732319 Qualitative research methods and designs in the social sciences

Lecture and seminar
Semester hours
Lecturer (assistant)
Niederhofer, Michaela , Schauppenlehner-Kloyber, Maria Elisabeth , Scherhaufer, Patrick
Offered in
Sommersemester 2024
Languages of instruction


The course discusses qualitative research methods and designs in the social sciences and is structured into four parts. The first part discusses the epistemological and methodological principles of qualitative research. In the second part methods of qualitative data collection (like interviews, focus groups, participatory monitoring, and document analyses) are presented. Different methods of data reporting are necessary to be able to analyse and interpret the collected data. The focus of the third part therefore will be to give an overview of these methods (e.g. qualitative content analyses, sequential analyses). The final part IV investigates different research designs, which are suitable when conducting single or comparative case studies at different spatial scales. The students should learn that the research question and subsequent research design determine the selection of certain methods of data collection and analyses. Process tracing, pattern matching, analytical narratives and qualitative comparative analyses (QCA) will be presented as concepts of structuring research often based on the combination of particular qualitative research methods.

Part I: Principles of qualitative research
Part II: Qualitative methods of data collection
Part III: Qualitative methods of data analyses
Part IV: Research designs in qualitative research

Previous knowledge expected

Objective (expected results of study and acquired competences)

The students learn about different methods of qualitative research and how to conduct single or comparative case studies at different spatial scales. Methods of qualitative data collection and analyses will be presented and conducted. All exercises in the course are application-oriented. Students will deepen their knowledge about qualitative research designs and learn how to combine different methods of qualitative research.
You can find more details like the schedule or information about exams on the course-page in BOKUonline.