Qualitative Research - SOCI8170

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Module delivery information

Location Term Level1 Credits (ECTS)2 Current Convenor3 2024 to 2025
Spring Term 7 20 (10) Veronika Stoyanova checkmark-circle


This module focuses on the theory and practice of qualitative research. It explores the various aspects of using and collecting qualitative data. The aim of the module is to illustrate a range of practical techniques while considering related problems of evidence and inference in qualitative analyses.
Students will be versed in a range of techniques and will have the opportunity to practice some of them, this includes
• the theory and practice of interviewing and different varieties of interview;
• focus groups;
• oral history;
• case study methods;
• ethnographic theory and method;
• action research;
• critical discourse analysis;
• narrative analysis;
• visual methods.


Contact hours

Total contact hours: 22
Private study hours: 178
Total study hours: 200


Methods of Social Research MA – compulsory module
Two year Master's in Methods of Social Research MA – compulsory module
Option module for other SSPSR taught MA programmes

Method of assessment

Main assessment methods

Coursework assignment 1- essay (2500 words) – 50%
Coursework assignment 2 – essay (2500 words) – 50%

Reassessment methods

Reassessment instrument- 100% coursework

Indicative reading

Barnard, M. (2001) Approaches to understanding visual culture, Palgrave.
Bryman, A. (2004) Social Research Methods, Oxford University Press.
Hammersley, M (1990) Reading Ethnographic Research: A Critical Guide, Longman
Hesse-Bibber, S. N. & Leavy, P. (2005) Approaches to Qualitative Research; Sage.
Hesse-Bibber, S. N. & Leavy, P. (2006) The Practice of Qualitative Research; Sage
May, T. (2001) Social Research, Maidenhead: Open University Press.
Miles, M and Huberman, M (1994) Qualitative Data Analysis: An Expanded Sourcebook, Sage.
Plummer, K. (2005) Documents of life 2: An invitation to a critical humanism, Sage.
Perks, R. & Thomson, A. (eds.) (1998) The Oral History Reader, Routledge.
McKee, A. (2003) Textual Analysis: A beginners guide, Sage.
Reason, P. and Bradbury, H. (eds.) (2001) Handbook of action research: participative inquiry and practice. Sage.
Riessman, C. K. (1993). Narrative analysis, Sage.
Silverman, D. (2004) Qualitative Research. Theory, Method and Practice, Sage.

See the library reading list for this module (Canterbury)

Learning outcomes

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

8.1 Identify different epistemological approaches used within social science and assess their strengths and weaknesses);
8.2 Assess the generic strengths/weaknesses of qualitative methods as compared
with other methodologies in social science
8.3 Understand some widely-used techniques of qualitative data collection and analysis in the social sciences, know when it is appropriate to
use them and be able to assess their strengths and weaknesses
8.4 Evaluate and criticise qualitative analyses they encounter in the literature in their field
8.5 Deploy a range of qualitative techniques effectively
8.6 Present their research results in a form acceptable for publication

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

9.1 The ability to communicate research results to academic and general audiences in both written and oral media 9
9.2 The ability to manage their time, prioritise workloads and manage stress as well taking responsibility for their learning and professional
9.3 The ability to identify and solve common problems in social research
9.4 The ability to access and evaluate ICT and library based resources appropriate for postgraduate study; make critical judgments about their
merits and use the available evidence to construct a developed argument to be presented orally or in writing
9.5 Knowledge of career opportunities in their field and ability to plan for their future


This is a compulsory module for the MA in Methods of Social Research, Faculty Research Training Programme.


  1. Credit level 7. Undergraduate or postgraduate masters level module.
  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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