As coursework assessment students are required to submit a 2,500 word critical discussion essay. You are expected to have used at least ten different sources in your essay.
Critically discuss the research methods used in two different studies (using different research methods) but researching a similar topic (e.g. youth crime, rape, fraud) with regards to among other things: choice of method, sample and sampling, quality of material used and produced, analysis, validity and reliability, practicality, problems encountered and how / if they were resolved, ethical issues. Compare and contrast the two methods and discuss their advantages and disadvantages. The concentration should be on the research process, not the results of the research. It doesn’t matter whether you choose quantitative or qualitative methods, but for MSc Criminology and Criminal Psychology students at least one method needs to be quantitative.
The essay needs to be well written, in clear, grammatically correct English. The essay needs to be clearly structured with a beginning, middle and end. The essay should also be correctly referenced and have a bibliography. You will need to do your own research in finding suitable sources (e.g. by searching on electronic databases available from the library on the Portal) as the reading list only provides a sample of all material available.
The word length is 2,500 words and you go can go over by ten per cent, which means 2,500 – 2,750 words.