PhD Courses in Denmark

Hands-on Qualitative Methods

CBS PhD School

Prerequisites
The PhD student should attach to the application one document: 

A brief note (no more than 150 words), listing: 

Your research topic 
- The kind of data you are gathering 

- Five key questions on methodological/analytical issues in your project. 

- Date of the start of your PhD project 

- The PhD student will be told if he/she is accepted to the course after the registration deadline. 

If you are accepted to the course you should work out a five-pages (maximum) written presentation in which you relate some parts of the curriculum literature in the course to your project.

The presentation should focus on a methodological and analytical issue, and specific references to course literature. A list of literature will be uploaded on Canvas, which you will have access to after acceptance to the course.

Deadline for sending this document is 2 weeks before course begin. 

The five pages will provide material for discussions and reflections throughout the course. You will be asked to discuss your own project as well as the projects of course participants, and to reflect upon how you can include learnings in your PhD. project. 

It is a precondition for receiving the course diploma that the PhD student attends the whole course. 

Aim
This course serves as a basic primer for PhD students on how to conduct solid qualitative research as well as on major considerations that researchers need to reflect upon when aspiring to conduct qualitative research with quality.

Course content
The course will consist of four main components: 

1) It will provide the students with hands-on knowledge on how to conduct a qualitative research project. The course will focus on how to elaborate research designs, how to make a workable research topic, how to choose the appropriate analytical strategy, how to analyze data, and how to present qualitative research in a PhD and in scientific publications. 

2) It will discuss qualitative research methods in relation to dominant philosophies of science (i.e. positivism, constructionism, critical realism and pragmatism) and their respective quality criteria. 

3) It will enhance the students’ ability to reflect upon own research designs and methods through discussions and sharing of experiences with course participants and CBS researchers. 

4) Students will be offered exercises in order to acquire and improve skills in qualitative methods. 


Teaching style
Lectures with workshops, dialogues, exercises, student presentations and discussions.

Lecture plan
Day 1  Scientific philosophy and paradigms 

10.00 Introduction of the course (Magali Gravier & Mette Zølner) 

10.30  Qualitative research processes in various paradigms (Magali Gravier & Mette Zølner) 

(i.e. Positivism, constructionism, critical realism)  

Role playing game – philosophy of science Part I. 

12.30 Lunch  

13.30 Role playing game – philosophy of science Part II. 

15.00 A tale from the field on ethics (Rasmus Koss Hartman - TBC) 

16.00 Role playing game – philosophy of science Part III. 

16.30 Discussions around students’ projects (Magali Gravier & Mette Zølner) 

17.15 End of day 

Day 2 Research Design and qualitative data: What is it and how to proceed? 

9.00 Processes of defining a qualitative research design;  

(i.e. Research strategy, deductive, inductive, abductive, retroductive approaches; quality criteria) (Magali Gravier & Mette Zølner) 

10.40 Collecting qualitative data and field access 

(i.e. Case studies, participant) observations, shadowing, documents, social media, interviews, visual data) (Magali Gravier & Mette Zølner) 

12.30 Lunch 
13.30 A tale from the field on planning and collecting qualitative data (Martin Skrydstrup - TBC) 

14.30 Discussions around students’ projects (Magali Gravier & Mette Zølner) 

16.15/16.30 End of day - Hand out of data material for day 3  

Day 3 Doing data analysis 

9.00 Various analytical strategies (i.e. Content analysis, Discourse analysis, Narrative analysis, Ethnomethodology) (Magali Gravier & Mette Zølner)  

11.30 Hands-on analytical strategies and working in research teams (Magali Gravier & Mette Zølner) 

Exercise 1: applying two analytical strategies to selected data material  

12.30 Lunch 

13.30 A tale from the field on analyzing (Martin Skydstrup - TBC) 

14.30 Hands-on analytical strategies and working in research teams 

Exercise 2: applying two analytical strategies to selected data material (Mette Zølner & Magali Gravier) 

15.30 Hands-on analytical strategies and working in research teams 

Exercise 3: Method combinations (drawing on exercise 1 and 2) (Mette Zølner & Magali Gravier) 

17.00 End of day 

Day 4 From Data to theorizing 

9.00 Using NVIVO for qualitative data analysis: assets and challenges (Joshua Kragh Bruhn, CBS Library - TBC) 

10.15 Discussing software based vs manual data analysis (Magali Gravier & Mette Zølner) 

11.00 What about theorizing? (Magali Gravier & Mette Zølner) 

12.30 Lunch 

13.30 Two participants presentations on how to implement learnings in own PhD project 

14.30 In class home-work – preparing for tomorrow 

17:00 End of the day. 

Day 5 Implementing on own research 

9.00 A tale from the field on presenting and publishing qualitative analyses (tba) 

10.00 Student presentations on how to implement learnings in their Ph.D. projects (Mette Zølner & Magali Gravier) 

12.30 Lunch 

13.30 Student presentations on how to implement learnings in their Ph.D. projects (Mette Zølner & Magali Gravier) 

14.30 Wrapping up and evaluations 

15.30 End of the course 


Learning objectives
Enhance the participants’ knowledge and ability to work with qualitative methods and research; 

Develop the participants’ capacity to reflect critically upon qualitative methods and research 
Make participants aware of the pros and cons of doing qualitative research (both in general and in regard to specific qualitative methods); 

Help the participants learn how to present qualitative research convincingly in their PhD and scientific publications. 

Exam
Not applicable.

For more information and course registration please see the full course description on the CBS PhD website.