Credit points: 15

Subject outline

In a 'post-truth' world, how do know what knowledge we can trust? And why do academic research articles often seem so overly technical, and sometimes even quite boring to read? This subject introduces students to research methods in criminology. It explores how to critically read academic research papers, and how to design a research project and write a research proposal. It shows how different approaches to research design lead to different kinds of knowledge, and how theoretical frameworks are linked to research methods. A key issue is how the choice of research method is both influenced by underlying assumptions about truth and knowledge, and how this shapes academic disciplines by determining what kinds of research design are acceptable in given fields. Here we explore the underlying differences between qualitative and quantitative approaches research, showing the strengths and weaknesses of each approach. We then explore several qualitative approaches in more depth, and students have an opportunity to create their own original research proposal, selecting a question of interest and developing an appropriate research design for answering it.

SchoolHumanities and Social Sciences

Credit points15

Subject Co-ordinatorAnthony Collins

Available to Study Abroad/Exchange StudentsYes

Subject year levelYear Level 3 - UG

Available as ElectiveNo

Learning ActivitiesLectures, tutorials, readings, library research. Literature review assignment. Discussion activities. Research design assignment.

Capstone subjectNo

Subject particulars

Subject rules

Prerequisites 30 credit points of second level LST or CRI, or subject coordinator's approval


Incompatible subjectsN/A

Equivalent subjectsN/A

Quota Management StrategyN/A

Quota-conditions or rulesN/A

Special conditionsStudent seeking to undertake Honours in Crime, Justice and Legal Studies should complete either this subject or LST3SLR

Minimum credit point requirementN/A

Assumed knowledgeN/A

Career Ready


Work-based learningNo

Self sourced or Uni sourcedN/A

Entire subject or partial subjectN/A

Total hours/days requiredN/A

Location of WBL activity (region)N/A

WBL addtional requirementsN/A

Graduate capabilities & intended learning outcomes

Graduate Capabilities

Intended Learning Outcomes

01. Justify range of research methods by critically reflecting on the their strengths and weaknesses
02. Present a critical integration of the relevant literature by identifying and sourcing a research topic.
03. Develop a research design, showing a critical grasp of the methods of data collection and data analysis relevant to the research question.
04. Develop a complete research proposal including literature review, research design and ethical considerations, showing insight into the relationship between the research question and the research design.

Subject options

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Start date between: and    Key dates

Melbourne (Bundoora), 2021, Semester 1, Day


Online enrolmentYes

Maximum enrolment sizeN/A

Subject Instance Co-ordinatorAnthony Collins

Class requirements

Lecture/Seminar Week: 10 - 22
One 2.00 h lecture/seminar per week on weekdays during the day from week 10 to week 22 and delivered via face-to-face.

Tutorial Week: 10 - 22
One 1.00 h tutorial per week on weekdays during the day from week 10 to week 22 and delivered via face-to-face.


Assessment elementCommentsCategoryContributionHurdle% ILO*

Outline of research question (200 words)

N/AOtherIndividualNo5 SILO1, SILO2

Literature review (1000 words)

N/AOtherIndividualNo25 SILO2

Research design (800 words)

N/AOtherIndividualNo20 SILO3

Research proposal (2000)

N/AOtherIndividualNo50 SILO1, SILO2, SILO3, SILO4