Introduction to Qualitative Methods (513X8)

15 credits, Level 7 (Masters)

Autumn teaching

This course introduces you to the nature and characteristics of qualitative social research and its applications in a range of contexts. It will also equip you with some key personal and practical skills relevant to successful qualitative research.

The course comprises of four sections. Section one will introduce the variety of methodological positions and research practices associated with qualitative research strategies. Section two focuses on the nature of ethnographic fieldwork and provides critical contexts for its exploration. Section three uses the key data collection method of interviewing to take you through the research process and especially issues in the analysis of qualitative data. Section four deals with the key dimensions of ethics and politics in qualitative settings and critically assesses the feminist contribution to qualitative methodology. The course will also include a workshop on NVivo.


100%: Practical (Workshop)


100%: Written assessment (Essay)

Contact hours and workload

This module is approximately 150 hours of work. This breaks down into about 42 hours of contact time and about 108 hours of independent study. The University may make minor variations to the contact hours for operational reasons, including timetabling requirements.

We regularly review our modules to incorporate student feedback, staff expertise, as well as the latest research and teaching methodology. We’re planning to run these modules in the academic year 2022/23. However, there may be changes to these modules in response to COVID-19, staff availability, student demand or updates to our curriculum. We’ll make sure to let our applicants know of material changes to modules at the earliest opportunity.