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Qualitative methods


This course provides an introduction to qualitative research methodology. At the end of the course, students will be able to:

  • Articulate the strengths and weaknesses of qualitative research methods compared to quantitative methods
  • Understand the historical, epistemological and theoretical backgrounds of qualitative research

  • Understand the stages of conducting qualitative research (from research design to data collection, data analysis, and write-up)

  • Apply and use some of the most common qualitative research techniques

  • Evaluate the quality of a qualitative research study from a scientific and ethical point of view.

Students will learn the core historical, epistemological and theoretical approaches to qualitative research. This overview will highlight the various aspects of qualitative research, and compare its strength and weaknesses to quantitative research approaches. Students will also learn about the process of developing and conducting qualitative research in an applied sense (i.e., research designs, data collection, data analysis, and writing up the results). Students will learn and apply various techniques related to the collection and analysis of qualitative data. Finally, students will gain an understanding of the quality of qualitative research, particularly in light of common issues related to scientific validity and research ethics.

Pedagogical-didactic approachThe course consists of a series of lectures and interactive class sessions conducted by the professor in which students will learn, in an applied way, the essence and conduct of qualitative research methods. Readings and exercises will be assigned ad hoc to support the contents of the respective course lessons.

Assessment methods
Students will conduct several applied mini-assignments during the run of the course (30% of their final grade). At the end of the course, students will turn complete a final exam that accounts for 70% of their final grade.

Required readings
Lindlof T.R. & Taylor B.C. (2010). Qualitative communication research methods (3rd edition). London: Sage.

Additional readings may be announced ad-hoc during the course.



Hannawa A. F.

Course director

Rizzieri M. F.


Additional information

Academic year
Bachelor of Science in Communication, Core course, Methodological course, 3rd year