Quantitative Research: Crime and Inequality Across the Life Course

The details
Sociology and Criminology
Colchester Campus
Undergraduate: Level 5
Monday 13 January 2025
Friday 21 March 2025
10 May 2024


Requisites for this module
SC202 or GV207


SC385, SC830

Key module for

BSC L315 Sociology (Applied Quantitative Research),
BSC L316 Sociology (Applied Quantitative Research) (Including Year Abroad),
BSC L317 Sociology (Applied Quantitative Research) (Including Placement Year),
BSC L310 Sociology with Data Science,
BSC L311 Sociology with Data Science (including Year Abroad),
BSC L312 Sociology with Data Science (including Placement Year),
BSC L313 Sociology with Data Science (Including foundation Year)

Module description

This module is for curious students asking themselves why do we need a course in statistics? The answer is simple: to make complex information understandable using a common language to systematise and report results! Quantitative Research: Crime and Inequality Across the Life Course will help resolute minds who want to gain a basic understanding of the statistical methods used in the study of inequality, crime and its associated subjects.

The study of crime and inequalities is broad and occupies a central role in social science research, encompassing studies of crime and income and wealth inequality, occupational and class hierarchies, inequality of educational opportunity, poverty, social mobility between and within generations, gender and race-ethnic inequality, and the consequences of criminal trajectories and medical illnesses.

Module aims

The aims of the module are:

  • To provide students with a substantive understanding of fundamental principles to apply to different types of statistics in the field of social inequalities and criminological research.

  • To enable students to develop an improved ability to take large bodies of information and summarize them critically and to interpret quantitative evidence.

  • To provide students with experience in formulating research questions and testable hypotheses and applying these to real data

Module learning outcomes

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

  1. Demonstrate a substantive understanding of key theoretical methodological work in the field of inequalities, crime and quantitative methods for research.

  2. Have an improved ability to critically read scientific journal articles and to interpret quantitative evidence.

  3. Demonstrate the ability to critically examine the link between theoretical framework, research questions, data choice, and modelling strategy.

  4. Formulate research questions and testable hypotheses and apply these to real data.

Module information

In this module student will pay particular attention to social stratification and the life course perspective of criminal offenders, victims, and society. Social stratification is the unequal distribution of scarce resources, and of the processes by which these resources are allocated to individuals, groups, and social positions. We will be asking how experiences in early life influence later events and choices for offenders, victims, and other parties, affect their access to education, work opportunities, and long-term health conditions.

Students in this module will be exposed to a selective introduction to the study of statistics in aspects of stratification, crime and victimization, and also on the national institutions that engage in crime and sociodemographic reporting such as police, courts, and prison data collection systems. We will pay particular attention to the problem-solving perspective of dealing with quantitative data; in other words, how researchers approach statistics examining the logics behind it with as little fear as possible. 

The course will examine specific examples of quantitative research, covering the concepts, theories, facts, and methods of analysis used by social scientists to understand basic principles across statistical techniques. The examples are not meant to provide a comprehensive overview, but rather to illustrate prominent questions in the field and how researchers go about answering them.

In general, the module relies on a building-block approach, meaning that each teaching week helps to prepare the student for the sessions that follow. It also means that the level of sophistication of the course increases as the year progresses. In the teaching weeks that follow, students will examine three types of statistics used in criminological research: descriptive statistics, inferential or inductive statistics, and multivariate statistics.

After the introductory week, this course is divided into eight sections, each devoted to providing students with an accessible, yet sophisticated understanding of statistics that can be used to examine real-life social science problems with popular statistical software programs.

This module is part of the Q-Step pathway. Q-Step is an award which you can gain simply by enrolling on specific modules and will signal to employers your capability in quantitative research. Learn more about the Q-Step pathway and enhance your degree now.

Learning and teaching methods

This module will be delivered via;

  • One 1-hour lecture each week.
  • One 2-hour lab session each week.


This module does not appear to have a published bibliography for this year.

Assessment items, weightings and deadlines

Coursework / exam Description Deadline Coursework weighting
Coursework   Report 1    20% 
Coursework   Report 2    30% 
Coursework   Report 3    50% 

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 Carlos Solar, email:
Dr Carlos Solar
Email: socugrad



External examiner

Dr Emily Gray
University of Warwick
Assistant Professor of Criminology
Available via Moodle
Of 18 hours, 0 (0%) hours available to students:
18 hours not recorded due to service coverage or fault;
0 hours not recorded due to opt-out by lecturer(s).


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.

Disclaimer: The University makes every effort to ensure that this information on its Module Directory is accurate and up-to-date. Exceptionally it can be necessary to make changes, for example to programmes, modules, facilities or fees. Examples of such reasons might include a change of law or regulatory requirements, industrial action, lack of demand, departure of key personnel, change in government policy, or withdrawal/reduction of funding. Changes to modules may for example consist of variations to the content and method of delivery or assessment of modules and other services, to discontinue modules and other services and to merge or combine modules. The University will endeavour to keep such changes to a minimum, and will also keep students informed appropriately by updating our programme specifications and module directory.

The full Procedures, Rules and Regulations of the University governing how it operates are set out in the Charter, Statutes and Ordinances and in the University Regulations, Policy and Procedures.