AP1EQ3-Qualitative Research Methods

Module Provider: Agr and Food Econ
Number of credits: 10 [5 ECTS credits]
Terms in which taught: Autumn term module
Non-modular pre-requisites:
Modules excluded:
Module version for: 2017/8

Module Convenor: Dr Elena Millan

Email: e.s.millan@reading.ac.uk

Summary module description:

This module aims to introduce students to qualitative research methods, and to provide them with an understanding of the underlying theoretical frameworks and the use of qualitative methods for consumer research. Students will get practical experience through the development of a qualitative research project that includes design, data collection, analysis, and report writing.

Assessable learning outcomes:
At the end of this module students will:
1.Be able to appreciate the potential role and value of qualitative research methods to social science research;
2.Understand the differences between qualitative and quantitative research approaches, and their advantages and shortcomings;
3.Recognise the circumstances under which particular qualitative methods might be used and select the most appropriate qualitative format for addressing a specific research question.

Additional outcomes:
Develop skills for conducting qualitative field work, and gain experience of using some of these methods to address specific consumer research questions.

Outline content:

  • -Nature of qualitative research
-Qualitative-quantitative distinction in the Social Sciences
-Ethical issues in undertaking qualitative research
-Qualitative research design
-Verbal data: interviews and focus groups
-Observation and mediated data: observation and ethnography, visual data, using documents as data, and qualitative online research
-Analysing qualitative data
-Reporting qualitative research findings

Brief description of teaching and learning methods:

Contact hours:
  Autumn Spring Summer
Lectures 12
Tutorials 8
Guided independent study 80
Total hours by term 100.00
Total hours for module 100.00

Summative Assessment Methods:
Method Percentage
Report 60
Class test administered by School 40

Other information on summative assessment:
1. Run qualitative research in groups on specific research problems:
a. Written research report produced individually on the basis of all data collected by your team, and structured as follows: Introduction, Literature Review, Research Methodology, Data Analysis and Research Findings, and Conclusions (between 1500 and 2500 words mandatory limit) (60%)

2. In-class test comprising short essays and multiple-choice questions (1-hour duration) (40%)

Formative assessment methods:

Penalties for late submission:
The Module Convenor will apply the following penalties for work submitted late, in accordance with the University policy.

  • where the piece of work is submitted up to one calendar week after the original deadline (or any formally agreed extension to the deadline): 10% of the total marks available for the piece of work will be deducted from the mark for each working day (or part thereof) following the deadline up to a total of five working days;
  • where the piece of work is submitted more than five working days after the original deadline (or any formally agreed extension to the deadline): a mark of zero will be recorded.

  • The University policy statement on penalties for late submission can be found at: http://www.reading.ac.uk/web/FILES/qualitysupport/penaltiesforlatesubmission.pdf
    You are strongly advised to ensure that coursework is submitted by the relevant deadline. You should note that it is advisable to submit work in an unfinished state rather than to fail to submit any work.

    Length of examination:

    Requirements for a pass:
    A mark of 40% overall

    Reassessment arrangements:
    By examination in August/September only

    Additional Costs (specified where applicable):
    1) Required text books:
    2) Specialist equipment or materials:
    3) Specialist clothing, footwear or headgear:
    4) Printing and binding:
    5) Computers and devices with a particular specification:
    6) Travel, accommodation and subsistence:

    Last updated: 31 March 2017

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