MY421L Half Unit
Qualitative Research Methods
This information is for the 2021/22 session.
Dr Aliya Rao
This course is available on the MPhil/PhD in Demography/Population Studies, MSc in Applied Social Data Science, MSc in Comparative Politics, MSc in Conflict Studies, MSc in European and International Public Policy, MSc in European and International Public Policy (LSE and Bocconi), MSc in European and International Public Policy (LSE and Sciences Po), MSc in Gender (Research), MSc in Global Health Policy, MSc in Human Geography and Urban Studies (Research), MSc in Inequalities and Social Science, MSc in International Migration and Public Policy, MSc in International Migration and Public Policy (LSE and Sciences Po), MSc in International Social and Public Policy (Research), MSc in Marketing and MSc in Social Research Methods. This course is available as an outside option to students on other programmes where regulations permit.
This course is not controlled access. If you register for a place and meet the prerequisites, if any, you are likely to be given a place.
This course presents the fundamentals of qualitative research methods. The course has the dual aims of equipping students with conceptual understandings of current academic debates regarding qualitative methods, and with practical skills to put those methods into practice. It prepares students to design, carry out, report, read and evaluate qualitative research projects. First, students learn how to collect data using methods including interviews, focus groups, participant observation, and selecting documents and new media data. Second, we cover analysis, using thematic and discourse analysis. Issues of research design, quality indicators and ethics are addressed.
This is a generalist, introductory course and we invite students who have little previous experience of qualitative methods. Students with prior training in qualitative methods might be interested in more specialist alternatives offered by the Department of Methodology, such as MY425 Case Studies and Comparative Methods for Qualitative Research,MY426: Doing Ethnography, or MY428 Qualitative Text Analysis.
Lectures introduce the main conceptual and practical issues. Seminars provide practical experience with the methods.
The course runs twice per year: in MT (MY421M) and again in LT (MY421L). The content of the course, and the method of assessment, is exactly the same in each term.
This course is delivered through a combination of classes and lectures totalling a minimum of 20 hours in Lent Term. This year, some or all of this teaching may be delivered through a combination of virtual classes and flipped-lectures delivered as short online videos.
This course has a reading week in Week 6 of LT.
Students submit a portion of their practical work, with some written commentary, for formative assessment in Week 7.
- Maria J Mayan (2009) Essentials in qualitative inquiry, Walnut Creek, CA: Left Coast Press.
- M Bauer & G Gaskell, (2000) Qualitative Researching with Text, Image and Sound, London: Sage.
- U Flick, (2009) An Introduction to Qualitative Research, 4th edition, London: Sage.
- C Seale, G Gobo, JF Gubrium, & D Silverman, (2004). Qualitative Research Practice. London: Sage.
Please Note: No single publication covers the whole content of the course.
Project (100%, 3000 words) in the ST.
The summative assignment is a small project, demonstrating skills in using some of the qualitative methods covered during the course. It takes the form of a project report, with detailed appendices documenting the methods of data collection and analysis used.
Course selection videos
Some departments have produced short videos to introduce their courses. Please refer to the course selection videos index page for further information.
Important information in response to COVID-19
Please note that during 2021/22 academic year some variation to teaching and learning activities may be required to respond to changes in public health advice and/or to account for the differing needs of students in attendance on campus and those who might be studying online. For example, this may involve changes to the mode of teaching delivery and/or the format or weighting of assessments. Changes will only be made if required and students will be notified about any changes to teaching or assessment plans at the earliest opportunity.
Total students 2020/21: 45
Average class size 2020/21: 9
Controlled access 2020/21: No
Value: Half Unit
Personal development skills
- Team working
- Problem solving
- Application of information skills
- Specialist skills