PhD Courses in Denmark

Introduction to Qualitative Methods for a non-social scientist

Doctoral School of Engineering and Science at Aalborg University

The purpose of the course is to provide students with basic knowledge about qualitative research methods.

The course is motivated by the recognized need for methodological insights and reflection by people working within interdisciplinary fields of research, and in this respect the course focusses on qualitative research methods. The course provides researchers with tools for reflecting on the strengths and weaknesses of different qualitative research approaches, and in this way the course also casts light on the strengths and weaknesses of quantitative research tools. The course targets primarily researchers from, for example, a more technical background who wish to use qualitative methods in their research – or researchers who need to brush up on qualitative methods.

 

Prerequisites:

The course targets PhD students who are not familiar with qualitative research methods or who are only slightly familiar with qualitative research methods.

  

Learning objectives:

Students are introduced to different qualitative research methods, and they will achieve skills for identifying the appropriate qualitative tools for a qualitative research enquiry. Students are also introduced to different approaches to and ways of analyzing qualitative data. The different qualitative research approaches are demonstrated via best case examples of how these methods have been used in research. The course will also briefly introduce students to key research paradigms and their ontological and epistemological underpinnings. The students are encouraged to reflect on how qualitative research approaches may (or may not) be relevant for their own research topic; in what way relevant qualitative research methods may enrich their research, and on the overall strengths, weaknesses, challenges and potentials of such a research approach.

 

Teaching methods:

A mix of lectures, group discussions in smaller and larger fora, student presentations and readings. 

 

Criteria for assessment:

Most importantly: active participation. Moreover - a pass/fail short reflective paper, presentation or similar on the potential use of qualitative methods in the research the students are doing.

Time: 30-31 March and 20-21 April 2020