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Qualitative Research skills


Admission requirements


The goal of this course is to help students develop research skills in qualitative methods, as well as the ability to critique and evaluate academic works employing such methods. Students will gain in-depth knowledge of Q methodology, which is a methodology to investigate shared viewpoints. We will set up a Q study together, and go through the whole process from formulating a research question, collecting and analyzing data, to writing up the results. As input to Q methodology, two other qualitative methods will be used and practiced with: document analysis and qualitative interviews.
The course consists of online learning modules (accessible via Brightspace), each of them consisting of a series of knowledge clips, readings (journal articles and book chapters), and short exercises that students are required to complete.

Course objectives

After completing this course, you will be able to:

  • Identify a research topic/problem and formulate a specific research question which could be answered via a qualitative research design

  • Design and carry out a Q methodology study, with attention for prevailing standards of research ethics and data management;

  • Identify for what purpose and how to use semi-structured interviews and document analysis

  • Effectively report and present the results of a qualitative research project.


You will find the timetables for all courses and degree programmes of Leiden University in the tool MyTimetable (login). Any teaching activities that you have sucessfully registered for in MyStudyMap will automatically be displayed in MyTimeTable. Any timetables that you add manually, will be saved and automatically displayed the next time you sign in.

MyTimetable allows you to integrate your timetable with your calendar apps such as Outlook, Google Calendar, Apple Calendar and other calendar apps on your smartphone. Any timetable changes will be automatically synced with your calendar. If you wish, you can also receive an email notification of the change. You can turn notifications on in ‘Settings’ (after login).

For more information, watch the video or go the the 'help-page' in MyTimetable. Please note: Joint Degree students Leiden/Delft have to merge their two different timetables into one. This video explains how to do this.

Mode of instruction

  • Interactive lectures

  • Diagnostic quizzes

  • Assignments

  • Research paper

Assessment method

All assignments are compulsory and need to be completed in order to pass the course. There are seven short assignments that are graded on a pass/fail basis. Your grade will be solely based on the assessment of your research paper (100% of your final grade). The research paper will follow the logic of a Q-study and will be performed by a group of students. The course needs to be completed with a grade of 5,5 or higher to pass the course.
For the completion of the research paper, all students should complete seven smaller scale assignments, and one final assignment (research paper).

Course load

The total course load is 168 hours:

  • Online modules: 76 hours

  • Online seminars and workshops: 14 hours

  • Written assignments: 78 hours

Reading list

See Brightspace.


From the academic year 2022-2023 on every student has to register for courses with the new enrollment tool MyStudyMap. There are two registration periods per year: registration for the fall semester opens in July and registration for the spring semester opens in December. Please see this page for more information.

Please note that it is compulsory to both preregister and confirm your participation for every exam and retake. Not being registered for a course means that you are not allowed to participate in the final exam of the course. Confirming your exam participation is possible until ten days before the exam.

Extensive FAQ's on MyStudymap can be found here.



A Brightspace page for this course will be made available one week prior to the start of the course. On this website, you can find the online modules, readings and assignments. Brightspace will be used for course communication, the distribution of additional course information and for the submission of assignments.