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Qualitative Marketing Research and Data Analysis


Pellandini-Simányi L.

Course director

Rovetta N.



Course objectives
This course will introduce students to the core principles and practice of qualitative marketing research. The course will enable students to

  • understand the difference between qualitative and quantitative marketing research designs and to distinguish between the marketing problems that they are suited to answer
  • compare sampling methods and design a qualitative sampling plan
  • use the most important qualitative marketing research methods (interviews, focus groups, consumer ethnography and discourse analysis)
  • carry out marketing research in on-line and real-life contexts
  • assess the strengths and limitations of different qualitative research methods
  • analyse qualitative data and draw managerial conclusions
  • reflect on issues of validity, reliability and research ethics in the context of qualitative marketing research.

Course description
The content of the class follows the key steps of the research process, starting from research design (including the choice of qualitative vs quantitative designs), sampling, data collection, data analysis and presentation of the findings. As part of the course, students collectively carry out a research project, allowing them to gain hands-on, practical experience with each step of the marketing research process. 

Learning methods
The class contains on-line lecture and in-class workshop elements. The lectures give an overview of the particular research step/method. In the workshops, students apply the given step/method to the collective mini-research.
All materials, including readings, lectures and tasks are available on the course’s e-learning interface on iCorsi.


5% of the mark is class participation. To get maximum point for class participation, students are expected to participate in at least 80% of the sessions.

Examination information

  • Final written exam (50 points)
  • Individual assignments (30 points)
  • Group assignment (15 points)
  • Class participation (5 points)

Pass is from grade 6.


Required material

Recommended readings:
Malhotra, N.K., Nunan, D. and Birks, D.F. (2012). Marketing research: An applied approach. Harlow: Pearson Education.
Bryman, A. (2012). Social Research Methods. Oxford, Oxford University Press.
Belk, R.W. (2006). Handbook of qualitative research methods in marketing. Cheltenham: Edward Elgar.
Flick, U. (2006). An introduction to qualitative research. London, Thousand Oaks.
Peñaloza,L., Toulouse N. and Visconti, L.M. (2012). Marketing management: A cultural perspective. Abingdon, Oxon; New York: Routledge.
Poynter, R. (2010). The handbook of online and social media research: Tools and techniques for market researchers. Chichester: Wiley.
Seale, C. (2004). Researching Society and Culture. London, Sage.