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Last modified: 28 Jun 2018 10:27

Course Overview

This course explores the possibilities of qualitative research methods for students of politics and international relations.  It examines the range of qualitative methods available to researchers, practically and critically, including participant observation, interviewing and focus groups.  Having completed the course, students will be competent in the processes of designing, carrying out, analysing and writing up their own small-scale qualitative study.

Course Details

Study Type Postgraduate Level 5
Session First Sub Session Credit Points 30 credits (15 ECTS credits)
Campus None. Sustained Study No
  • Dr Lynn Bennie

Qualification Prerequisites


What courses & programmes must have been taken before this course?

  • Any Postgraduate Programme (Studied)

What other courses must be taken with this course?


What courses cannot be taken with this course?

  • PI5015 Qualitative Research Methodologies (Studied)

Are there a limited number of places available?


Course Description

This course will introduce students to a range of qualitative methods (such as participant observation, qualitative interviewing, and the use of focus groups) and to the secondary analysis of archived qualitative data. The focus will be practical, with students completing mini-projects on which they will give written and oral presentations. The emphasis will be on the research process, from project design to analysis and presentation with methodological issues raised in the context of researchable questions. Issues of reliability, representativeness and validity, and the potential for combining methods will be addressed. As with the other courses, students will be encouraged to link practical assignments to their proposed dissertation topic.

In light of Covid-19 this information is indicative and may be subject to change.

Contact Teaching Time

Information on contact teaching time is available from the course guide.

Teaching Breakdown


More Information about Week Numbers

In light of Covid-19 and the move to blended learning delivery the assessment information advertised for second half-session courses may be subject to change. All updates for second-half session courses will be actioned in advance of the second half-session teaching starting. Please check back regularly for updates.

Summative Assessments

One presentation 20%, one peer-reviewed presentation 20%, research report on the use of qualitative methods in own research 60%

Formative Assessment

There are no assessments for this course.



Course Learning Outcomes


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