AP0629 - Interdisciplinary Criminology and Forensic Science Dissertation

What will I learn on this module?

This module will provide you with an opportunity to independently review and evaluate a research question that encompasses both the criminological and scientific disciplines. You will independently examine the historical and contemporary theories that are currently applied to explaining crime from the perspective of the victim, offender and the environment. You will evaluate the effectiveness of the subsequent prevention strategies and appraise how these are complemented by the scientific and innovative technological approaches to detect crime. In doing so, you will adopt a critical and analytical approach to support innovative solutions for regulating, policing, preventing and detecting crime.

With the support of a dissertation supervisor within each discipline, you will seek to develop and answer a research question using research enquiry and tutored based techniques, for example collecting your own data, using existing data sets or by engaging in an analysis of the research literature. You will apply your information retrieval and critical appraisal skills with discussion of your results culminating in the production of a written dissertation that appraises criminological theory and scientific practice.

How will I learn on this module?

This module is largely an independent module. The skills that you adopt in the dissertation are key employability skills (communication, problem solving, making informed decisions, retrieving relevant information) and by engaging in the process of research where you become the independent autonomous learner you will develop these skills. It is after all your dissertation and your chance to showcase your innovation. You will attend a series of workshops where you will learn about how to approach your dissertation. To fully engage you in the processes of research enquiry, ethical considerations will be discussed along with how to develop your research proposal and experimental strategies before commencement of your project. You will be allocated a discipline supervisor (both in criminology and science based) who will support you in the initial development and provide guidance throughout your project and in the completion of your dissertation. You will also independently learn through the processes of relevant information retrieval and its critical appraisal, development of practical and investigational skills with critical evaluation and discussion of results.

How will I be supported academically on this module?

Support will include feedback from tutors throughout the academic year. Module content and guidance will be made available by direct communication between your dissertation supervisors (criminology and science based academics) as well as using the virtual learning platform, Blackboard and your learning experience will be enhanced by using module group discussion boards where you gain support from your peers in addition to being facilitated by the module tutors. Other electronic communication mechanisms (e.g. wikis/journals/email) will also be available for response to individual questions. You will also be supported with the inclusion of a digital reading list (introductory reading material), although it should be noted that as it is independent contemporary research and as such the references are expected to be obtained from current peer reviewed primary resources.

What will I be expected to read on this module?

All modules at Northumbria include a range of reading materials that students are expected to engage with. The reading list for this module can be found at: http://readinglists.northumbria.ac.uk
(Reading List service online guide for academic staff this containing contact details for the Reading List team – http://library.northumbria.ac.uk/readinglists)

What will I be expected to achieve?

Knowledge & Understanding:
- Demonstrate that you have extensive knowledge of and have critically evaluated your research dissertation topic (LO1)
- Demonstrate that you have the capacity to develop a structured and analytical argument with an aptitude for the use of theory and methodology (LO2)

Intellectual / Professional skills & abilities:
- Demonstrate an ability to research, extract and evaluate appropriate information from a variety of research sources (LO3)
- Demonstrate an ability to effectively communicate scientific
(criminology/science) information (LO4)

Personal Values Attributes (Global / Cultural awareness, Ethics, Curiosity) (PVA):
- Demonstrate initiative, responsibility, ownership and autonomy of your learning with an understanding and experience of the ethical considerations of conducting research (LO5)

How will I be assessed?

Your learning and student experience will benefit from undertaking formative discussions with your dissertation supervisors prior to your summative assessment. Guidance and feedback will be given throughout the year.

There are three summative assessments in this module:

Assessment 1 – critical literature (criminology) context 4000 words - 50% (LO1, LO2, LO3)

Assessment 2 – written scientific report 4000 words – 50% (LO2, LO4, LO5)


L5 Harmonisation of Criminology and Forensic Science in the Criminal Justice System
L5 Research Methods



Module abstract

This module will provide you with an opportunity to develop your skills when undertaking an independent review and evaluation of a research question. You will examine how the historical and contemporary theories to explain crime and how these complement the effectiveness of the scientific and innovative technological approaches to detect or prevent crime. You will adopt a critical and analytical approach to provide potential innovative solutions to regulating, policing, prevention and detection of crime.

Assessment is electronically managed primarily through the blackboard site although you will also have the opportunity for presenting your research orally. During the dissertation key skills are embedded (communication, problem solving, making informed decisions, retrieving relevant information) and by engaging in the process of research you will develop and enhance these employability skills.

Course info

UCAS Code MF94

Credits 40

Level of Study Undergraduate

Mode of Study 3 years full-time or 4 years full-time with a placement (sandwich)/study abroad

Department Applied Sciences

Location City Campus, Northumbria University

City Newcastle

Start September 2024 or September 2025

Fee Information

Module Information

All information is accurate at the time of sharing. 

Full time Courses are primarily delivered via on-campus face to face learning but could include elements of online learning. Most courses run as planned and as promoted on our website and via our marketing materials, but if there are any substantial changes (as determined by the Competition and Markets Authority) to a course or there is the potential that course may be withdrawn, we will notify all affected applicants as soon as possible with advice and guidance regarding their options. It is also important to be aware that optional modules listed on course pages may be subject to change depending on uptake numbers each year.  

Contact time is subject to increase or decrease in line with possible restrictions imposed by the government or the University in the interest of maintaining the health and safety and wellbeing of students, staff, and visitors if this is deemed necessary in future.


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