Course Outline

CRM307 Crime Research Methods

Course Coordinator:Peter Innes ( School:School of Law and Society

2022Semester 2

UniSC Sunshine Coast

Blended learning Most of your course is on campus but you may be able to do some components of this course online.

Please go to for up to date information on the
teaching sessions and campuses where this course is usually offered.

What is this course about?


The criminology and justice field is research-driven. So, it is beneficial to have knowledge and skills required to undertake crime research. This course exposes you to the complexities of contemporary crime research methods. It is designed to equip you with practical skills to undertake crime-related research projects from conception to a full report. You will become familiar with qualitative methods and be trained in the basics of SPSS. Through a series of workshops you will learn how to perform quantitative data analysis, interpret and communicate the findings and their implications.

How will this course be delivered?

Activity Hours Beginning Week Frequency
Blended learning
Tutorial/Workshop 1 – On-campus tutorial workshop 3hrs Week 1 13 times

Course Topics

  • Foundations of Crime-Related Research
  • Theoretical and Applied Implications of Crime Research
  • Identifying a Topic, Purpose and Research Question
  • Conducting a Literature Review
  • Conceptualisation, Operationalisation, Variables and Measurement
  • Sampling
  • Research using Qualitative Data
  • Quasi-experimental and Experimental Crime Research
  • Secondary Data, GIS, and Evaluation
  • Quantitative Methods and Analysis

What level is this course?

300 Level (Graduate)

Demonstrating coherence and breadth or depth of knowledge and skills. Independent application of knowledge and skills in unfamiliar contexts. Meeting professional requirements and AQF descriptors for the degree. May require pre-requisites where discipline specific introductory or developing knowledge or skills is necessary. Normally undertaken in the third or fourth full-time study year of an undergraduate program.

What is the unit value of this course?

12 units

How does this course contribute to my learning?

Course Learning Outcomes On successful completion of this course, you should be able to... Graduate Qualities Completing these tasks successfully will contribute to you becoming...
1 Critically evaluate and synthesise literature relevant to a research topic. Creative and critical thinker
2 Describe and explain key philosophical, theoretical and ethical perspectives underpinning crime-related research. Knowledgeable
3 Demonstrate sound knowledge and practical application of qualitative and quantitative research methods. Empowered
4 Demonstrate sound capacity to interpret and communicate research findings and their implications. Empowered
5 Apply scholarly writing, research and reference practice. Ethical

Am I eligible to enrol in this course?

Refer to the UniSC Glossary of terms for definitions of “pre-requisites, co-requisites and anti-requisites”.


Enrolled in AR325, AR363, AR396, AR364, or AB316 and successfully completed 96 units with a minimum cumulative program GPA of 5. Permission is required for enrolment. Please contact the Course Coordinator.


Not applicable


Not applicable

Specific assumed prior knowledge and skills (where applicable)

Prior completion of an introductory social sciences research methods (100 or 200 level) course and CRM101 Introduction to Crime and Criminology would be beneficial for students undertaking this course.

How am I going to be assessed?

Grading Scale

Standard Grading (GRD)

High Distinction (HD), Distinction (DN), Credit (CR), Pass (PS), Fail (FL).

Details of early feedback on progress

Formative tasks are built into workshop activities during weeks 1 - 4 to prepare you for assessment task 1. Once submitted, you will also be given feedback on assessment task 1 to improve your literature review in preparation for the final research report. ​ 

Assessment tasks

Delivery mode Task No. Assessment Product Individual or Group Weighting % What is the duration / length? When should I submit? Where should I submit it?
All 1 Literature Review (or component) Individual 20%
1000 words
Week 5 Online Assignment Submission with plagiarism check
All 2 Examination - not Centrally Scheduled Individual 35%
2 hours
Week 13 In Class
All 3 Report Individual 45%
2500-3000 words
Refer to Format Online Assignment Submission with plagiarism check
All - Assessment Task 1:Draft literature review
The goal of this assessment task is to allow you to prepare the introductory literature review to be included in your final research report.
Product: Literature Review (or component)
This task requires you to produce a 1000-word literature review that critically evaluates and synthesises the theoretical and empirical literature relevant to your research topic. This review should be written according to APA Style.
No. Learning Outcome assessed
Critical evaluation and synthesis of literature relevant to the research topic
Ability to communicate this information clearly and concisely
4 5
Adherence to APA style is expected.
1 4 5
All - Assessment Task 2:In-class exam
The exam will allow you to demonstrate your knowledge of the course material covered during weeks 1-8.
Product: Examination - not Centrally Scheduled
This task will be undertaken, under supervision, during the workshop in week 13.  You will be required to answer a combination of multiple choice and short-answer questions. You will have 2 hours to complete this task.
No. Learning Outcome assessed
This is a knowledge-based assessment task. You will be assessed on the accuracy and depth of knowledge demonstrated in your answers to the exam questions.
2 3
All - Assessment Task 3:Research Report
The goal of this task is to complete a research report that includes a succinct literature review, a clear methodology and accurately presents, interprets and communicates research findings, including their implications.
Product: Report
Submit: Friday, First Week of the examination period 

A 2500-3000 word written research report. You will be actively working under supervision on the quantitative analysis for this assessment task during week 9. The report will include a:  

succinct literature review 

clear methodology 

accurate presentation of findings 

discussion section that interprets the findings and their implications, in the context of any methodological limitations.
No. Learning Outcome assessed
Critical evaluation and synthesis of literature relevant to a research topic
Knowledge and practical application of qualitative and quantitative research methods
Capacity to interpret and communicate research findings and their implications
Ability to communicate clearly and concisely, according to APA format, as would be required in a graduate position.

Directed study hours

A 12-unit course will have total of 150 learning hours which will include directed study hours (including online if required), self-directed learning and completion of assessable tasks. Student workload is calculated at 12.5 learning hours per one unit.

What resources do I need to undertake this course?

Please note: Course information, including specific information of recommended readings, learning activities, resources, weekly readings, etc. are available on the course Canvas site– Please log in as soon as possible.

Prescribed text(s) or course reader

Please note that you need to have regular access to the resource(s) listed below. Resources may be required or recommended.

Required? Author Year Title Edition Publisher
Required Callie Marie Rennison,Timothy C. Hart 2018 Research Methods in Criminal Justice and Criminology n/a SAGE Publications, Incorporated
Recommended Kraska, P.B., and Neuman, L.W. 2012 Criminal Justice and Criminology Research Methods 2nd edn Pearson
Recommended Pallant, J 2011 SPSS Survival Manual: A step-by-step guide to data analysis using SPSS n/a Allen & Unwin
Recommended Thomas, D.R. & Hodges, I.D. 2010 Designing and managing your research project: Core skills for social and health research. DOI: n/a Sage publications

Specific requirements

Access to IBM SPSS is required to successfully undertake workshop activities. This will be available on campus or via USC Anywhere

Please note: The prescribed text can be purchased online as an electronic or hard copy book. Please refer to the following link to select your preferred copy and you’re your purchase:

In addition to this prescribed text three other resources are recommended for this course. All are accessible through the library:
• Kraska, P.B., and Neuman, L.W. (2012). Criminal Justice and Criminology Research Methods (2nd Ed). Pearson.
• Pallant, J. (2011). SPSS Survival Manual: A step-by-step guide to data analysis using SPSS, Allen & Unwin.
• Thomas, D.R. & Hodges, I.D. (2010). Designing and managing your research project: Core skills for social and health research. Sage publications. DOI:

How are risks managed in this course?

Health and safety risks for this course have been assessed as low. It is your responsibility to review course material, search online, discuss with lecturers and peers and understand the health and safety risks associated with your specific course of study and to familiarise yourself with the University’s general health and safety principles by reviewing the online induction training for students, and following the instructions of the University staff.

What administrative information is relevant to this course?

Assessment: Academic Integrity

Academic integrity is the ethical standard of university participation.  It ensures that students graduate as a result of proving they are competent in their discipline.  This is integral in maintaining the value of academic qualifications. Each industry has expectations and standards of the skills and knowledge within that discipline and these are reflected in assessment.

Academic integrity means that you do not engage in any activity that is considered to be academic fraud; including plagiarism, collusion or outsourcing any part of any assessment item to any other person.  You are expected to be honest and ethical by completing all work yourself and indicating in your work which ideas and information were developed by you and which were taken from others. You cannot provide your assessment work to others. You are also expected to provide evidence of wide and critical reading, usually by using appropriate academic references.

In order to minimise incidents of academic fraud, this course may require that some of its assessment tasks, when submitted to Canvas, are electronically checked through Turnitin.  This software allows for text comparisons to be made between your submitted assessment item and all other work to which Turnitin has access.

Assessment: Additional Requirements

Eligibility for Supplementary Assessment

Your eligibility for supplementary assessment in a course is dependent of the following conditions applying:

The final mark is in the percentage range 47% to 49.4%
The course is graded using the Standard Grading scale
You have not failed an assessment task in the course due to academic misconduct

Assessment: Submission penalties

Late submission of assessment tasks may be penalised at the following maximum rate: 
- 5% (of the assessment task's identified value) per day for the first two days from the date identified as the due date for the assessment task. 
- 10% (of the assessment task's identified value) for the third day - 20% (of the assessment task's identified value) for the fourth day and subsequent days up to and including seven days from the date identified as the due date for the assessment task. 
- A result of zero is awarded for an assessment task submitted after seven days from the date identified as the due date for the assessment task. Weekdays and weekends are included in the calculation of days late. To request an extension you must contact your course coordinator to negotiate an outcome.


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Study help

For help with course-specific advice, for example what information to include in your assessment, you should first contact your tutor, then your course coordinator, if needed.

If you require additional assistance, the Learning Advisers are trained professionals who are ready to help you develop a wide range of academic skills. Visit the Learning Advisers web page for more information, or contact Student Central for further assistance: +61 7 5430 2890 or

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Links to relevant University policy and procedures

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