Qualitative Research Methods, 6 credits

Kvalitativa forskningsmetoder, 6 hp


Main field of study

Cognitive Science

Course level

First cycle

Course type

Single subject and programme course


Michael Tholander

Course coordinator

Michael Tholander

Director of studies or equivalent

Örjan Dahlström
ECV = Elective / Compulsory / Voluntary
Course offered for Semester Weeks Timetable module Language Campus ECV
F7KKO Bachelor´s Programme in Cognitive Science 2 (Spring 2021) 202103-202106 1+2+4 Swedish Linköping, Valla C

Main field of study

Cognitive Science

Course level

First cycle

Advancement level


Course offered for

  • Bachelor´s Programme in Cognitive Science

Entry requirements

For admission to the course, the specific entry requirements that apply to the Bachelor's Programme in Cognitive Science must be satisfied, and the course Research Methodology and Statistics, or the equivalent, must be completed.

Intended learning outcomes

On completion of the course, the student should be able to
- give an account of the background of qualitative method in
theory of science,
- design qualitative inquiries in accordance with scientific
- use interviews and observations to gather qualitative data,
- analyse qualitative data by means of specific methods of
- critically review qualitative research articles.

Course content

The course focuses on qualitative method as a research strategy
based on the following four main areas:
(1) History: On the emergence of qualitative method in human
science. Special focus is here on the positioning of qualitative
method in relation to quantitative method inspired by natural
(2) Research Design: On how you as a researcher design
qualitative studies in accordance with scientific practice. Key
elements in this area include the formulation of appropriate
research questions, selection, ethics etc.
(3) Data Collection Methods: On how you as a researcher can
collect qualitative data in different ways. In this area, particular
emphasis is different forms of interviews and observations, but
other collection methods are also discussed.
(4) Analytical Methods: On how you as researchers can process
the qualitative data in different ways. Here the focus is primarily
on studies grounded theory, interpretative phenomenological
analysis and conversation analysis. The close links between the
choice of research design, data collection method and analysis is
emphasized throughout the course.

Teaching and working methods

Teaching takes the form of lectures, seminars and group work. The
student is expected to study independently, individually or in


The course is examined through individual written assignments.

If the LiU coordinator for students with disabilities has granted a student the right to an adapted examination for a written examination in an examination hall, the student has the right to it. If the coordinator has instead recommended for the student an adapted examination or alternative form of examination, the examiner may grant this if the examiner assesses that it is possible, based on consideration of the course objectives.

Students failing an exam covering either the entire course or part of the course twice are entitled to have a new examiner appointed for the reexamination.

Students who have passed an examination may not retake it in order to improve their grades.


Three-grade scale, U, G, VG

Other information

Planning and implementation of a course must take its starting point in the wording of the syllabus. The course evaluation included in each course must therefore take up the question how well the course agrees with the syllabus. 

The course is carried out in such a way that both men´s and women´s experience and knowledge is made visible and developed.


Institutionen för beteendevetenskap och lärande
Code Name Scope Grading scale
HEM1 Take home exam 4 credits U, G, VG
UPG1 Workshop report 1 credits U, G
UPG2 Article report 1 credits U, G

Regulary literature


Howitt, Dennis, (2019) Introduction to qualitative research methods in psychology : putting theory into practice Fourth edition Harlow : Pearson, 2019

ISBN: 9781292251202, 9781292251219, 9781292251226

Additional literature


Fejes, Andreas, Thornberg, Robert, (2019) Handbok i kvalitativ analys Upplaga 3 Stockholm : Liber, [2019]

ISBN: 9789147129706

Smith, Jonathan A., (2015) Qualitative psychology. : a practical guide to research methods 3rd edition Los Angeles : SAGE, [2015]

ISBN: 9781446298466

Willig, Carla, (2013) Introducing qualitative research in psychology 3. ed. Maidenhead : McGraw Hill Education, Open University Press, 2013

ISBN: 9780335244492

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