MY428      Half Unit
Qualitative Text Analysis

This information is for the 2018/19 session.

Teacher responsible

Dr Audrey Alejandro COL.7.14


This course is available on the MSc in Applied Social Data Science, MSc in Gender, Media and Culture, MSc in Human Geography and Urban Studies (Research) and 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 goal of this course is to provide students with the skills to systematically identify and extract information from texts and discourses for social scientific purposes. While acquiring those skills, students also learn how to interpret textual data by exploring the concepts and case studies developed across disciplines. The course both establishes a theoretical foundation for text/discourse analysis and takes a practical and applied approach, so that students can acquire greater independence and confidence when conducting their research project.

The first part of the course discusses the major paradigms and traditions of qualitative text analysis and focuses on the application of specific analytical techniques to qualitative data. The main methods of qualitative text analysis, including content analysis and thematic analysis, will be explored with specific emphasis on discourse analysis. The second part of the course places the in-depth analysis of texts in the broader context of research methods. It aims to help students in building critical thinking around qualitative text analysis by familiarising them with a variety of mixed-methods research designs that can be used when studying texts and discourses.

Lectures introduce the main conceptual and practical issues. Seminars provide practical experience of implementing the methodology. Students will be working directly with qualitative data and performing their own analyses on a diverse range of materials, such as political speeches and news articles, as well as cultural texts such as movie scripts and songs.


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

Dunn K. and Neumann I. B. (2016). Undertaking Discourse Analysis for social research, Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press.

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

Scheier, M. (2012). Qualitative Content Analysis. 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 2017/18: Unavailable

Average class size 2017/18: Unavailable

Controlled access 2017/18: No

Value: Half Unit

Guidelines for interpreting course guide information