Study-Unit Description

Study-Unit Description


TITLE Research Methods in Probation and the Criminal Justice

LEVEL 05 - Postgraduate Modular Diploma or Degree Course


DEPARTMENT Criminology

DESCRIPTION This unit addresses advanced concepts of social science research and how these can be applied within a criminal justice context. This will assist students to develop an understanding of the requisites of empirical studies, the divergent methodologies that may be utilised to conduct social science (including criminology and criminal justice) research, and the different phases of the research process.

This unit will also focus on special issues related to criminal justice research, such as: ethical considerations, sources of error and the importance of research studies for the development of the probation services. Qualitative and quantitative research tools will be discussed at length. Students will also be introduced to spatial and non-spatial data analysis.

Learning Outcomes:

By the end of this study-unit the students will:
1. Be able to critically examine the various social science research designs;
2. Be able to identify research areas in criminal justice;
3. Be able to conduct research using quantitative and qualitative research tools;
4. Provide an overall assessment of the rigor of research papers;
5. Explain the utility of spatial analysis in the study of crime.

Reading List:

- Bachman R., & Schutt R.K. (2008). Fundamentals of Research in Criminology and Criminal Justice, SAGE Publications, Inc. ISBN: 9781412960526.
- Bryman, A. and Cramer, D. (1994). Quantitative Data Analysis for Social Scientists. London: Routledge.
- Dantzker M.L. & Hunter R.D. (2006). Research Methods for Criminology and Criminal Justice: A Primer, Second Edition, USA, Butterworth Heinemann. ISBN-13:9780763736156, ISBN-10: 0763736155.
- Formosa S., Scicluna S., Azzopardi J., Formosa Pace J., Calafato T. (2011). The Research Road We Make: Statistics for the Uninitiated, NSO, Valletta.
- Hagan, Frank E., (2006). Research methods in criminal justice and criminology, 7th ed., Allyn & Bacon.
- Harris, M. B. (1998). Basic statistics for behavioural science research. (2nd ed.). USA: Allyn and Bacon.
- Jupp, V., Davies, P. and Francis, P. (2000). Doing criminological research. London: Sage Publications.


Assessment Component/s Assessment Due Resit Availability Weighting
Presentation SEM1 Yes 20%
Assignment SEM1 Yes 30%
Examination (2 Hours) SEM1 Yes 50%

LECTURER/S Gianmarco Alberti
Gordon Sammut (Co-ord.)

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It should be noted that all the information in the description above applies to study-units available during the academic year 2020/1. It may be subject to change in subsequent years.