Research Project: Sociology

The details
Sociology and Criminology
Colchester Campus
Full Year
Undergraduate: Level 6
Thursday 03 October 2024
Friday 27 June 2025
10 June 2024


Requisites for this module
SC203 or SC202 or SC207 or SC277
EC831, GV831, SC830, SC832



Key module for

BA MV91 History and Criminology,
BA MV92 History and Criminology (Including Placement Year),
BA MV98 History and Criminology (Including Foundation Year),
BA MV9C History and Criminology (Including Year Abroad),
BA LV31 History and Sociology,
BA LV32 History and Sociology (Including Placement Year),
BA LV38 History and Sociology (Including Foundation Year),
BA LV3C History and Sociology (Including Year Abroad)

Module description

Many undergraduates in the Department of Sociology at Essex carry out a research project in the final year of their degree. The third-year project offers you the opportunity to focus on a topic of your choice that relates broadly to your degree course. You will find that this can be an extremely worthwhile learning experience. Carrying out a project improves your employability skills, and can be a springboard to postgraduate study.
The project can take a variety of forms ranging from empirical research using methods such as surveys, questionnaires, interviews and content analysis to library based theoretical work. Unlike other assignments, it involves you conducting and writing-up a piece of individual, autonomously designed research.

The undergraduate sociology project is the equivalent of one full year module in your degree course and must be between 10,000 and 12,000 words in length. It runs in parallel with your other third year modules - although some of you may choose to begin work on your project during the summer term following your second year.

While you will receive guidance from the project director and your supervisor, ultimately the success of your research will depend on the way in which you develop your ideas and plan and execute your project.

While you will receive guidance from the project director and your supervisor, ultimately the success of your research will depend on the way in which you develop your ideas and plan and execute your project.

Module aims

The aims of this module are:

  • to research and produce a substantial piece of original work

  • to draw together the knowledge that the student has acquired on the programme and will enable them to develop and demonstrate methodological, analytical, and writing skills.

Module learning outcomes

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

  1. Have knowledge of key sociological research concepts and theories.

  2. Have knowledge of the principles of research design for your chosen empirical approach.

  3. Have knowledge of the epistemological, ethical and political dimensions of sociological research.

  4. Have the ability to develop a reasoned argument.

  5. Gain the ability to formulate sociological questions.

  6. Gain the ability to summarise, report and evaluate arguments, texts and findings.

  7. Gain the ability to frame a research proposal and to identify and apply the appropriate research methods.

  8. Gain the ability to understand, summarise and critically assess sociological work

  9. Gain the ability to produce independent work.

  10. Gain the ability to conduct and present a small scale piece of sociological research.

  11. Gain the ability to present ideas and evidence to others in a clear and concise manner.

  12. Gain the ability to identify problems and propose solutions.

  13. Gain the ability to plan work, manage time, reflect on work, and respond constructively to the comments of others

Module information

Indicative syllabus

  1. Final Year Project Introduction

  2. Ethics Workshop

  3. Writing the Literature Review

  4. Data Collection and Access Workshop

  5. Structuring and Writing your Project

Learning and teaching methods

  • Introductory lecture and a mandatory conference project day (for 2nd years) in Summer Term;
  • 4 lectures in Autumn term (for 3rd years) + supervision sessions with project supervisor.
  • 1 lecture in Spring term.


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   Literature Review     10% 
Coursework   Final Year Project    90% 

Additional coursework information

100% coursework - Project dissertation Maximum word length: 12,000 words (inclusive of footnotes, endnotes, references/bibliography, and figures)

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 Maitrayee Deka, email:
Dr Carlos Gigoux Gramegna, email:
Supervision by various members of the Department
Jane Harper, Undergraduate Administrator, Telephone 01206 873052, email jharper (Non essex users should add to create the full email address)



External examiner

Dr Paul Gilbert
University of Sussex
Senior Lecturer in International Development
Dr Emily Gray
University of Warwick
Assistant Professor of Criminology
Available via Moodle
Of 1 hours, 1 (100%) hours available to students:
0 hours not recorded due to service coverage or fault;
0 hours not recorded due to opt-out by lecturer(s), module, or event type.


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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