nl en

Qualitative Research Methods


Admissions requirements

MIRD students.


The course is designed to help students develop their research skills in qualitative methods. The course covers three broad topics: (1) the design of qualitative studies, including case selection, conceptualization, and operationalization of variables, (2) specific techniques used for qualitative analysis (e.g., small-n comparative analysis, process tracing, interviewing, and participant observation), and (3) the practicalities of doing qualitative research.

Course objectives

  • Objective: 1. To understand and assess the appropriate use of qualitative methods in political science.

  • Objective: 2. To attain the skills necessary to carry out qualitative research.


On the Public Administration front page of the E-guide you will find links to the website and timetables, uSis and Blackboard.

Mode of instruction

This course employs a technique called ‘flipping the classroom.’ The instructor’s lectures are posted online, and students are expected to come to class sessions having watched the lectures. Class sessions will then be used for group exercises that provide hands-on experience with the applicable concepts, theories, and methods.

Course Load

5 EC.


Students will be evaluated based on:
(1) weekly article assessments (5%),
(2) active participation in class activities (20%), and
(3) several short applied exercises with written analysis (75% total for three assignments).

You can find more information about assessments and the timetable exams on the website.
Details for submitting papers (deadlines) are posted on Blackboard.
On the Public Administration front page of the E-guide you will find links to the website and timetables, uSis and Blackboard.

Students will be permitted to resit an examination if they have taken the first sit and have a mark lower than 5.5 or with permission of the Board of Examiners.

Resit written exam
Students that want to take part in a resit for a written exam, are required to register via uSis. Use the activity number that can be found on the ‘timetable exams’.


Blackboard will be used for this course.

Reading list

George, Alexander L. and Andrew Bennett. 2004. Case Studies and Theory Development in the Social Sciences.Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.
Other journal articles and book chapters will be linked to on Blackboard or on reserve at the library.


Use both uSis and Blackboard to register for every course.
Register for every course and workgroup via uSis. Some courses and workgroups have a limited number of participants, so register on time (before the course starts). In uSis you can access your personal schedule and view your results. Registration in uSis is possible from four weeks before the start of the course.
Also register for every course in Blackboard. Important information about the course is posted here.


Dr. R.K. Tromble: