Researching the Real World: Qualitative Approaches to Studying Crime and Society

The details
Sociology and Criminology
Colchester Campus
Undergraduate: Level 5
Thursday 03 October 2024
Friday 10 January 2025
10 May 2024


Requisites for this module


SC831, SC832

Key module for

BA LL36 Social Anthropology,
BA LL3P Social Anthropology (Including Year Abroad),
BA LL6P Social Anthropology (Including Placement Year),
BA LL37 Social Anthropology with Human Rights,
BA LL38 Social Anthropology with Human Rights (Including Year Abroad),
BA LL39 Social Anthropology with Human Rights (Including Placement Year)

Module description

This module introduces students to some of the methods commonly used in sociological research for the collection and analysis of qualitative data. In classes they will also be encouraged to think about and discuss the issues introduced in the lectures and learn some practical skills in qualitative data collection.

Module aims

The aims of this module are:

  • To develop skills that are transferable to their undergraduate project, the labour market, or postgraduate work.

  • To appreciate more how sociologists go about applying their skills and knowledge to the empirical and theoretical investigation of issues they study.

Module learning outcomes

By the end of this module, students will be expected to be able to:

  1. Understand the principles underlying qualitative approaches to sociology

  2. Locate and collect qualitative data.

  3. Develop research questions and choose an appropriate methodology to explore them

  4. Appreciate ethical issues affecting research in general, and potentially affecting your own research

  5. Analyse qualitative data in a systematic and transparent way.

Module information

Weekly topics will be detailed in the Module Outline posted on Moodle.

Learning and teaching methods

This module will be delivered via a mix of participatory lectures(1 hour) and smaller class groups (1 hour) each week, where students will practice different research methods.

The module outline includes a statement about respect for all being a necessary condition of classroom engagement. Class teachers are encouraged to invite students to share their preferred pronouns if they wish to do so. All learning materials are available online, including lectures slides, reading materials, and module information.


The above list is indicative of the essential reading for the course.
The library makes provision for all reading list items, with digital provision where possible, and these resources are shared between students.
Further reading can be obtained from this module's reading list.

Assessment items, weightings and deadlines

Coursework / exam Description Deadline Coursework weighting
Coursework   Moodle Quiz - week 7    10% 
Coursework   Moodle Quiz - Week 10    10% 
Coursework   Research Topic Summary    10% 
Coursework   Qualitative Research Report    70% 

Exam format definitions

  • Remote, open book: Your exam will take place remotely via an online learning platform. You may refer to any physical or electronic materials during the exam.
  • In-person, open book: Your exam will take place on campus under invigilation. You may refer to any physical materials such as paper study notes or a textbook during the exam. Electronic devices may not be used in the exam.
  • In-person, open book (restricted): The exam will take place on campus under invigilation. You may refer only to specific physical materials such as a named textbook during the exam. Permitted materials will be specified by your department. Electronic devices may not be used in the exam.
  • In-person, closed book: The exam will take place on campus under invigilation. You may not refer to any physical materials or electronic devices during the exam. There may be times when a paper dictionary, for example, may be permitted in an otherwise closed book exam. Any exceptions will be specified by your department.

Your department will provide further guidance before your exams.

Overall assessment

Coursework Exam
100% 0%


Coursework Exam
100% 0%
Module supervisor and teaching staff
Dr Alejandra Diaz De Leon, email:
Dr Alejandra Diaz De Leon



External examiner

No external examiner information available for this module.
Available via Moodle
No lecture recording information available for this module.


Further information
Sociology and Criminology

* Please note: due to differing publication schedules, items marked with an asterisk (*) base their information upon the previous academic year.

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