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Archived Curricula Guide 2011–2012
Curricula Guide is archieved. Please refer to current Curricula Guides
KOHA13 Thesis supporting qualitative methods 5 ECTS
Organised by
Administrative Science, Higher Education Managem.
Person in charge
Course is available for:
  • Major subject students

Learning outcomes

This course is designed for students who are beginning their Master’s thesis research. The aim is to give students the tools to conceptualize their theses in terms of design, research questions, methods and the use of theory within different analytical frameworks. By the end of this course, students should be familiar with: (1) how to formulate viable research questions; (2) the benefits and drawbacks of different methodologies and methods; (3) principles of building conceptual framework; (4) how to prepare a feasible, coherent research project.


The course focuses on qualitative methodology. The course will start with basic framework issues relating to research design – including the epistemological and ontological debates underlying approaches to social science research methodologies and then emphasize more on techniques for researching social phenomena on a practical level. This course is divided into four main parts focusing on the following topics: (1) The central elements of research design; (2) formulation of research questions; (3) selection and application of qualitative methods for conducting research; and (4) the use of theory in qualitative research. Some published academic studies will be used as examples to illustrate relevant issues throughout the course.

Teaching methods

Teaching method Contact Online
Lectures 20 h 0 h

Teaching language


Modes of study

Students are expected to read the texts in the reading list before the lecture. The course also requires each student to give a oral presentation of his/her plan on what could be the alternative qualitative methods his/her thematic area of research interest. The evaluation will be based on participation to lectures and seminars, oral presentation of research design paper.


Numeric 1-5.

Study materials

Kezar, A. (2006). To use or not use theory: Is that the question? In J. C. Smart (Ed.), Higher education handbook of theory and research (pp. 283-344). Dordrecht: Springer.

Silverman, D. (2005). Doing qualitative research: a practical handbook (2nd ed.). London: SAGE. OR

Tuomi Jouni ja  Sarajärvi Anneli (2002).  Helsinki : Tammi.Laadullinen tutkimus ja sisällönanalyysi.

Yin, R. K. (1994). Case study research: design and methods (2nd ed.). Thousand Oaks: Sage Publications (or more recent versions).OR

Markus Laine, Jarkko Bamberg & Pekka Jokinen (toim) (2007). Tapaustutkimuksen taito Helsinki : Gaudeamus, 2007

Creswell, J. W. (1998). Qualitative inquiry and research design : choosing among five traditions. Thousand Oaks, Calif. ; London: Sage Publications. OR

Aaltola, Juhani & Valli, Raine (toim.) (2001) Ikkunoita tutkimusmetodeihin I ja II. Jyväskylä: PS-kustannus.

Belongs to following study modules

School of Management
Module III: Higher Education Research Methods (Administrative Science, Higher Education Managem.)
Archived Teaching Schedule. Please refer to current Teaching Shedule.
School of Management