Written by Sociology student James Lowe

On Monday 12th February sociology students of Loreto College gathered in the theatre to hear about Dr Muzammil Quraishi’s research, who is a Senior Lecturer in Criminology and Criminal Justice at the University of Salford (Manchester).

As Sociology students, we have to learn about sociological/ criminological research and incorporate them into our essay writing. From attending the talk, Dr Quraishi highlighted how complex conducting research can be and how there are multiple barriers to which you may face when trying to gather evidence for research purposes.

Some of the barriers Dr Quraishi faced were gatekeeping issues from the Ministry of Justice and Governors of Prisons, meaning in some cases access to prisons were restricted.

The research used a semi-structured interview method as it would build a rapport with the respondent and it could help his conclusions to be more reliable. This is a method which as a sociology student I wasn’t fully aware of until Dr Quraishi outlined the issues surrounding his methodical approach. All the practical (access), ethical (data protection and informed consent) and theoretical factors which he outlined in his study can be used as examples for the Component Two Exam.

Additionally, Dr Quraishi’s research was useful for our A-level studies because we could use it as a basis of knowledge for understanding ethnic differences within the criminal justice system linking to a crime and deviance module of the second-year material within sociology.

As a sociology student of Loreto College, I was very grateful to hear the research conducted by Dr Quraishi because now I can use the information provided in this talk when writing up responses in my summer exams but also it helps me to expand my understanding of sociological research. Moreover, I can use this information in my future studies as I will be wanting to study Sociology at university.