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SO915 - Qualitative Methods in Social Research

  • Module code: SO915
  • Module name: Qualitative Methods in Social Research
  • Department: Sociology
  • Credit: 20

Content and teaching | Assessment | Availability

Module content and teaching

Principal aims

The module aims to provide postgraduate social science training in the area of qualitative research methods and methodologies. It is priimarily concerned with the ways in which social scientists conduct research and analyse their findings, and is conducted through a series of workshops led by a team of members of staff who are specialists in particular thematic areas. There is an emphasis in the module on learning through active interaction with lecturers and other students, and include small group discussions, debates, practical exercises and training.

Principal learning outcomes

By the end of the module, students should have acquired, further developed: an understanding of the role and importance of research design within the context of the qualitative research process; an understanding of the evolution of qualitiatve research traditions; an understanding of the ethical issues associated ith qualitative research; skills in using a range of qualitative research techniques; skills in applying computer technology to the analysis of qualitative data; the capacity to analyse, assess and communicate empirical information; the ability to identify a range of different research strategies and methods, and to comment on their relative advantages and disdvantages; and the ability to conceptulaise and operationalise qualitative research questions. In addition, they should have developed skills in judging and evaluating evidence; assessing the merits of competing viewpoints, theories and explanations; gathering , retrieving and summarising information; making reasoned arguments; interpreting evidence; and develop the ability to reflect on their own accumulation of knowledge.

Timetabled teaching activities

Weekly seminars

Departmental link

Module assessment

Assessment group Assessment name Percentage
20 CATS (Module code: SO915-20)
A1 (Assessed work only) 1st 2000 word essay 50%
  2nd 2000 word essay 50%

Module availability

This module is available on the following courses:

  • Postgraduate Taught Social Research (L3PE) - Year 2
Optional Core


  • Postgraduate Taught Social and Political Thought (L3P8) - Year 2
  • Postgraduate Taught Sociology (L3PD) - Year 2
  • Taught Postgraduate Science, Media and Public Policy (L3PV) - Year 2
  • Postgraduate Taught Gender and International Development (M9P7) - Year 2