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Qualitative Research Methods




Admissions requirements

A completed 100-level in the Human Diversity Major ánd Statistics.


This course introduces students to the fundamental features of qualitative research methods in social sciences such as anthropology, sociology and political science. Qualitative methods enable researchers to use a structured research process, from research question to analysis, focussed on the understanding of the social world of the people we study. Students learn to design and carry out basic qualitative research projects, to reflect on choices made in designing qualitative research and how this effects data analysis. Various methods will be discussed, including interviewing, ethnography, participant observation and qualitative analysis. Importantly, these topics will be discussed in the context of the discussion regarding the distinction between quantitative and qualitative research methods, which will help the students in their reflection on the choices made during the research design process. In the course on Qualitative Methods the epistemological and ethical aspects of social science research will be introduced and discussed. This introduction does not only consist of the theoretical understanding of methods, but also includes practical research assignments.

Course objectives

By the end of this course, the students will be able to:

  • Distinguish between qualitative and quantitative methods

  • Describe the philosophical and epistemological features of qualitative research

  • Explain and assess the most important qualitative research methods

  • Operationalize research questions and determine if a qualitative approach is suitable for answering their research questions

  • Design and carry out a basic qualitative research project

  • Reflect on choices made in designing a qualitative research project


Once available, timetables will be published here.

Mode of instruction

This course will mainly exist of two-hour interactive seminars. Guided by the presentations of the teacher, reflective group activities are encouraged to discuss the material. The seminars will help students to recognize and apply qualitative research methods. Students will be expected to come to class prepared and to participate actively in discussions. They will be required to join in group activities both in class and during field exercises. The assignments are introduced during the seminars and will offer the students the opportunity to apply their newly gained knowledge and academic skills. Written work must be submitted through Turnitin on Blackboard on time. Attendance of class meetings is compulsory.


  • In- class participation (on-going from week 1 to 7) 20%

  • Four assignments during course (from week 2 to week 5) 4 × 5%

  • One written report of original research conducted by the student (2000 – 2500 words, due in week 6) 30%

  • Written exam (in week 8) 30 %


There will be a Blackboard site available for this course. Students will be enrolled at least one week before the start of classes.

Reading list

Bryman, A (2012) Social Research Methods (Oxford, Oxford University Press), 4th edition.

Additional reading to be announced.


This course is open to LUC students and LUC exchange students. Registration is coordinated by the Curriculum Coordinator. Interested non-LUC students should contact


Jasmijn Rana