief, selfexplanatory. Can be in the form of a question to be answered.
Table of content – containing an updated list of various headings that structure your work. You can
type table of contents entries and use tabs to get the dotted lines, or dot leaders, between each entry
and its page number. For a faster way to create a table of contents, see Create a table of contents
Summary – highlights key references; the interest/importance and relevance of the chosen topic to
your wider field of study; methodology of your proposed study (150 words maximum)
Aims – clear and succinct. Each aim should be no more than a sentence. Stick to one or two aims
only. The aim(s) reframe the title/overall purpose of the research.
Objectives – clear and succinct. Each objective should be no more than a sentence. You can have a
number of objectives which will help you fulfil your aim(s).
Why is this research worth doing? – establish the importance/timeliness/relevance of your proposed
research area (150 words maximum).
Previous work (initial literature review) – starts either with seminal studies which perhaps brought the
issue to the public attention or with a broad sweep about the breadth of work in the field and what is
already well established, funnelling down to your specific topic area, and relevance of your research.
You might expect to have started your initial review by identifying at least 10 relevant studies –
maybe many more (depending on the field you have chosen) at this stage. If there appears to be no
literature on your topic, either you have not searched thoroughly enough or you have not made the
connections to relevant literature, by defining your topic too narrowly. Literature reviews will vary in
the emphasis they give to theory in the chosen area (350 words maximum)
Design and methods – If you are doing primary data collection clearly specify what type of research
design you propose and the specific method(s) of data collection. If you are doing literaturebased
research specify clearly how you will go about your search. If you are analysing other forms of
secondary data, highlight this and explain how you will analyse this data (450 words maximum).
Ethics – You must fully explore the Assessment Information section on Moodle – and address all 12
points raised under Ethical consideration – Part 2 (200 words). Complete Ethical consideration – Part
2 form and send this attached to your proposal as an Appendix. This is a PASS/FAIL component of
this assessment so it must be completed.
Note: This Ethics component is meant as an exercise and as such it does NOT constitute the formal
application for ethical opinion needed for your dissertation project at Level 6. You will need to seek
further guidance from your dissertation supervisor, when allocated at Level 6, to find out more about
the formal application.
Timetable specify month and year(s) and hours/days available for the research. (Half a side of A4
maximum – diagrams are fine)
Resources with costs – some research may cost very little apart from your time. But remember
postage and phone calls as well as travel. You may need to travel to use a specialist library and buy
books and so on. (Half a side A4 is enough – a table itemising any resources needed) The
Applicant – brief CV (half a side A4 maximum). Treat this as a CV in support of you conducting the
proposed research: note qualifications and relevant work experience. (just leave it blank which I can
just put myself)
Reference list – should include all references and sources used to support your work. This must be
done using the recommended APA 6th Edition style.
(B) Research Study 2000 words in total
Write a report based on the analysis of crime, justice or security statistics on a topic that interests you
(or may form the basis of your future dissertation). See sites linked to the Moodle unit site (Home
Office, National Statistics, Ministry of Justice or Police). You can also source statistics from within
Conduct a content analysis of newspaper reports on a topic that interests you (or may form the basis
of your future dissertation).
Structure the presentation of your study using the subheadings provided below. The questions and
comments within each subheading are there to remind you of the things you need to cover in each
Title: “An analysis of statistics on XXXXXX”
Locate tables of statistics from one of the government sites such as: Home Office, National Statistics,
Ministry of Justice or Police. OR From within your organisation.
(1) Crime, Justice, Risk and Security Statistics
Introduce the issue of using crime, justice, risk and security statistics in research and the academic
debates about this.
Is the data ‘official’ or organisational (i.e. collected on processes and practices within the system,
convictions, numbers in prison) or is it a ‘selfreport’ survey data (like the British Crime Survey, now
known as the Crime Survey for England and Wales)?
b) Data source
Explain the source and coverage of the statistics presented for the purposes of the assignment and
by whom they were collected.
Make clear whether your data is international, national or local.
Is the data based on a sample? If so, what kind of sample?
c) Data presentation
Present the statistics in their original form (as an appendix to the report if complex).
Choose ways of clarifying/ simplifying the statistics and present the data using graphs.
d) Data explanation and discussion
Summarise and explain what the analysis of statistics appears to show about your chosen topic.
e) Evaluation and conclusions
Evaluate the use of the analysis of the statistics you have chosen as a way of researching the topic.
Outline any problems in the nature of the data collected.
Are there any ambiguities in the data?
How does the data represent the scale or nature of the issue shown in the statistics?
What can you conclude from your analysis?
References Remember to use supporting references from academic texts on crime statistics and
secondary data in research: especially in sections a, b and e.
(2) Content analysis of newspaper reporting Chose any issue to do with crime, risk, security or fraud (e.g. the way a specific case is reported, a
particular issue such as drugs or crime statistics in general) and analyse the way newspapers present
You can locate a wide range of newspapers in Nexis UK on the library website
The following is a guide to how you might begin to go about the process of doing content analysis.
Look also at the section on content analysis on the unit site and follow up on how research using
content analysis has been written up.
The sample: date or time period, names of newspapers (think about the different slants taken;
audiences targeted), key words used in the search and so on. Number of articles identified. When
analysing the content of articles these are some questions to consider: Title: What was the title given
to the article? What did this suggest? Do the titles from different newspapers give the same/different
messages? Location and coverage: Where in the newspaper was this article located? (E.g. headlinefront
page or buried somewhere in the middle of the paper) How many column inches are devoted to
the news item in each paper? How does this compare to other newspapers? You will need to adapt
this part of your analysis if you use newspaper websites and databases – they indicate length of
article but don’t always have an illustration or indicate location in the newspaper.
Content: Are factual details the same in each paper? Are the same or different quotes used? Is an
illustration used? Is the illustration the same / different / not used in some accounts? Would you
come to the same or different conclusions about what happened/ what the issue is after reading
these two accounts? What themes can you identify? Note the use of language and so on. Notice too
how the issue or problem is ‘constructed’ by the media, consider whether this is problematic,
supported by reliable ‘evidence’ and so on. Analysis: Create themes or categories from your data.
Alternatively you could create a few questions that will guide your analysis. Think about how you
present some of your analysis in summary forms – graphs, tables, diagrams. Don’t just count up
categories and describe the content. Go a stage further and identify themes that are debated as
crime, justice and security issues. Also make sure you look at the advice given about conducting
content analysis in the unit text, section on the unit site, as well as the reading list for the unit.
Write a report on your research using the following format:
Title: “Content Analysis of XXXXXX”
What is content analysis?
Make clear whether your analysis is primarily quantitative or qualitative in nature; or, whether you
are interested in both types of data in your analysis.
b) Data collection
Explain why and how the topic/case was selected.
State the timescale of the search (if relevant) as part of your explanation about the nature of the
sample why particular newspapers were used – popular and quality; political slant and so on.
Outline how the data was collated and analysed (ie how you used content analysis).
c) Data presentation
Present a summary of the content analysis.
Decide the extent to which any quantification of the data is important in the type of content
analysis you have chosen to do.
This can be done by using graphs, tables or diagrams.
d) Data explanation and discussion
Summarise and explain what the content analysis appears to show on your chosen topic.
e) Evaluation and conclusions
Evaluate the use of content analysis as a way of researching the topic.
What did you find out about newspaper reporting on the topic you chose?
Is this ‘construction’ of the issue (or topic) problematic in any way?
Remember to use supporting references from academic texts on crime statistics and secondary data in
research: especially in sections a, b and e.
Must include reference list is below
Doing criminological research Davies, Pamela, Francis, Peter, Jupp, Victor, 2011
Data collection and analysis Sapsford, Roger, Jupp, Victor, 2006
Methods of criminological research Jupp, Victor, 1989
Real world research: a resource for users of social research methods in applied settings
Colin Robson, Kieran McCartan, 2016
The Oxford Handbook of Criminology Maguire, Mike, Morgan, Rodney, Reiner, Robert,
Doing your research project: a guide for firsttime researchers in education, health and
social science Bell, Judith, ebrary, Inc, 2010
Researching criminology Crow, Iain, Semmens, Natasha, ebrary, Inc, c2008
The good research guide: for smallscale social research projects Denscombe, Martyn,
ebrary, Inc, 2010
A gentle guide to research methods Rugg, Gordon, Petre, Marian, ebrary, Inc, 2007
The researcher’s toolkit: the complete guide to practitioner research Wilkinson, David,
ebrary, Inc, 2000
21st century criminology: a reference handbook Miller, J. Mitchell, Credo Reference (Firm)
Criminal visions: media representations of crime and justice Mason, Paul, ebrary, Inc, 2003
Criminological research: understanding qualitative methods Noaks, Lesley, Wincup,
Emma, ebrary, Inc, 2004
Danger in the field: risk and ethics in social research Linkogle, Stephanie, LeeTreweek,
Geraldine, ebrary, Inc, 2000