Coronavirus information for applicants and offer-holders

We understand that prospective students and offer holders may have concerns about the ongoing coronavirus outbreak. The University is following the advice from Universities UK, Public Health England and the Foreign and Commonwealth Office.

Read our latest coronavirus information

MRes Psychology / Course details

Year of entry: 2020

Course unit details:
Qualitative Research Methods

Unit code BIOL63130
Credit rating 30
Unit level FHEQ level 7 – master's degree or fourth year of an integrated master's degree
Teaching period(s) Full year
Offered by School of Biological Sciences
Available as a free choice unit? No


The course is comprised of lectures, seminars and workshops featuring critical discussion and practical exercises relevant to the qualitative methodologies most frequently used by psychologists. There are also one to one surgeries with the lecturer. The data collection techniques covered include focus groups and interviews, while students will be introduced to a variety of approaches and trained to use different methods to analyse data (discourse analysis, conversation analysis, IPA, thematic analysis and grounded theory will be addressed in detail).


This course is designed to meet the requirements with respect to training in qualitative methods set out in the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) Postgraduate Training Guidelines. The aims of the course are to offer a comprehensive and thorough training in qualitative research methodologies (along with the practical and ethical advantages of each) which will prepare students for PhD and/or later non-PhD research work inside or outside a University environment

Learning outcomes


By the end of the course unit, students will be able to:

-       choose appropriate techniques for a range of research questions amenable to qualitative approaches and investigation,

-       demonstrate an understanding of a range of ways in which to generate and collect data,

-       collect and analyse data using interviews, focus groups, and other linguistic interactions,

-       demonstrate their ability to use data generation and analysis techniques in a sensitive and appropriate way,

-       critically evaluate recent qualitative research and be cognisant of quality frameworks used to assess qualitative work,

               - demonstrate a critical awareness of debates within the qualitative field



Teaching and learning methods

Students will receive formal instruction on specific methods and will be set practical exercises associated with these. Workshops will consist of lecture-style delivery of material as well as practical exercises and discussion groups. Throughout these the students will receive guidance from a senior qualitative methodologist with additional experienced qualitative researchers assisting in analysis exercises.

Assessment methods

  • Four equally weighted 2,000-word assessments. These assessments will cover the main required qualitative research skills: data gathering, analysis and critical evaluation of research studies.

Feedback methods

No information available.

Study hours

Scheduled activity hours
Lectures 53
Independent study hours
Independent study 247

Teaching staff

Staff member Role
Fiona Ulph Unit coordinator

Return to course details