Practicum in Criminological/Sociological Research (SOC 3100)

The practicum is a 6 credit hour course that offers students an opportunity to gain valuable experience and training in field research through a placement in a criminal justice or other social service agency having a mandate relevant to the study of sociology. The course is taught and the placements arranged and supervised by the Criminology/Sociology Research Practicum Coordinator. This is a limited enrollment course and the admission process is competitive. The course is particularly recommended for students contemplating further study or a career in criminal justice or other social service sectors.

The Placement

The field component of the course provides students with an opportunity to become acquainted with the workings of a selected criminal justice or other sociologically-related agency as well as gain some practical research experience. The Practicum Coordinator consults with the agency to identify an area of research interest, and to develop a research plan for the student's project. An agency representative is designated as the student's supervisor while in the placement, and the Practicum Coordinator provides ongoing supervision and support to the student for the duration of the project.

Students are required to spend a minimum of 105 hours in their placement, normally averaging 5 hours per week over the academic year.

In recent years, Field Research students have worked with a wide range of agencies, including:

·        Manitoba Justice (Corrections, Probation, Courts)

·        John Howard Society

·        RCMP 

·        Restorative Resolutions

·        Elizabeth Fry Society

·        Manitoba Association of Senior Centres

·        Office of the Children's Advocate

·        Macdonald Youth Services

·        Winnipeg Police Service

·        Newcomers Employment and Education Development Services

·        Circles of Support and Accountability

·        Manitoba Public Insurance

·        Manitoba Criminal Justice Association

·        Ma Mawi Wi Chi Itata Centre

Classroom Instruction

In addition to the field placements, SOC 3100 provides classroom instruction in applied field research methods. The classroom component is designed to teach the skills that students will apply in the field component of the course, as well as in their future careers. It is intended to build upon previous research methods courses by focusing on criminal justice and other sociological research as it is actually conducted in the field. Topics covered include:

·        Designing a field project

·        Literature reviews

·        Constructing and fielding surveys

·        Qualitative methods (e.g. in-depth interviews, participant observation)

·        Program evaluation

·        Data analysis (qualitative and quantitative)

·        Writing research reports

·        Presenting research findings

Examples of Student Research Projects

The following is a sampling of projects completed by Practicum students in previous years (supervisors and agencies in parentheses):

Paul Catteeuw and Rachel Fields, “Incarcerated Women and Motherhood Perceptions” (T. Markestyn and D. Coopsammy, Manitoba Justice)

Evan Bowness, “Perceived Effectiveness of the WATSS Electronic Monitoring Project” (Judge H. Pullan, Provincial Court)

Rob Allison and Tyler Krasowski, “The Impact of Technology on White Collar Crime” (Sgt. L. Levasseur, Winnipeg Police Service)

Konan Michaelis, “Lighthouses in Manitoba: A Qualitative Approach to What Works” (R. Kennett, Manitoba Justice).

Kirsty Gibb and Candace Skinner, “Adult Auto Theft Team: Evaluation and Offender Profile” (K. Biggar and B. Apter, Manitoba Justice)

Tammy Routley and Stefania Whidden, “Youth Gang Prevention: Deterrence and Awareness” (Sgt. R. Cook, RCMP)

Dean Kostakos and Tanner McDonald, “Psychological Components Involved in Fraud” (S.Sgt. D. Scott, RCMP).

Applying for the Course

The Practicum is a limited enrollment course and advanced permission is required to register. The course is normally restricted to third-year Criminology and Sociology majors; however, exceptions may be made for particularly strong applicants.

Applicants must have completed an undergraduate research methods course (SOC 2290 or equivalent).  Applicants should also have completed courses relevant to the area in which they are seeking a placement. For example, an applicant seeking a placement in a criminal justice agency should have completed Criminology (SOC 2510 ) and Criminal Justice & Corrections (SOC 2610 ).

International students must obtain a valid Work Permit (in addition to maintaining a Study Permit) in order to register for the course.

Applicants are evaluated on academic background and performance, employment and/or volunteer history, area(s) of interest, and on a writing sample dealing with a criminal justice/sociological issue of the applicant's choice.  Following an initial assessment of the applications, a short list of students will be contacted to arrange an interview, after which the final admission decisions will be made.

Link to practicum application form   

Course applications should be submitted by the 14th of June to be considered for admission to the course offered in the Fall Term.  Late applications may be considered; however, preference will be given to applicants who meet the deadline.     

For further information on the Practicum course, please contact:

Frank Cormier
Criminology/Sociology Research Practicum Coordinator

313 Isbister Building
University of Manitoba
Winnipeg , MB R3T 2N2
(204) 474-6445
Manitoba toll free 1-800-432-1960 ext.6445