MMD013-Introduction to Qualitative Research Methods

Module Provider: Leadership, Organisations and Behaviour
Number of credits: 0 [0 ECTS credits]
Terms in which taught: Autumn term module
Non-modular pre-requisites:
Modules excluded:
Current from: 2018/9

Module Convenor: Dr Evelyn Fenton


Type of module:

Summary module description:

This module provides students with an introduction to qualitative research methods to inform them of the different methodological options provided by qualitative methodologies and an understanding of how qualitative methods may be used in research. This module is designed for students mainly using quantitative methods in their PhD studies 

The main themes are: a) the intellectual traditions underpinning qualitative research and its contested nature as a methodology, including the relationship to quantitative methods; b) research design issues, including how specific research strategies, methods and data collection techniques may be used to answer research questions; c) Issues in the Philosophy of Science posed by a qualitative approach; d) common qualitative strategies such as the case study and e) mixed methods approaches.

These themes are analysed through the relevant methodological and philosophical theories and conceptual frameworks, as well as exemplar studies. Students are encouraged to engage actively and critically with the theoretical and empirical content of the module through interactive lectures drawing upon research papers. Moreover, students are encouraged to make some links with their research and draw ideas to improve their research in several aspects: interpretation of results, comparison with other studies, awareness of alternative/complementary research methods, etc.


The module aims to introduce students to the understanding of qualitative research, particularly in the area of business and management studies.

Assessable learning outcomes:

By the end of the module students will be able to demonstrate a critical understanding of:

- Various methodologies within the qualitative tradition and their associated research methods;

- Qualitative research design, including the role of the researcher;

- High impact qualitative research.

Additional outcomes:

The module also aims to encourage the development of oral communication skills and the students’ effectiveness in group situations. Structured activities are designed to develop analytical skills, abilities to construct original arguments and independent learning. Students are encouraged to develop additional IT skills through the use of relevant web resources and communication techniques, including Blackboard.

Outline content:

The module addresses key qualitative research philosophies, methods and approaches through a combination of lectures and workshops covering qualitative research methods:

1) Introduction to Qualitative Methodology and Design Issues

2) Philosophy of Science 

3) Case Study Research 

4) Document analysis/ethnography

5) Mixed methods approaches


Brief description of teaching and learning methods:

The module comprises interactive lectures where students are encouraged to discuss qualitative research methods and potential application to their own research and that of others in the class. Students are suggested some key readings to further their knowledge and contribute to the lectures, sharing their ideas and relevant journal articles from related research areas. Some classes have workshops/exercises to reinforce the learning.

Contact hours:
  Autumn Spring Summer
Lectures 10
Practicals classes and workshops 5
Guided independent study 85
Total hours by term 100.00
Total hours for module 100.00

Summative Assessment Methods:
Method Percentage

Summative assessment- Examinations:

Class participation only, no formal examination.

Summative assessment- Coursework and in-class tests:

Class participation and attendance (pass/fail) 100%

Formative assessment methods:

Penalties for late submission:
The Module Convener will apply the following penalties for work submitted late:

  • where the piece of work is submitted after the original deadline (or any formally agreed extension to the deadline): 10% of the total marks available for that piece of work will be deducted from the mark for each working day[1] (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:
    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.

    Assessment requirements for a pass:

    A pass mark based on participation and interaction during class times.

    Reassessment arrangements:

    No assessment

    Additional Costs (specified where applicable):

    Last updated: 14 June 2018


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