Not available in 2017/18
MY428      Half Unit
Qualitative Text Analysis

This information is for the 2017/18 session.

Teacher responsible

Dr Audrey Alejandro COL7.07


This course is available on the MSc in Social Research Methods. This course is available as an outside option to students on other programmes where regulations permit.

The course is also available to PhD students, please see MY528.


There are no prerequisites but some prior training in qualitative research methods is expected. Please contact the course convenor if unsure

Course content

The efficiency of power lies in its invisibility. Critical studies emphasise the need to take into account the implicit dimensions of the (re)production of the social and political order. But this theoretical standpoint raises a methodological challenge. As social agents ourselves, how do we assess the implicit, which by definition, we have been socialised not to perceive?  How can we prove the implicit structuration of the world in a rigorous, empirical way? Focusing on discourses - the role they play in society, their relation to institutions, practices and perceptions - represents a stimulating and efficient method to address this challenge.

This course trains into the demanding craft of mapping the social and political implications of discourses and making explicit their implicit dimensions. It will mainly focus on Discourse Analysis but also covers other analytic traditions such as thematic analysis and content analysis. It introduces techniques and procedures available to researchers to identify and extract information from texts and speeches for social scientific purposes. Different types of materials will be investigated such as political speeches, news articles and cultural productions on a vast array of critical topics such as race or gender. The aim of this course is to equip participants with the right skills to engage the study of discourses and build critical thinking around those tools according to 1) Research Design 2) Type of data under consideration.



20 hours of lectures and 10 hours of seminars in the LT.

Week 6 is a Reading Week during which students work independently on their Summative Assignment.

Formative coursework

A project proposal (c.1,000 words). Students write a proposal for the project that will comprise their summative assessment.

Indicative reading

Baker, P. and Ellece, S. (2010). Key Terms in Discourse Analysis, London: Continuum.

Kendall, G. and Wickham, G. (1999) Using Foucault’s Methods, London: Sage

Scheier, M. (2012) Qualitative Content Analysis. Sage, Thousand Oaks, CA. Sage, Thousand Oaks, CA.

Seale, C., Gobo, G., Gubrium, J.F. and Silverman, D. (2004). Qualitative research practice. London: Sage, chapters 11-12.


Essay (100%, 4000 words) in the LT.

Key facts

Department: Methodology

Total students 2016/17: Unavailable

Average class size 2016/17: Unavailable

Controlled access 2016/17: No

Value: Half Unit

Guidelines for interpreting course guide information