Credit points


Campus offering

No unit offerings are currently available for this unit


LCRM301 Researching Criminology

Unit rationale, description and aim

Skills in researching criminology are important for all people engaged in the profession, because it is through these that graduates will be able to evaluate and further develop their understanding of all the different aspects of criminology, and thereby develop evidence-based proposals for improvements. Developing these skills so that graduates can publish scholarly contributions to research of their own extends their contribution to the field by supporting the scholarship and research of others.

This unit builds on and extends the knowledge, comprehension and skills introduced in LCRM301 Researching Criminology with the intention that the students' scholarship and research skills in criminology are developed to a level where they can plan and execute a research project, analyse data and write a report that may be at a standard worthy of publication in a peer-reviewed academic journal. The unit starts by scaffolding the elaboration of their research project commenced in LCRM301 with lectures and tutorials focusing on the theory and application of various data analysis techniques. This is extended in the second half of the unit through participation in supervision seminars designed to support the students' progress through the project.

The aim of this unit is to extend the students' existing knowledge of research methodologies so that they can undertake scholarly research in criminology to a standard that may be worthy of publication in an academic journal.

Learning outcomes

To successfully complete this unit you will be able to demonstrate you have achieved the learning outcomes (LO) detailed in the below table.

Each outcome is informed by a number of graduate capabilities (GC) to ensure your work in this, and every unit, is part of a larger goal of graduating from ACU with the attributes of insight, empathy, imagination and impact.

Explore the graduate capabilities.

On successful completion of this unit, students should be able to:

LO1 - Describe data analysis techniques, ethical concerns and other issues relating to conducting research (GA5, GA7, GA9)

LO2 - Apply, identify and justify the use of appropriate research methods for a criminological research project (GA1, GA4, GA7, GA9)

LO3 - Present a fully developed research project suitable for examining a criminological problem in society (GA1, GA3, GA4, GA8, GA9)

LO4 - Apply and interpret data analyses, research methods and identify and resolve ethical concerns (GA3, GA4, GA9)

Graduate attributes

GA1 - Demonstrate respect for the dignity of each individual and for human diversity

GA3 - Apply ethical perspectives in informed decision making

GA4 - Think critically and reflectively

GA5 - Demonstrate values, knowledge, skills and attitudes appropriate to the discipline and/or profession

GA7 - Work both autonomously and collaboratively

GA8 - Locate, organise, analyse, synthesise and evaluate information

GA9 - Demonstrate effective communication in oral and written English language and visual media


Topics will include:

  • Ethics matters
  • Writing a research proposal, identifying and understanding appropriate methods
  • Analysing content: Research using secondary, historical and comparative data and content analysis
  • Analysing quantitative data
  • Analysing qualitative data
  • Summarising and reporting research

Learning and teaching strategy and rationale

This unit comprises 150 hours of study in total. It will be taught over a 12 week semester or ACU Online 10 week asynchronous delivery mode. In the first half of the semester students' learning is supported through one 2-hour lecture followed by a 1-hour tutorial each week. In the second half of semester, students' learning is supported by 2-hour supervision seminars. Other study components might include on-line webinars, podcasts, readings, discussion forums etc. The balance of the hours is comprised of self-directed study.

Students will undertake practical learning through the development and implementation of a research project and develop skills to analyse, interpret and report findings. In the initial stages of this unit students will participate in lectures and tutorials that will focus on the theory and application of various statistical and data analysis techniques. In the latter stages of the unit students will participate in supervision seminars to discuss the practical issues arising in their projects and discuss solutions to address these issues. The overarching strategy in this unit is therefore to build on the projects commenced in LCRM301 and scaffold the development of the skills necessary for students to progress to more independent research projects.

ACU Online

This unit uses an active learning approach to support students in the exploration of knowledge essential to the discipline. Students are provided with choice and variety in how they learn. Students are encouraged to contribute to asynchronous weekly discussions. Active learning opportunities provide students with opportunities to practice and apply their learning in situations similar to their future professions. Activities encourage students to bring their own examples to demonstrate understanding, application and engage constructively with their peers. Students receive regular and timely feedback on their learning, which includes information on their progress.

Assessment strategy and rationale

The assessment tasks have been explicitly created to address the identified Learning Outcomes for this unit (assessment of learning) and designed to allow students to learn about and apply the skills required by professionals working in the field of criminology (assessment for learning).

  1. Through the first two thirds of semester, learning is scaffolded in part by using a weekly formative quiz. Students are strongly advised to complete this weekly as a learning aid only. The quiz will be open to unlimited attempts and students will be encouraged to discuss responses with other students. Following this, students will be required to complete one larger multiple choice quiz as a summative assessment. This quiz will be made up of a selection of questions they will have previously encountered in the formative quizzes. In this way, a formative component of the learning strategy is transparently linked to a summative component of the assessment - simultaneously helping to engage students in the regular commitment to learning basic required content at the same time as progressing with their more substantive engagement in their research project.
  2. Exam. This assessment requires students to complete a closed book exam that will assess their knowledge and understanding of statistical analyses through a series of scenarios, data outputs, ethical and practical dilemmas pertaining to research projects.
  3. Research paper. Students will complete a substantial piece of work that presents the rationale, methodology, data analysis, results and interpretation of findings in the form of a research paper that may be suitable for publication in a peer reviewed academic journal.

Overview of assessments

Brief Description of Kind and Purpose of Assessment TasksWeightingLearning OutcomesGraduate Attributes

Single summative Quiz (multiple choice): This is an assessment that encourages students to engage with the unit content with their peers and develop an understanding of statistical analyses and data




GA5, GA7, GA9

Exam: This assessment requires students to complete a closed book exam that will assess knowledge of unit content. This exam will contain a mix of multiple choice and short answer responses.



GA1, GA4, GA7, GA9

Research paper: This assessment requires students to produce a substantive research work that will bring together the sum of all coursework. Students will be required to produce a research paper of approximately 5000 words that may be worthy of publication in a peer reviewed academic journal article.


LO3, LO4

GA1, GA3, GA4, GA8, GA9

Representative texts and references

Bachman R D & Schutt R K, The practice of research in criminology and criminal justice. Sage publications, California, 2020

Berg L B & Lune H, Qualitative research methods for the social sciences (8th ed.). Pearson Education Limited, Essex, 2014

Field A, Discovering statistics using IBM SPSS statistics (5th ed.). Sage publications, UK, 2017

Hunter R, Dantzker M & Quinn S, Research Methods for Criminology and Criminal Justice, 4th edition, 2016.

Bachman R & Schutt R, Practice of Research in Criminology and Criminal Justice - International Student Edition, 7th edition, 2019.

Gau J, Statistics for Criminology & Criminal Justice, 3rd edition, 2018.

Wincup E, Criminological Research: Understanding Qualitative Methods, 2nd edition, 2017.

Bachman R & Paternoster R, Statistics for Criminology & Criminal Justice, 4th edition, 2016.

de Lint W, LexisNexis Quick Reference Card - Criminology, 2015

Noaks L & Wincup E, Criminological Research, 2004.

Gadd D, Karstedt S & Messner S, eds., The SAGE Handbook of Criminological Research Methods, 2011.

Kraska P, Brent J & Neuman W, Criminal Justice and Criminology Research Methods, 3rd edition, 2020. 

Have a question?

We're available 9am–5pm AEDT,
Monday to Friday

If you’ve got a question, our AskACU team has you covered. You can search FAQs, text us, email, live chat, call – whatever works for you.

Live chat with us now

Chat to our team for real-time
answers to your questions.

Launch live chat

Visit our FAQs page

Find answers to some commonly
asked questions.

See our FAQs