Spring 2020 - CRIM 321 D100

Qualitative Research Methods in Criminology (3)

Class Number: 7054

Delivery Method: In Person


  • Course Times + Location:

    Mo 2:30 PM – 4:20 PM
    WMC 3260, Burnaby

  • Exam Times + Location:

    Apr 23, 2020
    12:00 PM – 3:00 PM
    SSCB 9201, Burnaby

  • Prerequisites:

    CRIM 101; one of CRIM 120 or 220. This course may be taken concurrently with CRIM 320.



A detailed examination and application of qualitative research methods and techniques most frequently used in criminological research. Advantages and disadvantages of each method and the appropriateness of each technique for criminological research. Ethics of criminological research. Specific issues of interdisciplinary research. Critical evaluation of qualitative methods used in certain major criminological studies.


This course is intended to provide you with the basic knowledge and skills necessary to carry out qualitative research in criminology.  Lectures will cover the foundations of a wide variety of specific qualitative techniques, including interviews, ethnography, content analysis, historiography and case study methods.  Lectures will also examine key methodological considerations, such as ethics, interpretation, assessment and writing.  Tutorials will afford students the opportunity to both discuss contemporary criminological research and apply various techniques.  Students will conduct and complete a qualitative research project.  


  • Tutorial Attendance & Participation 10%
  • Tutorial Group Presentation 10%
  • Brief Research Proposal 10%
  • Qualitative Study Evaluation 15%
  • Final Research Project 30%
  • Final 25%



1.    Hesse-Biber, S.N. (2017). The Practice of Qualitative Research (3rd ed.). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications.       
*NOTE: The 3rd edition of the text is substantially different from the 2nd edition.  It is strongly recommended you use the 3rd edition.  If you choose to use the 2nd edition, students are responsible for determining differences between editions.

2.    Weekly on-line and electronic reserve readings.

Department Undergraduate Notes:

If you have any Criminology course enrollment requests (course adds, course swaps), please contact a Criminology advisor. Please do not contact instructors for enrollment assistance as they will ultimately refer you to a Criminology advisor.

Criminology course enrollment requests should be sent to a Criminology advisor no later than the last day of the Second week of classes. Late enrollment requests are subject to approval and are not guaranteed. 

Enrollment requests for non-Crim courses should be directed to the advisor for the program offering the course. 

ATTENTION: STUDENTS WITH A DISABILITY: Please contact the Centre for Students with Disabilities, (MBC 1250 or Phone 778-782-3112) if you need or require assistance, not your individual instructors.  

  • N.B.: Students are reminded that attendance in the first week of classes is important. However, there are no tutorials in the first week.
  • ON CAMPUS COURSES ONLY: Assignments not submitted to the Professor/T.A. during class/office hours must be placed in the security box behind the General Office (ASSC 10125), or submitted as per Professor’s instructions for courses taking place at Surrey Campus. The assignment drop-off box is emptied Monday to Friday at 8:30 a.m. and 3:30 p.m. only and the contents are date stamped accordingly. No other department’s date stamp will apply (e.g. Library/Campus Security) and the School of Criminology is not responsible for assignments submitted any other way (e.g. slid under office doors). The University does NOT accept assignments by fax. 
  • A student must complete ALL aspects of a course (including assignments, exams, class participation, presentations, chat room components of Distance Education courses and other), otherwise he/she will receive a grade of N. 
  • E-mail policy for on campus courses only: The School of Criminology STRONGLY DISCOURAGES the use of e-mail in lieu of office hour visits. Criminology advises its instructional staff that they are NOT required to respond to student e-mails and that students wishing to confer with them should do so in person during scheduled meeting times.
  • The University has formal policies regarding intellectual dishonesty and grade appeals which may be obtained from the General Office of the School of Criminology.
  • Under GP18, the University has policies and procedures which respond to our obligations under the BC Human Rights Code to provide a harassment and discrimination free environment for the students, staff and faculty of this institution.  Members of this community have an affirmative obligation to safeguard the human rights of others.

Registrar Notes:

SFU’s Academic Integrity web site http://www.sfu.ca/students/academicintegrity.html is filled with information on what is meant by academic dishonesty, where you can find resources to help with your studies and the consequences of cheating.  Check out the site for more information and videos that help explain the issues in plain English.

Each student is responsible for his or her conduct as it affects the University community.  Academic dishonesty, in whatever form, is ultimately destructive of the values of the University. Furthermore, it is unfair and discouraging to the majority of students who pursue their studies honestly. Scholarly integrity is required of all members of the University. http://www.sfu.ca/policies/gazette/student/s10-01.html