Module Information

Module Identifier
Module Title
Qualitative Research Methods
Academic Year
Semester 2
Reading List
Other Staff

Course Delivery



Assessment Type Assessment length / details Proportion
Semester Assessment Qualitative Report  2500 words  100%
Supplementary Assessment Qualitative Report  2500 words  100%

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this module students should be able to:

Demonstrate knowledge of Qualitative Research Method theory and how it is applied in practice.

Demonstrate ability to apply Qualitative Research Methods theory in terms of designing a qualitative study including research questions and answering them using appropriate research methods of data collection and analysis.

Demonstrate ability in conducting literature searches in report writing.

Demonstrate the ability to analyse qualitative data and communicate research through written report that addresses relevant quality criteria for qualitative research.

Brief description

This module will provide core training in qualitative methods for students taking BSc Psychology and BSc Psychology & Criminology. The module will develop students’ skills in understanding the principles and practices of qualitative methods, including knowledge of: project design, principles of qualitative methods, epistemology, qualitative forms of data collection, conducting an interview as a research method, qualitative data analysis and quality criteria of qualitative research methods.


The module comprises of practical workshop sessions that enable students to complete to a high standard a qualitative research report. Content will include:
  • introduction to qualitative methods
  • qualitative project design, · ethics,
  • interviews as a data collection method
  • methods of data analysis e.g. discourse analysis and IPA
  • quality criteria in qualitative research methods
  • writing up qualitative projects

Module Skills

Skills Type Skills details
Application of Number Ability to compare the kinds of knowledge produced through qualitative and quantitative measures.
Communication Students will understand the importance of information and clear communication and how to exploit these. Writing skills are addressed in class. They will know how to use the many sources of information available and how to use the most appropriate form of communication to the best advantage. They will learn to be clear and direct in their aims and objectives. They will learn to consider only that which is relevant to the topic and to focus on the objectives of their argument or discussion. Practicals will be run in groups where oral discussion will form one component of teaching. Students will be expected to submit their work in word-processed format and the presentation of work should reflect effective expression of ideas and good use of language skills in order to ensure clarity, coherence and effective communication.
Improving own Learning and Performance The module aims to promote self-management but within a context of assistance from both the facilitator and the fellow students. Students will be expected to improve their own learning and performance by undertaking a research project in a group (design and data collection, provisional data analysis), but which they write up individually (complete data analysis, write up). Students will be expected to exercise their own initiative, including searching for sources, compiling reading lists, and deciding (under guidance) the direction of their research projects. The need to meet a practical report deadline will focus students' attention on the need to manage their time, supported by a clear timetable provided. Students will be required to reflect on their learning process through the inclusion of formal non-assessed feedback sessions scheduled during class time. Evidence of reflection activities is also required for the report.
Information Technology Students will be expected to submit their work in word-processed format. Also, students will be encouraged to search for sources of information on the web, as well as seeking sources through electronic information sources (such as Science Direct).
Personal Development and Career planning Discussions in practical classes and the team work required to generate and collect data will help to develop students’ team working and negotiating skills. Learning about the process of planning research projects, framing the parameters of the projects, honing and developing the projects and seeing through to completion will contribute towards their portfolio of transferable skills.
Problem solving Independent project work and problem solving is one of the central goals of the module; the submission of a qualitative practical report will require that the student develops independent research skills as well as problem solving skills. The ability of students to solve problems will be developed and assessed by asking them to: identify research questions and appropriate research designs; collect and analyse data; reason logically; develop arguments to explain their findings in relation to published literature in the area.
Research skills Students will be required to conduct a focused literature review, using relevant data bases e.g. Science Direct. They will learn how to conduct a well-designed, small qualitative research project.
Subject Specific Skills Students will have the opportunity to develop a wide range of subject-specific skills that will help them to understand, conceptualise, evaluate and choose appropriate research methods for data collection and analyses. These subject specific skills include: understanding epistemology and the nature of knowledge produced in research, qualitative research designs, conducting a research interview, conducting a qualitative analysis on a psychological study. Demonstration of a familiarity with the techniques required for literature searches. Appreciation of the nature of ethical research in psychology.
Team work Students collect data in teams. Group dynamics (theory and practice) are explicitly addressed during the module.


This module is at CQFW Level 5