Skip to main content

Unit information: Introduction to Qualitative Research Methods in the Social Sciences (SPS) in 2017/18

Please note: you are viewing unit and programme information for a past academic year. Please see the current academic year for up to date information.

Unit name Introduction to Qualitative Research Methods in the Social Sciences (SPS)
Unit code SPOLM0014
Credit points 20
Level of study M/7
Teaching block(s) Teaching Block 1 (weeks 1 - 12)
Unit director Professor. Cameron
Open unit status Not open
Pre-requisites

None

Co-requisites

Introduction to Quantitative Research Methods in the Social Sciences Research Design in the Social Sciences Core Skills Understanding Educational Research Core Skills in Educational Research

School/department School for Policy Studies
Faculty Faculty of Social Sciences and Law

Description

  • To provide a philosophical appreciation of the underpinnings of qualitative research methods
  • To develop a critical understanding of the potential of various qualitative methodologies and key epistemological and methodological ‘problems’ raised in qualitative methodologies
  • To introduce ethical, political and value concerns arising from the interpretation and analysis of qualitative data
  • To develop students’ understanding of the application, strengths and weaknesses of a range of qualitative methods and develop basic skills in the use of qualitative research techniques

Students will apply these methods and techniques in the particular context of their own discipline.

Intended learning outcomes

Module specific skills • Develop a philosophical appreciation of the underpinnings of qualitative research methods. • A critical understanding of and the ability to apply to their own work, the appropriate uses, strengths and weaknesses of qualitative methods. • Ability to evaluate the research practice, data and interpretations of others. • Sensitivity to ethical, political and value concerns in qualitative research. • Appreciation of a reflexive approach to social science research. • Demonstrate basic skills in the use of qualitative research techniques Discipline specific skills • Develop an appreciation of the philosophical underpinning of qualitative approaches in relation to the discipline • Understand how qualitative research can address specific challenges within a disciplinary context • Demonstrate and apply a critical understanding of qualitative methods used in the discipline. • Understand how qualitative methods are used in the discipline and gain an overview of some current qualitative research examples within the discipline • Develop an understanding of discipline-specific ethical, political and value issues, related to qualitative research Personal and key skills • Critical analysis • Ability to reflect on personal/ethical issues raised in qualitative research. • Team work Presentation skills • Practical skills in qualitative research methods

The summative assessment tests all of the ILOs and accounts for 100% of the unit mark.

Teaching details

Lectures/presentations, seminars, group work, use of software and virtual learning environment. The course comprises 3 days of teaching (1 day per week) made up of many sessions of 1-1.5 hours.

Assessment Details

The summative assessment tests all of the ILOs and accounts for 100% of the unit mark.

Formative OR Group presentation 15 mins Personal and key skills Principles of Qualitative Research design Verbal

Formative (alternative) Essay 1500words Principles of Qualitative Research design Written

Summative 100% Essay 4,000 words Module and discipline specific skills Written

Summative (alternative)100% Essay & Research Design 2,500 words + 1,500 words Module and discipline specific skills Written

The choice between summative assessment options will be negotiated with the Unit Tutor

Reading and References

      • Bryman, A. (2016) Social Research Methods [fifth edition] Oxford University Press.
      • Mason, J. (2002). Qualitative Researching. London & Thousand Oaks, California, Sage.
      • Ritchie, J. et al (2014) . Qualitative Research Practice. London, Sage.
      • Silverman, D. (2014) Interpreting Qualitative Data [fifth edition] London: Sage Publications.
      • Flick, U. (2014) An Introduction to Qualitative Research. [fifth edition]London: Sage.
      • Silverman, D. (2016) Qualitative Research [fourth edition] Sage Publications.

The Library provides access to a number of interdisciplinary specialist journals, including: Qualitative Research, Qualitative Inquiry and Forum Qualitative Social Research.

Feedback