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Research Proposal


Admission requirements

Students who want to take this course need to be admitted to the Comparative Criminal Justice master’s programme.


Students write a research proposal in preparation for their research thesis. They are supported in this process by the course coordinator and thesis supervisors, who are assigned early in the process. The research proposal provides an overview of the relevant literature on a criminal justice topic, identifies the limitations and gaps in knowledge, includes a theoretical approach and outlines the contribution of the proposed project. Students design an appropriate methodological approach which involves a comparative perspective.

The lectures and group sessions are intended to serve as a forum in which students can present and discuss their work on the research proposal. Active participation is required and will facilitate the development of a solid research plan and, eventually, a good research thesis.

Course objectives

Objectives of the course

By the end of this course, students should be able to:

  • Review and evaluate the literature on a topic involving a comparative analysis of criminal justice practice, policy or law

  • Formulate a relevant and clearly-defined research question or problem statement that addresses a gap or limitation in the existent body of knowledge on the topic

  • Identify an appropriate and feasible methodological approach to answer the formulated research question

  • Demonstrate an ability to reflect on the strengths, weaknesses and ethics of proposed research


The timetable of this course can be found in uSis.

Mode of instruction


  • Number of (2 hour) lectures: 2

  • Names of lecturers: Dr. E.F.J.C. van Ginneken

Other methods of instruction

  • Description: Group supervision

  • Number of (2 hour) instructions: 3

  • Names of instructors: t.b.d.

Assessment method

Examination form(s)

  • Submission of assignments and peer feedback (pass/fail)

  • Research proposal of 4000-5000 words (pass/fail)

Submission procedures

All assignments are submitted via Turnitin (Brightspace).

  • Both components need to receive a ‘pass’ for the course to be completed successfully. If this is not the case, the lowest partial grade will be registered as final grade.

  • This course needs to be completed successfully as a prerequisite for the course ‘Master thesis: Criminal Justice’.

  • There will be a resit for both assessment components.

  • The partial exams that have been finished with a passing grade, will be valid up to and including the academic year following the year in which the grade has been achieved. To this there is one exception: when the learning objectives, content, design or examination of a course has been changed, the course coordinator can decide that the validity of the partial exam concerned has expired due to didactic reasons. This will be stated in the course description of the academic year in which the change(s) will be implemented.

Reading list

Bachman, R.D. & Schutt, R.K. (2014). Fundamentals of Research in Criminology and Criminal Justice (3d ed.). Thousand Oaks: SAGE.

Wincup, E. (2017). Criminological Research: Understanding Qualitative Methods (2nd ed.). Thousand Oaks: SAGE.

Wallace, M., & Wray, A. (2016). Critical reading and writing for postgraduates. London: SAGE.

Katz, L. (2018). Critical Thinking and Persuasive Writing for Postgraduates. London: Palgrave.

Nygaard, L. P. (2017). Writing your master's thesis: from a to Zen. London: SAGE.


Students have to register for courses and exams through uSis.

Employability and (academic) career

This course teaches students skills – the writing of a convincing research proposal – that are particularly helpful for students who are interested in pursuing an academic or otherwise research-intensive career.
Students present their ideas in small groups, which gives them the opportunity to reflect on their own practice and also learn from their peers. They are also encouraged to give peer feedback and incorporate the feedback they receive.

Contact information

  • Coordinator: dr. E.F.J.C. van Ginneken

  • Availability: Monday till Friday, through the secretariat

  • Telephone: 071 – 527 74 62

  • E-mail:


  • Institute: Criminal Law and Criminology

  • Department: Criminology

  • Opening hours: 09.00 to 12.30

  • Telephone secretariat: 071 – 527 74 62

  • Room number: B3.11

  • E-mail: