POL50200 Qualitative Research Methods (CORE)

Academic Year 2021/2022

The module deals with three core uses of qualitative methods in political science: 1) Methods related to research design such as case studies, 2) Methods related to analysis, such as process tracing and content analysis, and 3) Methods for data collection, such as elite interviews or focus groups. In addition, we will discuss practical aspects that arise in the use of qualitative methods such as transparency, research ethics, data management or software use.

The module's primary goal is to assist students with designing their research. We will devote time to both epistemological discussions and practical aspects of employing qualitative methods, linking the discussed methods to participants' research, and helping them overcome methodological challenges. The format combines lectures with student presentations and practical exercises.

The module format combines lectures with discussions of papers and practical exercises.

Show/hide contentOpenClose All

Curricular information is subject to change

Learning Outcomes:

The course's specific learning objectives and goals include:
- awareness about how methodological choices are closely linked to conceptual issues
- familiarity with a variety of research methods, including interviewing, case studies, process tracing, and the use of documentary/primary sources;
- ability to consider the appropriateness of different methodologies and types of evidence to test alternative hypotheses and to construct arguments;
- understand advantages and limitations of qualitative research
- understand ethical issues in social science research
- awareness about the need of transparency in qualitative research

Student Effort Hours: 
Student Effort Type Hours


Autonomous Student Learning




Approaches to Teaching and Learning:
research presentations
Requirements, Exclusions and Recommendations

Not applicable to this module.

Module Requisites and Incompatibles
Not applicable to this module.
Assessment Strategy  
Description Timing Open Book Exam Component Scale Must Pass Component % of Final Grade
Attendance: Active Participation in discussions that shows evidence of preparation

Throughout the Trimester n/a Graded No


Continuous Assessment: Presentations/ Assignments

- Depending on class size.
Throughout the Trimester n/a Graded No


Essay: Term Paper Coursework (End of Trimester) n/a Graded No


Carry forward of passed components
Resit In Terminal Exam
Autumn No
Please see Student Jargon Buster for more information about remediation types and timing. 
Feedback Strategy/Strategies

• Feedback individually to students, post-assessment
• Group/class feedback, post-assessment
• Online automated feedback
• Peer review activities

How will my Feedback be Delivered?

Not yet recorded.

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) - Autumn: All Weeks Mon 11:00 - 12:50