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DRPS : Course Catalogue : School of Philosophy, Psychology and Language Sciences : Psychology

Postgraduate Course: Qualitative Methodologies in Psychological Research (PSYL11072)

Course Outline
SchoolSchool of Philosophy, Psychology and Language Sciences CollegeCollege of Humanities and Social Science
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 11 (Postgraduate) AvailabilityNot available to visiting students
SCQF Credits10 ECTS Credits5
SummaryThis course provides a conceptual and practical introduction to some core qualitative methodologies used in Psychology, including Discursive Psychology and Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis. It presents the rationale for the various qualitative approaches and methodologies, including interviews and focus groups, provides students with the practical and analytic skills required for conducting their own qualitative research, and engages them in current debates regarding ethics, epistemology, and evaluation of qualitative research within Psychology.
Course description The course includes lectures, practical work and tutorial discussion.

Lecture 1: Introduction to Qualitative Research: what and why? (PL)
Lecture 2: Asking Qualitative Questions, collecting Qualitative Data (SW)
Tutorial 1: Designing a Qualitative study (SW)
Lecture 3: Analysing Talk and Interaction 1: putting the principles into practice (SW)
Lecture 4: Analysing Talk and Interaction 2: finding phenomena in the data (SW)
Tutorial 2: Data analysis session (SW)
Lecture 5: Analysing Talk and Interaction 3: Organising and integrating (SW)
Lecture 6: Variations in approach: Working with published data (PL)
Tutorial 3: Data Analysis session (PL)
Lecture 7: Evaluating analysis (SW)
Lecture 8: Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis 1
Tutorial 4: Phenomenological Interviewing
Lecture 9: Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis 2
Lecture 10: Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis 3
Tutorial 5: Comparing approaches: Q&A session with the course lecturers. (PL/SW/BL)
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Co-requisites
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements None
Additional Costs None
Course Delivery Information
Academic year 2018/19, Not available to visiting students (SS1) Quota:  None
Course Start Semester 1
Timetable Timetable
Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info) Total Hours: 100 ( Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 2, Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours 98 )
Assessment (Further Info) Written Exam 0 %, Coursework 100 %, Practical Exam 0 %
Additional Information (Assessment) 100% coursework (four short written assignments).
Feedback The course is part lecture, part practical tutorials, including data sessions and design exercises, all of which will provide feedback opportunities. Comments provided on submitted assessments.
No Exam Information
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. understand the rationale underlying qualitative methodologies, and appreciate the use of various means of collecting qualitative data, and related conceptual issues
  2. design and conduct their own qualitative research project and demonstrate awareness of relevant ethical and other practical considerations
  3. write a research proposal for a qualitative research project
  4. have a basic practical understanding of how to do discursive psychology, conversation analysis, and discourse analysis
  5. understand the underlying rationale and process of interpretative phenomenological analysis (IPA)
Reading List
Willig, C. (2013). Introducing Qualitative Research in Psychology, 3rd edition, Buckingham: Open University Press.

Forrester, M.A. (Ed.) (2010). Doing Qualitative Research In Psychology: A Practical Guide. Sage: London, England.

Antaki, C., Billig, M. Edwards, D. & Potter, J. (2003). Discourse analysis means doing analysis: A critique of six analytical shortcomings, Discourse Analysis on-Line, 1(1).

Bowker, & Tuffin, K. (2004). Using the online medium for discursive research about people with disabilities. Social Science Computer Review, 22, 228-241.

Hutchby, I. & Wooffitt, R. (2008). Conversation Analysis, 2nd edition. Cambridge: Polity Press.
Potter, J. & Hepburn, A. (2005). Qualitative interviews in psychology: problems and possibilities, Qualitative Research in Psychology, 2, 281-307.

Willig, C. & Stainton-Rogers, W. (2008). The SAGE handbook of Qualitative Research in Psychology. London: Sage. See chapters on conversation analysis (Wilkinson & Kitzinger), discursive psychology (Wiggins & Potter), ethics (Brinkmann & Kvale), Evans, Elford, and D. Wiggins (using the internet).

Langdridge, D (2007). Phenomenological Psychology: Theory, Research and Method. Pearson: Harlow.

Smith, J. A., Flowers, P. and Larkin, M. (2009). Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis: Theory, Method and Research. Sage: London.
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills Students will gain significant research and analytic skills as well as an appreciation of qualitative research and methodologies.
Additional Class Delivery Information Attendance at all classes expected as participation relies on knock-on effect of engagement in practical work.
KeywordsNot entered
Course organiserDr Sue Widdicombe
Tel: (0131 6)50 3411
Course secretaryMiss Toni Noble
Tel: (0131 6)51 3188
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