Skip to main navigationSkip to main content
The University of Southampton

RESM6003 Qualitative Methods 1

Module Overview

The syllabus for this 10 CATS module will cover an introduction to qualitative methods and a range of qualitative data collection methods. We will consider the defining characteristics of qualitative research and its epistemological underpinnings. The students will be introduced to qualitative interviewing, focus group research, observational methods and secondary data analysis. These sessions will discuss the advantages and disadvantages of those methods considering various practical and ethical issues from a multidisciplinary perspective as well as issues of sampling. This will be followed by a session on organising and coding data. Students will also participate in a workshop on CAQDAS (and will be given a choice of software including NVivo, Atlas.ti and Transana.

Aims and Objectives

Module Aims

To introduce students to Postgraduate level qualitative methods approaches in Social Sciences.

Learning Outcomes

Learning Outcomes

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • Describe the defining characteristics of key qualitative research methods and have an overview of various types of data collection
  • Make informed decisions about choosing and using appropriate qualitative data collection and analysis methods.
  • Appreciate epistemological and ethical issues involved in qualitative research.
  • Evaluate the methods and methodology employed in qualitative research.
  • Evaluate strengths and weaknesses of specific methods.
  • Effectively read and summarise literature on qualitative research methods to construct arguments about their value and application.
  • Understand the principles of Computer Aided Qualitative Data Analysis Software (CAQDAS).
  • Use CAQDAS to code qualitative data.
  • Actively contribute to seminar discussions.


Indicative Syllabus: 1. Course overview and introduction to qualitative methods 2. Qualitative interviewing 3. Focus groups 4. Observational methods 5. Secondary data analysis: documents and archives 6. Organising and Coding Data and NVivo workshop

Special Features

This is an innovative, cross-disciplinary module that will offer advanced training (level 1) in qualitative methods to postgraduate students under the auspices of the University’s ESRC Doctoral Training Centre.

Learning and Teaching

Teaching and learning methods

Generic multidisciplinary lectures by experts in the field are designed to provide a good, general introduction to the method or topic. Seminar content is designed to explore the particular issues that arise in using qualitative methods in the social sciences and use a range of appropriate pedagogic methods. The module also offers an additional workshop on computer-assisted qualitative data analysis.

Independent Study87
Total study time100

Resources & Reading list

Flick, U. (2009). An Introduction to Qualitative Research. 

Hammersley, M. (2012). What is Qualitative Research?. 

Mason, J (2002). Qualitative Researching. 

Other. The module will draw strongly on blended learning. In order to deliver this, resources will be made available by the Doctoral Training Centre to support recording of lectures, production of lectures/powerpoint slide show etc. Currently available resources such as textbooks, e-books, software and online materials (e.g. NCRM materials and recordings) will also be used.

Silverman, D. (2010). Doing Qualitative Research: A Practical Handbook. 

Journals. â€¢ International Journal of Qualitative Methods (open access) • The Qualitative Report • Forum: qualitative Social Research (open access) • Quyalitative Research • Qualitative Research Journal • International Journal of Social Research Methdology



MethodPercentage contribution
Assignment  (3000 words) 100%


MethodPercentage contribution
Coursework assignment(s)  (3000 words) 100%

Repeat Information

Repeat type: Internal & External

Share this module Share this on Facebook Share this on Twitter Share this on Weibo

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you continue without changing your settings, we will assume that you are happy to receive cookies on the University of Southampton website.