BSc Psychology / Course details

Year of entry: 2023

Course unit details:
Qualitative Research Methods in Applied Contexts

Course unit fact file
Unit code PSYC31151
Credit rating 20
Unit level Level 3
Teaching period(s) Semester 1
Offered by Division of Psychology and Mental Health
Available as a free choice unit? No


Qualitative research methods of data collection and analysis are increasingly used in their own right or as part of mixed methods studies in psychology. This unit is designed to give students advanced training in the background, use and application of a variety of qualitative techniques of data collection and analysis as they are used in applied, ‘real world’ contexts. The skills acquired on this unit will be highly transferrable: Students will be able to apply them to their undergraduate psychology project, future study and/or career.


This unit aims to:

  • Introduce students to, and provide hands-on, practical experience in, a range of qualitative research methods of data collection and analysis, as applied to ‘real world’ contexts
  • Equip students with research training in qualitative methods and transferrable skills that will prepare them for later study and/or research work within or outside an academic setting
  • Provide training in qualitative research methods that will be helpful to students undertaking undergraduate projects with a qualitative element.


Teaching and learning methods

This unit will be delivered via lectures and workshops.

Knowledge and understanding

Demonstrate an understanding of a range of techniques of data collection and analysis for applied qualitative research in psychology.

Intellectual skills

Critically evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of a range of qualitative methods.

Practical skills

Demonstrate appropriate choices regarding, and the sensitive application of, techniques of qualitative data collection and analysis.

Transferable skills and personal qualities

Develop qualitative methodological awareness and research skills that can be applied to practical research problems.

Assessment methods

Data Collection Assignment worth 40% and Data Analysis Assignment worth 60%.

Feedback methods

There will be ongoing opportunities for feedback in workshops and in assignment clinics. Students will receive a grade and written feedback on their final report

Recommended reading

Wherever possible, references to key articles and data are made available on Blackboard in advance of the relevant session. In addition, students may also wish to consult the following sources:
Braun, V., & Clarke, V. (2013). Successful qualitative research: A practical guide for beginners. London: Sage.
Creswell, J. W. (2009). Research design: Qualitative, quantitative, and mixed methods approaches. Thousand Oaks: California: Sage.
Punch, K. F. (2006). Developing effective research proposals (2nd edition). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.
Ritchie, J., & Lewis, J. (Eds.) (2003). Qualitative research practice: A guide for Social Science students and researchers. London: Sage.
Robson, C. (2011). Real world research (3rd edition). Chichester: John Wiley.
Silverman, D. (2010). Doing qualitative research (3rd edition). London: Sage.
Smith, J. A., Flowers, P., & Larkin, M. (2009). Interpretative phenomenological analysis: Theory, method and research. London: Sage.
Speer, S. A. (2005). Gender talk: Feminism, discourse and conversation analysis. London: Routledge.
Thomas, G. (2009). How to do your research project: A guide for students in education and applied social sciences. London: Sage.
Hutchby, I., & Wooffitt, R. (2008). Conversation analysis (2nd edition). Cambridge: Polity.

Study hours

Independent study hours
Independent study 162

Teaching staff

Staff member Role
Susan Speer Unit coordinator

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