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DRPS : Course Catalogue : Moray House School of Education and Sport : Research (EDU)

Postgraduate Course: Qualitative Data Research (REDU11028)

Course Outline
SchoolMoray House School of Education and Sport CollegeCollege of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 11 (Postgraduate) AvailabilityAvailable to all students
SCQF Credits20 ECTS Credits10
SummaryThis unit explores the nature of qualitative data, its strengths and weaknesses and the kinds of claims that can be made for research designs using qualitative methods. It explores the major themes associated with the management and analysis of qualitative data. It uses examples from educational settings to explore analysis of texts, documents, interview and observational data.
Course description This module explores the philosophical and theoretical underpinnings of qualitative research and introduces students to the diversity of practice that is subsumed under the broad heading of qualitative research. It also engages with the practicalities of designing, implementing, analysing and writing up a research study which is based on a qualitative research approach. This course explores the following issues: what is the nature of qualitative research? How to choose between different types of qualitative methods for research? What is the nature of observation as a social research method? Why/how researchers use different qualitative methods such as observation, interviews, focus group etc.? What is the development of ethnographic methods, and the application in the field of education? What are different approaches to sampling in qualitative research and the principles which underpin these approaches? What are ethical issues which may arise in different types of qualitative research? How to write up qualitative research? How researchers analysing and generalising from qualitative data?
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Co-requisites
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements None
Information for Visiting Students
High Demand Course? Yes
Course Delivery Information
Academic year 2023/24, Available to all students (SV1) Quota:  25
Course Start Semester 2
Timetable Timetable
Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info) Total Hours: 200 ( Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 4, Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours 196 )
Assessment (Further Info) Written Exam 0 %, Coursework 100 %, Practical Exam 0 %
Additional Information (Assessment) Essay: (100% weighting)

Either a report of 4,000 words on a small research project
or an essay of 4,000 words that engages with central themes of the module.
Feedback Prior to essay submission, students will receive feedforward guidance on possible approaches to their essay.
No Exam Information
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. To demonstrate knowledge of the literature on qualitative research and the ability to draw on this literature appropriately to advance arguments.
  2. To display an analytical approach to issues in qualitative research and to the literature on qualitative research.
  3. To present a well-argued, personal interpretation of issues and controversies in qualitative research.
  4. To design and implement a small research project using a qualitative research approach, analyse the data collected and write the project up in a careful, thoughtful fashion.
Reading List
Nape, D., & Spencer, L. (2014). Chapter 1: The foundations of qualitative research. In Ritchie, J., Lewis, J., Nicholls, C.M. and Ormston, R. (Eds.), Qualitative Research Practice: A Guide for Social Science Students and Researchers (pp.1- 23). London: Sage.

Denscombe, M. (2003). The Good Research Guide for Small-Scale Research Projects. Maidenhead: Open University Press.

Denzin, N.K. & Lincoln, Y.S. (Eds.) (2012). Collecting and Interpreting Qualitative Materials. London: Sage.

Silverman, D. (Ed.). (2011). Qualitative Research: Issues of Theory, Method and Practice (3rd Ed.). London: Sage.

Thomas, G. (2013) How to Do Your Research Project (2nd Ed.). London: Sage.
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills Ability to conduct qualitative research, analytic reading and writing skills, group discussion skills.
Special Arrangements This course is open to students from other schools, however, please contact the course secretary prior to enrolling your Tutee in order to verify that there is space available; students on MSc Educational Research and MSc Education have priority
KeywordsQualitative research,education,interview,observation,focus group,ethics
Course organiserDr Lorna Hamilton
Tel: (0131 6)51 6457
Course secretaryMr Craig Russell
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