Qualitative Data Analysis

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1 Qualitative Data Analysis Module No POLS 305 Level 5 Credits 5 Pre-requisite Social Science Research Methods Student study hours Module leader Phone Number Office 60 hrs approx. 20 hrs lecture and tutor led learning activities 40 hrs workshop and self directed study Harun Akyol A2.69 Rationale All researchers require a basic understanding of qualitative data and research methodology. This module continues on from the level 4 Social Science Research Module, looking to provide students with the skills to carry out research of sufficient quality and rigour to complete their own independent studies. It also serves, in conjunction with Quantitative Data Analysis at level 5, as a basis for further post graduate studies. Even should they not go on to carry out qualitative research all students should have sufficient knowledge of qualitative methodology and data to critique the analysis in literature reviews and data presented through the public media. In order to support this, Qualitative Data Analysis outlines the underlying ontological, epistemological and methodological principles of qualitative research. These core assumptions are reiterated and illustrated in the application of methods to data. This module provides students with the opportunity to develop and apply skills in collecting, managing, analysing and reporting from qualitative data. Ethical thoughts and issues of working with vulnerable populations shall also be discussed. Aims 1 To describe the ontological, epistemological and methodological origins of qualitative data 2 Promote a critical and questioning approach to qualitative research in social science research and explore how to effectively use research findings 3 To provide students with the necessary skills to carry out qualitative research, including data collection, organisation, and analysis 4 To introduce students to computer software and skills for qualitative analysis

2 Learning Outcomes To complete this module successfully, a student will have demonstrated their ability to: 1. Critically evaluate a range of qualitative methods and methodological issues 2. Analyse and interpret qualitative data using appropriate methods 3. Effectively and efficiently collect and organise qualitative data using appropriate tools 4. Communicate research, including critical literature review, methods, analysis and findings, in written and oral presentations Indicative content This module shall continue on from the Social Science Research Skills module taken at level year 2, and in conjunction with the Quantitative Data module will expand on aspects of methodology and data touched upon, it will also introduce more complex research design and data analysis. The format of the module will be a 2 hours lecture discussing methodology or data analysis followed by workshops that give students an opportunity to gain practical application of the topics covered. Principles, Practices and Premises It is important that students have a clear nature of the qualitative methodology, including its main principles, practices and the premises upon which qualitative research is built. These include deep engagement, the value of meaning, subjectivity and the multiplicity of truth. Guiding principles such as the value of the person above the participant are also essential in the ethical considerations of qualitative research, and are vital for students working with human participants, particularly vulnerable populations. Generating and Collecting Qualitative Data Content in this area will focus on developing practical techniques for generating qualitative data, including methods such as observation, participant observation, interviews, field notes, document analysis and questionnaires. Qualitative Analysis Techniques Introduction and discussion of qualitative analysis techniques including Grounded Theory, Thematic Analysis, Content Analysis, Discourse Analysis and Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis. Students will be provided with both theoretical bases for the methods and practical guidelines for utilising them. Lectures will be accompanied by workshops where students will apply data analysis techniques.

3 Qualitative Analysis Tools An introduction to qualitative analysis software package NVivo. Students will be introduced on how to use NVivo to organise, manage and analyse qualitative data. Ethical Issues Over the course of year 3, students shall be further taught the importance of ethical considerations in relation to social science research in both the quantitative and qualitative data analysis modules. These modules shall give students theoretical and practical guidance for working with different individuals in relation to the research process. Vulnerable population groups shall be identified and discussed in relation to the design process, with direction also given to students about the ethical protocols that shall be expected of them during their final year dissertation project. Learning and teaching strategies This module will be delivered through lectures, practical based workshops, practical assignments, peer review and online self test quizzes. Lectures will provide students with the necessary grounding in theory to understand and evaluate the qualitative methodology and methods. Workshops will allow students to put qualitative data collection and analysis tools and techniques into practice. Students will also engage in self-directed and group research, employing and evaluating the use of qualitative techniques. Module learning and teaching will be fully supported by the Lecture topics will be supported by a range of materials: PowerPoint presentations; data examples and analysis; recommended reading and links to appropriate external websites. Acquisition of knowledge and understanding is facilitated by the material covered in lectures and the provision of detailed reading lists. This knowledge will be assessed in the summative assessment, practical assignments and written examination. These assessments will be portfolio and research report based, providing students with the opportunities to demonstrate their abilities to organise, review and evaluate evidence and theory. Assessment 1) Mid Term EXAM (30%) 2) Second Mid Term: Individual Qualitative lab report on study (30%) 1750 words A qualitative research report detailing methodology, analysis and discussion of findings. 2) Final Exam (40%)

4 Learning outcomes and grading Learning outcomes Assessment (essay, exam seminar paper etc) Critically evaluate a range of qualitative methods and methodological issues Qualitative Research Report Analyse and interpret qualitative data using appropriate methods Mid Term Exam Qualitative Research Report Effectively and efficiently collect and organise qualitative data using appropriate tools Qualitative Research Report Communicate research, including critical literature review, methods, analysis and findings, in written and oral presentations Mid Term Qualitative Research Report 1 st A 2.1 B 2.2 C 3 D An excellent critical evaluation. Comprehensive, accurate and wellinformed argument. Some original and critical thought, drawing on a wide range of sources. A good critical evaluation. Reasonably comprehensive and accurate. An organised argument showing some engagement with the issue. An appropriate range of sources for the level. Shows understanding. Accurate, but with omissions and errors. Satisfactory grasp of main issues and familiarity with basic reading. Some understanding. Little main issues. Limited depth, misses key points and source material is limited. Comprehensive, concise and accurate insight into the use of an appropriate research methodology and methods. Clear original and critical interpretation of results using the appropriate analytical tools and forms of analysis. An accurate insight into the use of research methodology and methods. Correct interpretation of results using appropriate analytical tools and forms of analysis. Engagement with the analysis but with minor errors/omissions. Shows an insight into the use of research methodology and methods. Correct interpretation of results using an appropriate analytical tools and forms of analysis. Some comprehension of the analysis, with errors/omissions. Shows a basic understanding into the use of research methodology and methods. An attempt to interpret results using appropriate analytical tools and forms of analysis. Basic comprehension of the analysis, with errors/omissions. Lacks clarity in parts. Clearly communicated and concise explanation of the collection process. Well organised and structured. Depth of insight into theory and method with which they incorporated in order to collect and organise the data. Collection process communicated relatively clearly and concisely. Organised and structured. Shows good ory and method incorporated in order to collect and organise the data. Some lack of clarity in places about the collection process, also could be more concise. Shows organisation and structure. Shows an understanding of theory and method incorporated in order to collect and organise the data Some difficulty in expressing ideas clearly and concisely about the collection process. Some theory and method incorporated in order to collect and organise the data although little further consideration given. Shows an excellent research process, as able to clearly demonstrate the capacity to critically evaluate each step of own research as well as others Shows a good of the research process, as able to largely demonstrate the capacity to critically evaluate each step of own research as well as others Showing of the of the research process, demonstrates a capacity to critically evaluate each step of own research as well as others Shows basic of the of the research process, demonstrates some capacity to critically evaluate aspects of own research as well as others

5 Indicative reading Although the reading materials and workshop resources will be provided each week for students who would take this course further and read more there are some key and recommended reading lists for future studies and interest. They are expensive though. Key texts Silverman, D. (2010). Qualitative research, 3 rd Edition. London: SAGE A thorough coverage of qualitative research, providing wide intellectual debate and clear coverage of contemporary theoretical positions. Silverman, D. (2011). Interpreting Qualitative Data: A Guide to the Principles of Qualitative Research. 4th edn. : London: SAGE. An expansion on the Qualitative Research text by the same author, building on key concepts further as well as exploring the interpretation and analysis of your qualitative data Charmaz, K. (2008) Constructing Grounded Theory. London: Sage. This text provides an in-depth discussion of Grounded Theory while remaining readable and accessible. Recommended reading Flick, U. (2009) An introduction to Qualitative Research, 4 th edition. London: Sage. An alternative to the Silverman textbook, Uwe Flick s introductory text provides students with an overview of qualitative research and the methods employed in it. Hammersley, M. and Atkinson P. (2007) Ethnography: Principles in Practice, 3 rd Edition. London: Routledge. This textbook offers an in-depth analysis of the uses, features and limitations of Ethnography. It will be a useful text for students with further interest in Ethnography. Kvale, S. and Brinkmann, S. (2009) InterViews: learning the craft of qualitative research interviewing, 2 nd Edition. London: Sage. This textbooks provides an overview of and instruction in conducting interviews for qualitative research. Smith, J.A., Flowers, P. and Larkin, M. (2009) Interpretative Phenomenological Anlaysis: Theory, Method and Research. London: Sage This textbook offers an in-depth analysis of the uses, features and limitations of Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis (IPA). It will be a useful text for students with further interest in IPA. Tisdall, K., and Davis, J. (2009) Researching with children and young people. London: Sage. This textbook will be of interest to students who wish to undertake research projects with children and young people. In particular this textbook will be of interest when

6 considering the ethnical and practical issues related to the investigation of children s experiences. Willig, C. (2008) Introducing Qualitative Research in Psychology, 2 nd edition. Maidenhead: Open University Press/McGraw-Hill This textbook provides insight into the application of qualitative methods in Psychology. The textbook covers many of the core qualitative methods and will be a useful introduction for students in Psychology with an interest in qualitative research. Journals International journal of qualitative methods Qualitative inquiry Qualitative research Websites British Psychological Association ( The website for the British psychological association with sections for Social and Developmental Psychologists. The BPS provides resources such as the BPS Resaerch Digest, links to journals, publications, and ethical guidelines. American Psychological Association ( The website of the American Psychological Association with useful resources for students and practioners. The website provides resources such as writing style and ethical guidelines, links to publications and journals, and Divisions of Psychology including Social and Developmental Psychology. The Economic and Social Data Service (ESDS) ( provides a wide range of secondary data for analysis, including both quantitative and qualitative data. British Sociological Association ( There the reader can find information on what sociology is, what sociological research is as well as information on ethics, equality and diversity in research.

7 Potential Timetable Week Lecturer Topic Lecture 1 HA Introduction Lecture 2 HA Philosophy of Research Methods Lecture 3 HA Key Issues in Designing Qualitative Research Narrative Analysis Lecture 4 HA Ontology / Epistemelogy/Generaliasability/ Inferences Introduction to Thematic / Content Analysis Lecture 5 HA Narrative Analysis / Ethnography Lecture 6 / 7 HA Grounded Theory and Analysis Lecture 8 HA Discourse Analysis Lecture 9 HA Interviews Planning, Schedules Interview schedules, participant considerations Lecture 10 HA Focus Groups - Planning, Schedules and Analysis Participant considerations

8 Lecture 11 HA Observation Research Observation related exercise Lecture 12 HA Elicitation Research Analysis of Internet based social interaction Lecture 13 HA Back to Philosophical considerations of Research Lecture 14 HA Conducting Interview part 1 Probing Questions Lecture 15 HA Conducting Interview part 2 Prompting Questions Lecture 16 HA Transcription and Practical issues in conducting Interview Lecture 17 HA Interview Analysis part 1 Finding facts and evidences

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