EDUC41290 Advanced Research Methods 1(Qualitative)

Academic Year 2022/2023

The Aim of this Module is to develop a strong understanding of the theoretical and epistemological assumptions underlying qualitative approaches to conducting research within the social sciences generally and within Education studies in particular. It addresses the strengths and limitations of interpretative, qualitative approaches and the potential complementarity of their inclusion in mixed-methods design are foregrounded. Specific methodologies within the qualitative arena are explored in depth. These include case-based work, discourse and narrative analysis, and ethnographic approaches. Considerable attention is placed on designing and preparing for research but attention is also directed on analysing and presenting research outcomes. The underpinning purpose of the module is to enable students to become capable in the design, planning, and critique of qualitative research and to help them develop a necessary awareness of the ethical aspects of conducting research, with particular reference to qualitative research methods and conditions.
This module is taught at the doctoral level and is open to participants from across the College of Social Sciences & Law and the university more generally.
PLEASE NOTE that the basic scheduling of this module is set against active, on-site, participation over four SATURDAYS during the autumn term - with preparatory and follow up readings and individual activity bracketing these.

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Curricular information is subject to change

Learning Outcomes:

On completion of this module, students should be able to:
- Design, plan and enact qualitative research at the doctoral level.
- Demonstrate a thorough understanding of the theoretical and epistemological assumptions which underlie qualitative research method and design.
- Demonstrate a thorough understanding of the application of particular approaches within qualitative research methods - such as Ethnography, Practitioner Research, and Case Study - and the use of key qualitative techniques such as interviewing and observation.
- Critically discuss the strengths and limitations of qualitative research method and design.
- Analyse and report qualitative data.
- Critique published pieces of qualitative research.
- Demonstrate a thorough understanding of the ethical issues involved in conducting research with particular reference to qualitative research.

Indicative Module Content:

Qualitative Methods & Analysis 1.
An Introduction
• Doctoral Research; the role of theory
• The Philosophical Underpinnings of Qualitative work
• Research Ethics, including ethical approval application procedures at UCD

Qualitative Methods & Analysis 2:
Methods & methodologies
• Case-based Method
• Grounded Theory
• Critical Discourse Analysis

Qualitative Methods & Analysis 3.
Data, Coding & Sensemaking
• Agility in the doctoral space
• Coding cycles and coding as sensemaking
• Describing & theorising.

Qualitative Methods & Analysis 4.
From data to thesis
• Writing from data & using graphics
• Narrative analysis and value creation frames.

PLEASE NOTE that the scheduling of this module involves active, on-site, participation over four SATURDAYS during the autumn term - with preparatory and follow-up readings /individual activity bracketing these.

Student Effort Hours: 
Student Effort Type Hours
Autonomous Student Learning




Seminar (or Webinar)




Approaches to Teaching and Learning:
Interactive and hands-on. The module is taught in a way that facilitates and encourages the development of qualitative research capability, in context and in collaboration with others in the module group.
Essentially; relevant-input driven, and activity-based with assessment based on an end of module assignment that is individually negotiated between the participant, the course leader and - where relevant - the student's doctoral supervisor. 
Requirements, Exclusions and Recommendations
Learning Recommendations:

The course requires a willingness to develop familiarity with the use of learning technologies to support individual and small-group based learning on-line and/or at-distance. This includes an openness to posting work and commenting on the work of other participants in mediated course fora and other spaces that are private to the course and having an interest in developing the skills and capabilities to learn and share learning through online activities and events.

Module Requisites and Incompatibles
Not applicable to this module.
Assessment Strategy  
Description Timing Open Book Exam Component Scale Must Pass Component % of Final Grade
Assignment: A project prospectus detailing design and planning for a Qualitative Research Project.
A substantive, stage-related, written piece as agreed with the relevant doctoral student.
Coursework (End of Trimester) n/a Graded Yes


Carry forward of passed components
Remediation Type Remediation Timing
In-Module Resit Prior to relevant Programme Exam Board
Please see Student Jargon Buster for more information about remediation types and timing. 
Feedback Strategy/Strategies

• Feedback individually to students, on an activity or draft prior to summative assessment
• Feedback individually to students, post-assessment

How will my Feedback be Delivered?

This module is based in continuous, task-based learning with learning opportunities built into activities across every session. Feedback to these is kinetic and in-context. The formal module assignment is designed in such a away that it reflects identified learning needs of the individual student; to this end it is negotiated individually, drawing from a range of options relating to stages of the doctoral journey. This assignment is critiqued on completion and feedback made available in written or oral form, as appropriate.

Readings for this module are provided on a block by block basis.
All core readings are supplied via Brightspace; extension readings are noted and referenced in supporting materials.
Name Role
Ms Elena Revyakina Lecturer / Co-Lecturer
Timetabling information is displayed only for guidance purposes, relates to the current Academic Year only and is subject to change.
Lecture Offering 1 Week(s) - 2 Sat 09:00 - 15:50
Lecture Offering 1 Week(s) - 5, 9, 11 Sat 09:00 - 15:50