Postgraduate Module Descriptor


POLM140: Qualitative Methods in Social Research

This module descriptor refers to the 2022/3 academic year.

Module Content

Syllabus Plan

Whilst the module’s precise content may vary from year to year, it is envisaged that the syllabus will cover some or all of the following topics:

  • Qualitative research in social sciences: opportunities, challenges and prospects
  • Research design(s) for qualitative research
  • Logics of inquiry in qualitative research
  • Traditions and techniques in qualitative research
  • What is a case in qualitative research? How to select case(s)?
  • What is data in qualitative research? How to collect data? How to triangulate data?
  • The role of context in qualitative research
  • Mixing data, mixing methods
  • Validity and generalisability
  • Ethics, transparency and reproducibility
  • Publishing qualitative research

This module provides critical understanding of sound methodology in qualitative research. You are expected to engage on your own, over the course of this module, with these core issues in qualitative research methodology in regard with one or several specific method(s) for qualitative research of your choice.

Learning and Teaching

This table provides an overview of how your hours of study for this module are allocated:

Scheduled Learning and Teaching ActivitiesGuided independent studyPlacement / study abroad
222780

...and this table provides a more detailed breakdown of the hours allocated to various study activities:

CategoryHours of study timeDescription
Scheduled Learning and Teaching Activities2211x 2 hour seminars
Guided independent study118Private study – reading and preparing for the module
Guided independent study160Preparation of coursework

Online Resources

This module has online resources available via ELE (the Exeter Learning Environment).

ELE – https://vle.exeter.ac.uk/

Other Learning Resources

Politics Essay Writing Guide:

http://vle.exeter.ac.uk/mod/resource/view.php?id=168656/ 

You can find lots of advice relating to essay writing at:

http://www.services.ex.ac.uk/cas/employability/askills/essay/index.htm

You can also find other useful advice related to general study skills at: http://www.services.ex.ac.uk/edu/student-learning-skills/resources.shtml