Fall 2023 - CRIM 860 G100

Research Methods I: Research Design (3)

Class Number: 6015

Delivery Method: In Person


  • Course Times + Location:

    Sep 6 – Dec 5, 2023: Fri, 9:30 a.m.–12:20 p.m.



Research design for criminological problems and foundational techniques for the conduct of research in criminology. The further development of fundamental research skills to be applied in research, including subsequent research methods courses and in the preparation of theses and dissertations. Students enrolling in this course are expected to have a solid background in undergraduate research methods, equivalent to CRIM 220.


If our aim in research is to generate data that will allow us to make unambiguous empirically-based statements about the nature of the phenomena we choose to observe, then research design is the study of how we manage that process in order to eliminate and/or control the many rival plausible explanations that can plague the inferences we make. Accordingly, Crim 860 is an advanced graduate seminar that focuses primarily on the design of qualitative, quantitative and mixed-methods research in criminology that combines literature, discussion and experience. A secondary objective of the course is to introduce graduate students to the various professional roles that come with advanced degrees in criminology and the various career trajectories criminologists might follow. The course is heavily discussion-based.


  • A series of small (5-7 page) assignments focusing on the analytical issues and various skills the course seeks to develop 80%
  • Participation in class discussion and submission of one-page commentaries on readings 20%



There are no required texts, but Research Methods in the Social and Health Sciences: Making Research Decisions by Palys & Atchison (2021) is recommended, particularly for those with minimal background in methods and/or who would like a review of the range of qualitative, quantitative and mixed-methods approaches we cover in the course. A used copy of Palys & Atchison’s Research Decisions: Quantitative, Qualitative and Mixed Methods Approaches (5th edition, 2014) also would work if you should happen to have a copy of that hanging around from an earlier course.


Your personalized Course Material list, including digital and physical textbooks, are available through the SFU Bookstore website by simply entering your Computing ID at: shop.sfu.ca/course-materials/my-personalized-course-materials.

Graduate Studies Notes:

Important dates and deadlines for graduate students are found here: http://www.sfu.ca/dean-gradstudies/current/important_dates/guidelines.html. The deadline to drop a course with a 100% refund is the end of week 2. The deadline to drop with no notation on your transcript is the end of week 3.

Registrar Notes:


SFU’s Academic Integrity website 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


Students with a faith background who may need accommodations during the semester are encouraged to assess their needs as soon as possible and review the Multifaith religious accommodations website. The page outlines ways they begin working toward an accommodation and ensure solutions can be reached in a timely fashion.