Qualitative Research Methods

Course content

Overview: Methods reveal and conceal. But multiple methods are needed if social science is to advance and deal with the pressing issues of both the present and the future. In this class, students will learn how to combine various qualitative methods, at multiple levels of analysis, to understand social scientific phenomenon. Readings will draw from various subfields of psychology and will cover a variety of methods and techniques from ethnographies, participant observation, descriptions, interviewing, various analyses of text including thematic and discourse analyses, and interpretative phenomological analysis.

Research: In conjunction to reading about research methods, students will also learn about qualitative methods by actively conducting their own independent research project. Students are expected to work on this project weekly. This project will be informed by readings each week, and, in turn, the research projects will inform comprehensions of the readings.

Expectations: From undertaking this original research, you will learn how to sample, generate, collect, and analyze different sources of qualitative data on a social phenomenon of your choosing. A broader learning objective is for you to learn how to form evidence based arguments, where you are not afraid to follow an argument where it leads.

Participation is key to success in this class. Much of the knowledge and skill you develop here will arise from in-class interactions with your fellow students – interactions that thoughtfully and respectfully challenge assumptions, broaden perspectives, and reveal insights into the course content.

During in-class discussions, your questions and comments should build on the preceding discussion, and move it forward to generate new insights. Good questions are focused and specific, aimed at inviting the class to dig more deeply into an issue. Good comments go beyond simple statements of opinion, using logic and evidence to offer relevant, focused, and constructive thoughts for the class to consider. Comments that respond immediately to preceding opinions are particularly welcome. Please also note that although spirited discussion is encouraged, making comments in a way that disparages or belittles others is unacceptable. 

Laptops: I prefer if students do not use their laptops in class. Why?

i) I’m a professor, and even I find it hard to pay attention while my laptop is out.

ii) Laptops also distract other people, worsening the class environment.

iii) Studies have found that people actually learn more when they take notes by hand as opposed to on a laptop (Mueller & Oppenheimer, 2014).

If you have a compelling reason why you need to use a laptop, talk to me, and we can create an exception.

Classroom Etiquette: Please keep your phone away during class.


Kandidatuddannelsen i Psykologi 2015 – studieordningen

  • Kan også tages som valgfag


Full-degree students enrolled at the Faculty of Social Science, UCPH 

  • Master Programme in Social Data Science
  • Bachelor and Master Programmes in Psychology
  • Master programme in Global Development
Learning outcome

At the end of the module, the student can:

  • Describe and account for the planning, design, implementation and analysis of research that uses qualitative research methods.
  • Classify data and analyze and apply qualitative methods in psychological work in the form of investigation, intervention, evaluation and research.
  • Relate analytically self-correcting to the used method and own empirical work.

Syllabus cf. curriculum: 400-600 standard pages, compulsory or compulsory combined with self-chosen

A current syllabus list and lecture plan will be available in the course room on Absalon immediately before the start of the semester.

Previous syllabus lists can be found here: Absalon

Continuous feedback during the course of the semester
7,5 ECTS
Type of assessment
Written assignment
Type of assessment details
The exam may be written individually or in a group (max. three students). For a group assignment, each student's contribution must be clearly identified to facilitate individual assessment. A minor part of the assignment may, however, be written collaboratively {see 4.6 of the Curricula's Common Part).

Extent: max of 12 pages for 1 person, max 15 pages for 2 persons and max 18 pages for 3 persons.
Exam registration requirements

Prerequisites for sitting the exam: Approved active class participation and min. 75% attendance are preconditions for submitting assignments.

Marking scale
passed/not passed
Censorship form
No external censorship
Exam period


See the exam schedule here:" exam schedule.




See the exam schedule here:" exam schedule.

Criteria for exam assessment

See section with learning outcome.

  • Category
  • Hours
  • Class Instruction
  • 30
  • English
  • 30


Course number
7,5 ECTS
Programme level
Full Degree Master

1 semester

Autumn And Spring
C And A
Department of Psychology, Study Council
Contracting department
  • Department of Psychology
  • Department of Anthropology
  • Social Data Science
Contracting faculty
  • Faculty of Social Sciences
Course Coordinator
  • Seamus Anthony Power   (12-7567636f77753072717967744272757b306d7730666d)
Saved on the 30-04-2024

Are you BA- or KA-student?

Are you bachelor- or kandidat-student, then find the course in the course catalog for students:

Courseinformation of students