School of Global Studies

Introduction to Qualitative Methods (513X8)

Introduction to Qualitative Methods

Module 513X8

Module details for 2017/18.

15 credits

FHEQ Level 7 (Masters)

Module Outline

This course is designed for all postgraduate students in social science and related professional disciplines. The course aims, first, to introduce students to the nature and characteristics of qualitative social research and its applications in a range of contexts. Secondly, the course aims to equip students with some key personal and practical skills relevant to successful qualitative research.

The course first introduces the variety of methodological positions and research practices associated with qualitative research strategies. Three key research approaches to data collection are explored in more depth. One session considers the nature of ethnographic fieldwork and provides critical contexts for its exploration. Participant observation is discussed as a key social science research method. This is followed by a session on narratives and life-histories as particular types of qualitative data. This is followed by a session on the key data collection method of interviewing. Students are set a practical interviewing task on which they report back to the groups. This exercise is used as a starting point to discuss a range of practical and theoretical issues around interviewing. A final session considers issues of data analysis, representation and writing. In this session, issues of ethics and the politics of research and writing are addressed.

Module learning outcomes

Ability to demonstrate critical knowledge of a range of qualitative research methods

Ability to evaluate epistemological, methodological and ethical issues involved in qualitative research

Ability to apply a range of qualitative research methods to a social research project

Ability to analyse and present qualitative research data, including evaluating the strengths and weaknesses of different types of qualitative research

Essay (2500 words)Semester 1 Assessment Week 2 Mon 16:00100.00%

Submission deadlines may vary for different types of assignment/groups of students.


Coursework components (if listed) total 100% of the overall coursework weighting value.

TermMethodDurationWeek pattern
Autumn SemesterWorkshop3 hours111111100000

How to read the week pattern

The numbers indicate the weeks of the term and how many events take place each week.

Dr Geert De Neve


Mrs Jayne Paulin

Assess convenor

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