Forward College

Research skills 1: qualitative skills

The psychological skills modules develop students’ knowledge of the field and ways of working effectively in it, particularly in terms of accessing, learning and applying research. This module aims to introduce students to qualitative methods of data collection, and to teach students introductory qualitative research skills.

An introduction to qualitative research.

  • Using interview methods to collect data, and qualitative methods of analysing the resulting data. (Thematic analysis and discourse analysis)
  • Other methods of data collection, and qualitative methods of analysing the resulting data. (Observational methods (ethnography, observational coding, speech transcription and coding), diary studies, photovoice, use of art and drawing and story stem.)
  • Evaluating qualitative research.

If you complete the course successfully, you should be able to:

  • Describe ‘qualitative research’ methods, and the relationship between qualitative and quantitative approaches to research.
  • Describe the concept of ‘epistemology’ and the epistemological assumptions of realist and constructionist/relativist methodologies.
  • Understand and discuss qualitative data analysis methods, including thematic analysis, discourse analysis, and observational methods.
  • Appreciate the strengths, limitations, and assumptions of different data collection and analysis methods.
  • Conduct a thematic analysis, and write up the results in a report.
  • Formulate research questions for which qualitative methods are appropriate.

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