Accessibility statement

Placement - SPY00015H

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  • Department: Social Policy and Social Work
  • Module co-ordinator: Dr. Rachel Vipond
  • Credit value: 20 credits
  • Credit level: H
  • Academic year of delivery: 2024-25

Module will run

Occurrence Teaching period
A Semester 1 2024-25

Module aims

This module should enable students to:

  • Gain first hand experience of working within a criminal justice or crime related/children and young people-related/social policy setting.
  • Reflect critically on one or more aspects of practice.
  • Compare and contrast national and local policy-in-theory (plans for policy in White Papers etc.and local implementation plans) with how this is delivered in practice and through this explore issues related to policy implementation.
  • Explore how one or more aspect of crime or criminal justice related practice or children and youth-related practice or social policy in practice is related to theory, policy and wider topic-specific literature.
  • Acquire experience of report writing.

Module learning outcomes

Learning outcomes will be developed individually for each student relevant to their chosen placement.


Task Length % of module mark
Essay 3500 words
N/A 100

Special assessment rules



Task Length % of module mark
Essay 3500 words
N/A 100

Module feedback

Feedback will be given in accordance with the University Policy on feedback in the Guide to Assessment as well as in line with the School policy.

Indicative reading

  • Most methods text books will have chapters on useful topics such as ethics, field notes and observation - these are just a few of those we think are the most practical for the purposes of the placement.

  • Bailey, C. (2007) A guide to qualitative field research, London, Sage

  • The chapters on observation, field notes, ethics and storytelling are very useful.

  • Barbour, Rosaline. (2008) Introducing Qualitative Research, London, Sage. Chapter 8 Ethnography has good examples of observation, how to plan observation including an observational template, and hints on field note taking.

  • Mason, J. (2002) Qualitative researching (2nded), London, Sage

  • Chapters on documents (ch6) and observation methods (ch 5) are useful. A little more challenging than some of the other material and less of a practical guide than some of the others.

  • Denscombe, M. (1998) The good research guide, Buckingham, Open University Press

  • Chapter 9 on documents is useful for thinking about different types of documents, and chapter 8 on observation also takes you through some of the practical issues that are useful for you to consider.

  • Noaks, L. and Wincup, E. (2004) Criminological research: understanding qualitative methods, London, Sage.

  • Contains chapters on access (ch 4); ethnography (ch 6) and using documentary evidence (ch 7) that are all useful. The examples used are all in relation to crime settings, but the material is of use to all students.

  • For Crime and Criminal Justice pathway students doing court observation, we suggest you read:

  • Zedner L (2004), Criminal Justice, Oxford University Press, ch5 Court

  • Rock P (1991), Witnesses and Space in a Crown Court, British Journal of Criminology, vol 31, 3, pp266-279 [please note the date - some of the comments on the treatment of witnesses, particularly victims, may be out of date]

  • See also the information sheet on court observation on the vle

The information on this page is indicative of the module that is currently on offer. The University is constantly exploring ways to enhance and improve its degree programmes and therefore reserves the right to make variations to the content and method of delivery of modules, and to discontinue modules, if such action is reasonably considered to be necessary by the University. Where appropriate, the University will notify and consult with affected students in advance about any changes that are required in line with the University's policy on the Approval of Modifications to Existing Taught Programmes of Study.