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Archived Curricula Guide 2015–2017
Curricula Guide is archieved. Please refer to current Curricula Guides
COSOPOM3 Qualitative Research Methods and Comparative Research Design 5 ECTS
Organised by
MDP in Comparative Social Policy and Welfare
Person in charge
Corresponding course units in the curriculum
School of Social Sciences and Humanities
Curricula 2012 – 2015

General description

An introduction into methodology of qualitative research and ways of analysing qualitative data. Deeper understanding about one specific qualitative research method and practices of analysing data.

Learning outcomes

This course focuses on qualitative research methods in general, and on specified methods such as ethnography, discourse analysis and narrative analysis. The methodology and the practices of qualitative research methods are discussed. The aim is to enable the students to reflect and use qualitative research methods. Students will be able
- to understand the methodology of qualitative research methods
- to identify different qualitative research methods
- to analyse data with one specified method for example discourse analysis or narrative analysis


The course has three parts:
1) Introduction focuses on the methodology of qualitative research. Different ways to interpret the reality and understand knowledge are discussed. Students learn how the research questions and findings are related to the scientific assumptions on which the research methods are based.
2) Students will examine one specific, established qualitative research method (discourse analysis/ narrative analysis/ ethnography etc.). The focus will be on the methodological basis, the forms of data and the ways of analysing the data. The selection of the covered qualitative methods will be based on the interests of the students.
3) The analysis of the data will be exercised. Basic rules of qualitative research method are practiced with a data by step-by-step process. The end result will be a well-grounded argument based on the analysis.
As an outcome students will have methodological skills needed in her/his masters thesis writing.

Teaching language


Modes of study

Option 1
Available for:
  • Degree Programme Students
  • Other Students
  • Open University Students
  • Doctoral Students
  • Exchange Students
Participation in course work 
In English

Introductory lectures, afterwards workshops and pair work supported by Moodle. Two seminar papers.

Detailed instructions on how to pass the course:
1) Attending and participating the lectures (attendance obligatory)
2) Finishing the two exercises on time
3) Giving comments on the exercises of another group
4) Revising the papers based on the feedback received
5) Writing feedback on how the group worked during the exercises

1) Each lecture consists of three parts: a) the actual lecture b) group work and c) discussion.
2-3) Two different kinds of exercises which are made in groups, in pairs or as individuals
a) Introducing one of the following qualitative research method: ethnography, narrative method, rhetoric analysis or discourse analysis. Writing as a group approximately 20 pages, 12 point Times New Roman font, 1,5 line spacing.
b) Use of the selected method and writing an approximately 20 pages (12 point Times New Roman font, 1,5 line spacing) where the use of method is illustrated. Data to be used is given by teachers.
4) Rewriting the paper based on received comments.
5) One page description on the division of work and working methods during exercises. This paper is handed over at the same time as the second exercise paper.

Evaluation and evaluation criteria

Numeric 1-5.
Participation of the students in the discussions and debates, preparation of the group, pair or individually done work (20 pages) and preparation of an analysis paper (20 pages).

Study materials

Reading list will be announced at the beginning of the course.

Belongs to following study modules

School of Social Sciences and Humanities
School of Social Sciences and Humanities
School of Social Sciences and Humanities
School of Social Sciences and Humanities
School of Social Sciences and Humanities
School of Social Sciences and Humanities
School of Social Sciences and Humanities
Archived Teaching Schedule. Please refer to current Teaching Shedule.
School of Social Sciences and Humanities