Search our site
Search our site

Criminology Dissertation

  • Module code: CM6014
  • Year: 2018/9
  • Level: Year 6
  • Credits: 30.00
  • Pre-requisites: Successful completion of Level 5 Criminology or equivalent
  • Co-requisites: None


Through this module you will develop your own criminological specialism by conducting an extended and in-depth study on a topic of your choosing. Students will be tutored in the skills necessary to successfully complete a final year dissertation and will work with a staff supervisor to develop a critical understanding of their research topic. You will gain hands-on experience of research skills that can be applied to future postgraduate study and careers in human resources, marketing, public sector and charitable and non-government organisations.


  • To enhance and exercise the study skills necessary to the successful completion of a final year dissertation.
  • To plan and design an extended piece of academic work and present the completed work as a written dissertation.
  • To develop a detailed and critical understanding of the field of criminological enquiry.

Learning outcomes

  • Formulate a viable research proposal and extensive literature search appropriate for a Level 6 dissertation
  • Demonstrate an ability to organise and plan work effectively and independently over a limited period of time
  • Demonstrate the ability to successfully complete a substantial piece of academic written work
  • Demonstrate an ability to communication academic work in written and oral formats

Curriculum content

  • The nature of a criminology dissertation
  • Advanced literature search and research skills
  • Refining research design and questions
  • Assessing feasibility and planning
  • Ethics
  • Project management
  • Structuring and Writing up a dissertation

Teaching and learning strategy

This module will be taught by a combination of two-hour research skills workshops and one-to-one supervision sessions. Workshops will be interactive in nature and will provide students the opportunity to develop their dissertation through individual and group work tasks. They will provide students with the possibility to discuss their own dissertation projects and how they relate with the issues, debates and material outlined in the workshop programme. Relevant learning materials will be provided on StudySpace, including digitised reading materials, workshop slides and templates. Students will be expected to engage in a significant amount of independent study which will involve reviewing literature, conducting research, analysing data and preparing assessment.

Breakdown of Teaching and Learning Hours

Definitive KIS Category Indicative Description Hours
Scheduled learning and teaching Workshops (7 x 2 hours) Individual supervision 14 10
Guided independent study 276
Total (number of credits x 10) 300

Assessment strategy

The module will be assessed using a combination of formative and summative assessment. Students will receive feedback on formative assessments so that they are able to use this constructively in the summative assessment on the module. 

Draft critical literature review (formative) 1,000 words.

A1 Portfolio (20% - summative) consisting of: a dissertation proposal including an annotated bibliography (1,500 word) and an action plan (timetable).

A2 Dissertation (80% - summative) 8,000 – 10,000 words.



Word count


% Module Mark

Draft Critical Literature Review





A1   Portfolio consisting   of: a Dissertation Proposal including an Annotated Bibliography (1,500   words) and an Action Plan (timetable).





A2 Dissertation


8,000 to 10,000   words



Mapping of Learning Outcomes to Assessment Strategy (Indicative)

Learning Outcome Assessment Strategy
Demonstrate an ability to organise and plan work effectively and independently over a limited period of time Draft Critical Literature Review (formative) A1 Portfolio (summative) A2 Dissertation (summative)
Demonstrate the ability to successfully complete a substantial piece of written work to satisfy the demands of the marking criteria A1 Portfolio (summative) A2 Dissertation (summative)
Demonstrate an ability to work autonomously Draft Critical Literature Review (formative) A1Portfolio (summative) A2 Dissertation (summative)
Gain research skills applicable to future study and employability. Draft Critical Literature Review (formative) A1 Portfolio (summative) A2 Dissertation (summative)

Breakdown of Major Categories of Assessment

Assessment Type Assessment Name Assessment Weighting
CWK Portfolio 1500 words 20
CWK Dissertation 8,000 - 10,000 words 80
Total (to equal 100%) 100%

Achieving a pass

It IS NOT a requirement that any major assessment category is passed separately in order to achieve an overall pass for the module

Bibliography core texts

Czarniawska, B (2014) Social Science Research: From Field to Desk, London: Sage.

Greetham B (2009) How to Write your Undergraduate Dissertation, Basingstoke: Palgrave.

Walliman, N (2013) Your Undergraduate Dissertation: The Essential Guide for Success, London: Sage.

Bibliography recommended reading

Becker, L (2014) Writing Successfully Reports and Dissertations, Sage.

Becker, L (2014) Presenting your Research : Conferences, Symposiums, Poster Presentations and Beyond, Sage.

Elster, J (1989) Nuts and Bolts for Social Science, Cambridge University Press.

Fasett, D (2014) A Student Workbook for Public Speaking: Speak from the Heart, Sage

Gelbart L and Palumbo D (2000) Writing from Inside Out, John Wiley and Sons.

Johnson, W and Rittig RP (2005) Sociology Student Writer's Manual, Pearson.

Swetnam D and Swetnam R (2009) Writing your Dissertation, 3rd ed, How to Books.

Richlin-Klonsky J and Strenski E (2001) A Guide to Writing Sociology Papers, Worth Publishers.

Find a course

Course finder

Undergraduate study
Site menu