Doing Qualitative Research - SOCI6470

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Module delivery information

Location Term Level1 Credits (ECTS)2 Current Convenor3 2024 to 2025
Autumn Term 5 15 (7.5) Eleanor Jupp checkmark-circle


This module introduces students to the use of qualitative methods for research in the social sciences in the interpretive tradition. It builds on the Stage 1 module, Foundations of Social and Criminological Research SAPO3130 and prepares students for sociological and socio-historical dissertations at Stage 3 SOCI5510. The module looks in detail at how sociologists and social historians do research. It contextualises the evolution of their research methods in relation to different schools of thoughts and critical perspectives, e.g. feminism. It exposes students to different tools of research including semi-structured and oral history interviews, focus groups, archival work and documentary analysis, ethnography, and visual, sensory, mobile and material methods.


Contact hours

Total Contact Hours: 22
Private Study Hours: 128
Total Study Hours: 150


BSc (Hons) Social Sciences and BA (Hons) Criminology and Criminal Justice

Method of assessment

Main assessment methods

This module will be assessed by 100% coursework through two linked pieces of coursework:
Assignment 1: Research Design - 1,500 words (30% of overall grade)
Assignment 2: Research Report - 3,000 words (70% of overall grade)

Reassessment methods

100% Coursework

Indicative reading

Bryman, A. (2012) Social Research Methods
Devine, F. & Heath, S. (1999) Sociological Research Methods in Context
Gilbert, N. and P. Stoneman (2015) (eds) Researching Social Life
Hesse-Biber, S. N. & Leavy, P. (2005) Approaches to Qualitative Research
May, T. (1997) Social Research. Issues, Methods and Process
Silverman, D. (2013) Doing Qualitative Research
Thompson, A. (1998) The Oral History Reader

See the library reading list for this module (Medway)

Learning outcomes

The intended subject specific learning outcomes.
On successfully completing the module students will be able to:

8.1 Demonstrate knowledge and critical understanding of the logics and epistemologies of qualitative social research
8.2 Identify a range of different qualitative research strategies and methods and their respective advantages and disadvantages
8.3 Be able to apply specific qualitative research techniques (e.g. interviews and ethnography) to empirical questions with a critical awareness
of the implications of different methodologies for knowledge claims
8.4 Judge and evaluate the validity of research evidence
8.5 Demonstrate the importance of research ethics in designing and implementing a project

The intended generic learning outcomes.
On successfully completing the module students will be able to:

9.1 Demonstrate capacity for producing coherently organised information in written work
9.2 Demonstrate research skills through use of library resources and information technology
9.3 Show ability to collect, analyse and understand verbal, textual and sensory data
9.4 Demonstrate ability to work collaboratively with other students in seminar discussions and group projects
9.5 Show understanding of different schools of thought and critical perspectives and their relevance in the conduct of research
9.6 Be able to identify and define problems and explore possible solutions.


  1. Credit level 5. Intermediate level module usually taken in Stage 2 of an undergraduate degree.
  2. ECTS credits are recognised throughout the EU and allow you to transfer credit easily from one university to another.
  3. The named convenor is the convenor for the current academic session.
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