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Module

ACE2078 : Qualitative Research Methods

  • Offered for Year: 2020/21
  • Module Leader(s): Dr Menelaos Gkartzios
  • Lecturer: Dr Niki Rust, Dr Frances Rowe, Dr Beth Clark, Dr Sophie Tindale, Professor Guy Garrod, Dr Regina Hansda
  • Owning School: Natural and Environmental Sciences
  • Teaching Location: Newcastle City Campus
Semesters
Semester 1 Credit Value: 10
ECTS Credits: 5.0

Aims

The module aims to assist students to acquire a critical appreciation of the theoretical and practical application of different qualitative research techniques. The module develops a thorough understanding of the varying requirements, advantages and disadvantages of different qualitative techniques and the ways in which the results obtained can be interpreted. In addition, it aims to equip students with a strong social science element in SNES with essential skills for the research component of their final year dissertations. Introductory sessions discuss the nature of qualitative research and its relationship with quantitative research. The most commonly used qualitative techniques (interviews, focus groups, participant observation and documents as data sources) are then discussed in terms of their theoretical underpinnings and the processes involved in applying the techniques in practice. The module then describes how to analyse, present and write-up qualitative data.

Outline Of Syllabus

1. Intro to the module/characteristics of qualitative research
2. Development of qualitative research and research design
3. In-depth interviews
4. Focus groups
5. Participant observation
6. Action research
7. Qualitative data analysis
8. Thinking about using qualitative techniques in your dissertation

Teaching Methods

Please note that module leaders are reviewing the module teaching and assessment methods for Semester 2 modules, in light of the Covid-19 restrictions. There may also be a few further changes to Semester 1 modules. Final information will be available by the end of August 2020 in for Semester 1 modules and the end of October 2020 for Semester 2 modules.

Teaching Activities
Category Activity Number Length Student Hours Comment
Structured Guided LearningLecture materials81:008:00N/A
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion126:0026:00N/A
Guided Independent StudyDirected research and reading142:0028:00N/A
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesPractical51:005:00N/A
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesWorkshops22:004:00N/A
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesDrop-in/surgery11:001:00N/A
Guided Independent StudyIndependent study142:0028:00N/A
Total100:00
Teaching Rationale And Relationship

The module is led by experienced staff at the Centre for Rural Economy who have used qualitative techniques in their research work and will cover the theory behind the use of a variety of different techniques and their practical implementation, drawing on one or more recent research projects. Non synchronous lectures will be followed by synchronous practical examples allowing students to critically evaluate qualitative approaches to undertaking and presenting research and their limitations. Specific workshops are scheduled to allow for present-in-person engagement with staff, and to discuss their ideas about developing their research proposal. Knowledge and understanding gained will assist students in planning the primary data collection stage of their Stage 3 dissertations.

Assessment Methods

Please note that module leaders are reviewing the module teaching and assessment methods for Semester 2 modules, in light of the Covid-19 restrictions. There may also be a few further changes to Semester 1 modules. Final information will be available by the end of August 2020 in for Semester 1 modules and the end of October 2020 for Semester 2 modules.

The format of resits will be determined by the Board of Examiners

Other Assessment
Description Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Essay1M1001500 words
Assessment Rationale And Relationship

The assignment (individual essay) asks students to consider specific qualitative methods for specific research projects (decided and led by the students). The assignment tests students' ability to do a desktop study using academic journal papers on a particular topic of their choice and their ability to critically discuss qualitative methods. The assignment aims to assist students in choosing an appropriate technique for their final year dissertations and develop the methodology section of their dissertation.

Reading Lists

Timetable