AP0501 - Research Methods

What will I learn on this module?

Your learning on this module will be situated within the ethical, social and legal implications associated with forensic science’s contribution to crime investigation and research. You will learn how to effectively design, conduct and review academic research – skills that are relevant and transferable to 2nd and final year academic study.

As part of the module you will learn how to:
• effectively search and use e-literacy techniques to enable you to critically analyse academic literature relevant to forensic science and associated disciplines.
• undertake methods of research (quantitative and/or qualitative) such as experimental data and statistics, interviews, focus groups and observations.
• effectively communicate your opinions whilst also acknowledging the work of others through appropriate citation and evidence of wider reading.
• review and consider the requirements and expectations of a scientist to ensure your own research is ethical, safe, peer reviewed and statistically supported.

Your learning will take place within the practice and research of forensic science. As such, you will be required to demonstrate an appreciation of the differing ethical implications associated with real world crime investigation and the constraints that impact and influence laboratory based and desk-based research.

How will I learn on this module?

You will learn through lectures, IT and seminar sessions specifically designed to provide the theory and e-literacy skills to enable a you to effectively retrieve appropriate academic material specific to your area of interest. As part of this process, you will consider how the information is communicated and whether it is appropriately supported with reference to other published work.

You will engage with a range of statistical tests to give you guidance towards selecting a test relevant to a particular data sets or hypothesis. You will also engage with appropriate qualitative methods. This will also assist you when critically appraising published works to assess validity or otherwise.

You will progress to demonstrate a scientific approach to your writing style and the presentation of data and information, as both written and verbal communication. You will cover a variety of mediums including Introduction, Methods, Results and Discussion (IMRAD) style reports, academic papers, power point and posters, all of which support your progression through to your final year of study and independent research topic/project.

During the module you will work as part of a small group to develop your communication and team working skills, vital to your future employability and working relationships.

How will I be supported academically on this module?

You will be supported through active participation and discussion during lectures, IT and seminar sessions. These offer an opportunity to discuss how effective your literature searching and critique are developing and explore other options. You will gain peer support from your colleagues as you engage with team working within the module.

All lecture and practical material will be available on the University’s eLearning Portal, supplemented with guidance on further reading relevant to the subjects.

Written feedback for both assessments will also be provided to allow you to understand how you performed and how you can build on this performance in subsequent assessments within your programme.

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?

Personal Values Attributes (Global / Cultural awareness, Ethics, Curiosity) (PVA):
• MLO1 - As part of a group you will be expected to critically appraise the ethical, legal and societal issues impacting or influencing research and crime investigation within forensic science and present your academically supported opinions.
• MLO2 - Individually you will demonstrate the ability to critically appraise, evaluate and summarise publications relevant forensic science and its role within society.

How will I be assessed?

The assessment will split between a group presentation (40%) MLOs 1,2 and a written individual evaluation report of a study (60%) (MLO's 1,2)

The group presentation will be designed to assess your knowledge and appreciation of the relevant ethical, legal and societal issues that impact on forensic science practices and research. Your communication skills will be integral to conveying your depth of wider reading and social awareness of current political and ethical matters relevant to forensic science. Formative feedback as part of peer support will support your ability to communicate and convey opinions in a constructive and supported manner. (MLO1)

The evaluation report will be designed to allow you to demonstrate your ability to critically appraise emerging issues and publications in forensic science and related sub-disciplines. Through this assessment, you will illustrate your scientific analytical and writing skills and acknowledgement of appropriate publications. (MLO2)

The combination of these two assessment styles will illustrate your ability to accurately and effectively communicate your opinions through authentic assessment tasks that align to and support your overall progression through your programme. (MLO1,2)

Feedback strategy
For the group oral presentation, written feedback will be provided for the group and individual. Individual written feedback will be provided for the evaluation report. All feedback will be provided by within the university timeline guidelines.





Module abstract

You will cover the current ethical, legal and societal issues that have and will continue to impact upon and influence forensic science practice and research. To enable you to effectively retrieve and assess such issues you will develop appropriate techniques, research methodology and skills to effectively undertake research yourself and search appropriate published literature and assess its credibility and validity. You will also develop your academic writing style illustrated by evidence of wider reading and acknowledgment of the work of others.

Your written communication, verbal presentation and team working skills will improve as you work towards a group presentation. An individual piece of written work will use the insight gained into critical thinking, experimental design and analysis to produce an evaluation report of a study.

Course info

UCAS Code F410

Credits 20

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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