MMD002-Advanced Qualitative Methods

Module Provider: Leadership, Organisations and Behaviour
Number of credits: 20 [10 ECTS credits]
Terms in which taught: Autumn / Spring term module
Non-modular pre-requisites:
Modules excluded:
Current from: 2023/4

Module Convenor: Prof Karen Jansen

Module Co-convenor: Prof Jane Mckenzie

Type of module:

Summary module description:

This is a compulsory module delivered at University of Reading providing an overview of qualitative research methods and analytic techniques. The two main themes are: a) intellectual traditions underpinning qualitative research methods; b) research design, data collection and analytic issues associated with conducting qualitative research.

These themes are explored through relevant methodological and philosophical theories and conceptual frameworks, as well as exemplar studies and students’ own work. Students are encouraged to engage actively and critically with the theoretical and empirical content of the module through interactive lectures drawing upon their own research as examples. Moreover, students are expected to demonstrate an ability to integrate theories and research practice in their coursework.


The module aims to deepen students’ understanding of qualitative research, particularly in the areas of business, organisational, social 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

They will also be able to demonstrate their ability to produce a research proposal using qualitative method(s).

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.

Outline content:

The module addresses key qualitative research philosophies, methods and approaches through weekly lectures, including topics such as: 

  1. Introduction to Qualitative Methodology 

  1. Paradigms and Beliefs 

  1. Rigour, Relevance and Research Design 

  1. Case Study Method and Analysis 

  1. Ethnography and Observation 

  1. Grounded Theory 

  1. Process and Longitudinal Research 

  1. Interviewing Skills 

  1. Coding and Data Analysis 

  1. Generating Theory 

Brief description of teaching and learning methods:

The module comprises interactive lectures where students are encouraged to discuss their own research and apply the topics to their own area and that of others in the class. Students are encouraged to familiarise themselves with key readings and contribute to the lectures, sharing their ideas and relevant journal articles from their research area. Some classes have exercises to reinforce the learning while others require students to give an account of how a particular research method is used in their field. Students are expected to have supervision with their supervisors on at least four occasions during the course to clarify their use of methodology.

Contact hours:
  Autumn Spring Summer
Lectures 20 16
Fieldwork 4
Guided independent study:      
    Wider reading (independent) 10 10
    Advance preparation for classes 20 20
    Completion of formative assessment tasks 20 20
    Essay preparation 20 20
    Reflection 10 10
Total hours by term 100 100 0
Total hours for module 200

Summative Assessment Methods:
Method Percentage
Written assignment including essay 100

Summative assessment- Examinations:

Summative assessment- Coursework and in-class tests:

A final report (no more than 5,000 words) worth 100% due in week 34.

Formative assessment methods:

Penalties for late submission:

The Support Centres 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 (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 minimum mark of 50%.

Reassessment arrangements:

By assessment only in August/September.

Additional Costs (specified where applicable):

Last updated: 30 March 2023


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