Qualitative Research

Module code: MD7462

Module co-ordinator: TBC

In this module you will examine the basic features of a range of qualitative methods and identify those commonly used. We will discuss good practice in the relation to the conduct of interviews and focus groups and explore how to prepare a prompt guide for an interview or focus group. You will learn how to plan a basic ethnographic study, and how to develop a coding frame and organise qualitative data using dedicated software. We will consider the criteria used in making judgement about the quality of published qualitative research and also discuss good ethical practice in qualitative research as well as approaches to qualitative research data management.

Topics covered

  • Epistemological and ontological assumptions underlying qualitative research methodologies
  • Identifying research questions for qualitative enquiry
  • Developing a critical and reflexive approach
  • Designing and planning a qualitative research project including consideration of ethical issues and research data management
  • Conducting interviews, focus groups and ethnographic observation
  • Approaches to the analysis of qualitative data (including open coding and the constant comparative method, discourse analysis and visual analysis)
  • Using qualitative analysis software
  • Critical appraisal of qualitative research papers
  • Communicating findings of qualitative research


  • 18 one-hour lectures
  • 12 one-hour seminars
  • 6 hours of fieldwork


  • Reflective essay 3,000 words (100%)