Description of the course
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.
Learning objectives course
After completing this course, you will be able to:
Identify the appropriate research techniques and methods of analysis to investigate qualitative research questions;
Follow step-by-step the logic of an qualitative research
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.
Teaching methods/mode of instruction
Type of assessment
All assignments are compulsory and need to be completed in order to pass the course. There are eight 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 pair 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 (in pairs) should complete eight smaller scale assignments, and one final assignment (research paper).
The total course load is 168 hours:
Online modules: 76 hours
Online seminars and workshops: 14 hours
Written assignments: 78 hours
Course materials/reading list
Watts, S. & Stenner, P (2012). Doing Q methodological research: Theory, method and interpretation. London: Sage.
In addition, in Brightspace you will find course readings consisting of academic journal articles , websites and book chapters. These readings are integrated in the week units.
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.