The University of Southampton

RESM6106 Qualitative Methods II (Evening)

Module Overview

Qualitative Methods II builds upon the material learnt in Qualitative Methods I and addresses a range of specialist qualitative techniques, their underpinning theoretical framework and their practical application.

Aims and Objectives

Module Aims

The aim of this module is to provide you with an understanding of the role and application of advanced qualitative methods within social science research more broadly and educational research in particular. The module will include a focus on the issues that arise in research design and in the generation, analysis and evaluation of qualitative data within interpretive philosophical frameworks, as well as experience of accessing and analysing archived qualitative data.

Learning Outcomes

Learning Outcomes

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • Understand the main arguments for and against using a range of specialist qualitative techniques
  • Critically assess the relevance of various methods for collecting and analysing qualitative data.
  • Analyse the practical and ethical challenges in advanced qualitative research
  • Articulate arguments for applying aspects of advanced methods to your own research contexts
  • Use qualitative methods appropriately to analyse data
  • Make decisions about choosing appropriate advanced qualitative methods
  • Write a hypothetical research proposal employing advanced qualitative research methods
  • Effectively summarise and evaluate literature on advanced qualitative methods and use this to construct methodological argument
  • Contribute to discussions within seminars


The syllabus for this 10 CATS module will cover a variety of advanced and specialist techniques in qualitative methods. We will consider the theoretical frameworks guiding specific qualitative data collection and analysis techniques. Indicative Syllabus: 1. Course overview and introduction to Grounded theory and other theoretical frameworks. 2. Biographical research 3. Visual methods 4. Discourse analysis 5. Case study analysis 6. Interpretative methods (e.g. IPA) OR Action Research (programme dependent)

Special Features

This is an innovative, cross-disciplinary module that will offer advanced training (level 1) in qualitative methods to students on 18 postgraduate pathways from across the Faculties of Health, Humanities, Social and Human Sciences and Physical and Applied Sciences under the auspices of the University’s ESRC Doctoral Training Centre. The module has been collaboratively designed by representatives from the Faculties/Academic Units that will send students for this qualitative training. Lectures will be delivered by experts in qualitative methods drawn from across the Faculties (as appropriate) and seminars will be delivered by pathways/groups of pathways as appropriate.

Learning and Teaching

Teaching and learning methods

The module will be delivered using a ‘hub’ and ‘spoke’ model: at the ‘hub’, there will be generic, multidisciplinary lectures, given by an expert in the field and designed to give students a good introduction to the method/topic. These will be followed by seminars organised in ‘spokes’ which will comprise individual pathways or groups of cognate pathways. Seminar content will be designed to explore the particular issues that arise in using qualitative methods for these disciplines/groups of disciplines and will use a range of pedagogic methods, as appropriate. In addition, the module will offer a choice of computer workshops on a choice of qualitative software packages. Students are also expected to undertake self-directed learning, supported by module materials.

Independent Study88
Total study time100

Resources & Reading list

Silverman, D (2005). Doing Qualitative Research. 

Chamberlayne, P et al (2000). The Turn to Biographical Methods in Social Science. 

Resources. 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, ebooks, software and online materials (e.g. NCRM materials and recordings) will also be used

Wetherell, M., Taylor, Stephanie and Yates, Simeon eds. (2001). Discourse as Data: A Guide to Analysis. 

Yin, R.K. (2009). Case Study Research: Design and Methods. 

Coffey, A and Atkinson, P (1996). Making Sense of Qualitative Data. 

Whitehead, J. (2006). Action Research: Living Theory. 

Banks, M. (2001). Visual Methods in Social Research.. 

Rapley, T (2007). Doing conversation, discourse and document analysis. 

Sage.Willig, C (2008). Introducing Qualitative Research in Psychology: Adventures in Theory and Method. 

Ritchie, J. and Lewis, J. (eds) (2003). Qualitative Research Practice: A Guide for Social Science Students and Researchers. 


Assessment Strategy

Plan a research project – to include rationale, design and techniques for analysis and some evidence of piloting of methods (e.g. using secondary data, testing interview schedules, etc.). * * There is variability because of the varied demands of the different programmes. Each programme will be required to set a fixed limit within this range. We will not permit a +/- of 10%.


MethodPercentage contribution
Assignment  (3000 words) 100%


MethodPercentage contribution
Coursework assignment(s) 100%

Repeat Information

Repeat type: Internal & External

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