Criminology, Advanced Research Methodology

Course - second cycle - 7.5 credits

Syllabus for students autumn 2023, autumn 2022, autumn 2021, autumn 2020, autumn 2019

Course Code:
KA813E revision 1
Swedish name:
Kriminologi: Avancerad forskningsmetodik
Level of specialisation
Main fields of study:
Date of ratification:
14 January 2019
Decision-making body:
Faculty of Health and Society
Enforcement date:
02 September 2019

Entry requirements

A bachelor’s degree with a major in social- or behaviour sciences or medicine and English 6.

Specialisation and progression relative to the degree regulations

The course is given in the first term of the Master’s Program in Criminology and is a course within the main field of study that may be counted toward the Master’s Degree in Criminology. The course is also offered as an independent course.


The aim of the course is for the student to acquire knowledge on fields of criminological research. An additional aim is for the student to develop and apply knowledge of data collection and analysis methods that may be used for studying interaction effects of individual and environmental factors for criminality and ill-health.


Criminological research fields and methods used to study these different fields are discussed from an international perspective. Different research designs and data collection methods that are used to study individual- and environmental factors are also presented. Instruments for measuring relevant individual and environmental factors and methods for studying interactions between the two are discussed.

Learning outcomes

Upon completion of the course, the student should be able to
1. plan a study of relevance for the contents of the course,
2. assess different designs and data collection methods that are used to study individual and environmental factors, both in isolation and in interaction,
3. construct instruments for the measurement of relevant individual and environmental factors, and
4. motivate how the use of a multi-level perspective may contribute to research on health and ill-health, antisocial behaviour and crime.

Learning activities

The teaching takes the form of lectures, seminars, group assignments, discussions (learning outcomes 2 and 4) and independent studies (learning outcomes 1 and 3). Seminars that include oral peer review of a fellow student paper and an oral presentation of a group assignment (learning outcomes 2 and 4) are compulsory.


The assessment of the students’ performance will be made on the basis of an oral presentation of a group assignment, and on the individual paper as well as the obligatory oral peer-review of a fellow student paper. Any absence in compulsory parts shall, at the discretion of the examiner, be compensated by an individual written assignment. The following elements will constitute the basis for the examination in the course:
an individual paper – addressing learning outcome 1 and 3,
oral peer review of a fellow student’s paper – addressing learning outcome 1, 2 and 3,
oral presentation of a group assignment – addressing learning outcome 2 and 4.

Focus of the assessment of the individual paper and the peer review is the student’s ability to identify a criminological research question and a suitable research design (learning outcome 1, 2 and 3). Focus of the assessment of the group assignment is the student´s ability to assess different designs and data collection methods that are used to study individual and environmental factors (learning outcome 2), and to motivate how the use of a multi-level perspective may contribute to research on health and ill-health, antisocial behaviour and crime (learning outcome 4). Individual performance is assessed by students completing a log book that describes each student’s individual contributions.
To receive a Passing Grade (C, D or E) it is required that the student have passed on all the examining and compulsory assignments. Achievement of the Grade of Distinction (A or B) requires that the student have completed the group assignment and the oral peer review of a fellow student´s paper with a passing grade (E), and originality and deeper understanding of data collection and analysis methods used in criminology characterize the individual paper and has been assessed with grade A or B.

Right to re-take
Students who fail the exam are given the opportunity to do two re-takes with the same course content and with the same requirements. The student also has the right to take the examination in the same course in the subsequent course according to the same rule. Examination and re-takes are carried out at the times specified in the course schedule.

Grading system

Excellent (A), Very Good (B), Good (C), Satisfactory (D), Pass (E) or Fail (U).

Course literature and other teaching materials

Janson C-G, (2000) The longitudinal study. I: Janson C-G, (Ed), Seven Swedish longitudinal studies in behavioural sciences. Stockholm: Swedish Council for Planning and Coordination of Research, s 29-43. 15 p.

King R, Wincup E, (2007) Doing research on crime and justice (2nd edition). Oxford: Oxford University Press. 500 p.

Nagin D, Farrington D, Moffitt T, (1995) Life-course trajectories of different types of offenders. Criminology, 33: 111–139. 27 p.

Sampson, R J, (2008) Moving to Inequality: Neighborhood Effects and Experiments Meet Social Structure. American Journal of Sociology, 114(1):189–231. 40 p.

Raudenbush, S, Johnson, C & Sampson, R J, (2003) A Multivariate, Multilevel Rasch Model with Application to Self-Reported Criminal Behavior. Sociological Methodology, 33: 169-211. 40 p.

Raudenbush, S W & Sampson R J, (1999) Ecometrics: toward a science of assessing ecological settings, with application to the systematic social observation of neighborhoods. Sociological methodology, 29:1-41. 40 p.

Singer J D, Willet, J B, (2003) Applied Longitudinal Data Analysis. Modeling change and event occurrence. New York: Oxford University Press, s 3-15. 13 p.

Wikström P-O H, Ceccato V, Hardie B, Treiber K, (2010) Activity Fields and the Dynamics of Crime. Advancing knowledge about the role of the environment in crime causation. Journal of Quantitative Criminology, 26(1):55-87. 30 p.

Additional articles from scientific journals will also be included, approx. 100 p.

Course evaluation

The course coordinator is responsible for conducting a summative evaluation after each module and give feedback to the students at the beginning of the next course. Notes from the feedback are made available to the course’s students and feedback is given to the students who will start the course in the next course session.

Interim rules

If a course is no longer offered or has undergone major changes, students are offered two re-take sessions based on the syllabus in force at registration during a period of one year from the date of the implementation of the changes