Qualitative Methods - 2016

To enrol in this unit, you must be accepted into a course from the provider. Read before you start
This page is for past year, View 2017 unit details.

Unit summary


  • Level of Study: Postgraduate
  • Study load: 0.125 EFTSL
  • Delivery method: Fully Online
  • Prerequisites: Yes
  • Duration: 14 weeks
  • Government loans available: FEE-HELP
  • Availability for 2016: Sess 3
  • Assessment: Assignment 1 - Observation Assignment (20%) , Assignment 2 - Interview Assignment (30%) - Learn more

Unit provided by

2016 Fees
Domestic 2,250.00
International 2,500.00

This unit was previously known as SGY888 Qualitative Methods.

This unit will introduce you to the key techniques used by qualitative researchers; explain when and why they are used and give you the chance to try them out in practice. It is organized in three modules: the foundations of qualitative research; methods of collecting qualitative data; and analyzing qualitative data. The research skills you develop in this unit have many possible applications including, but not limited to: in the bureaucracy, working for a public inquiry; testing public opinion for political parties; marketing a new product; campaigning in a social movement; understanding the impact of a new industry on your local community.

At the completion of this unit students will be able to:

  1. understand the nature of qualitative research procedures and what makes them distinctive
  2. understand when qualitative techniques should be used and when they are unsuitable
  3. appreciate the ethical dimensions of research practice
  4. locate information and critically evaluate the findings of previous research
  5. draw upon firsthand experience in using the techniques of observation and interviewing
  6. analyse primary data collected from qualitative research
  7. apply the techniques of 'grounded theory' in qualitative data analysis.
  • Assignment 1 — Observation Assignment (20%)
  • Assignment 2 — Interview Assignment (30%)
  • Participation (10%)
  • Research Assignment — Research Report (40%)

Equivalent units

You cannot enrol in this unit if you have successfully completed any of the following unit(s) because they are considered academically equivalent:

  • SGY888 — Qualitative Methods (Previously SGY388)
  • Broadband access — Students are required to have regular access to a computer and the internet. Mobile devices alone are not sufficient.

In order to enrol in this unit, you must be accepted into one of the following courses:

Please visit the course details page and read the Requirements tab for more information about eligibility.

This unit addresses the following topics.

1Introduction: key concepts and unit overview;
2Is qualitative research a science?;
3Research Design;
4Ethics and politics;
5Observing in the field;
6The Practice of Observation;
7The interview;
8Focus groups;
9Interrogating the Text;
10Grounded theory and Data Analysis;
11Using Computers in qualitative analysis;
12Writing Up results;
13Summing Up

This unit is delivered using the following methods and materials:

Instructional Methods

  • Discussion Forum/Discussion Board

This unit is a core requirement in the following courses:

This unit may be eligible for credit towards other courses:

  1. Many undergraduate courses on offer through OUA include 'open elective' where any OUA unit can be credited to the course. You need to check the Award Requirements on the course page for the number of allowed open electives and any level limitations.
  2. In other cases, the content of this unit might be relevant to a course on offer through OUA or elsewhere. In order to receive credit for this unit in the course you will need to supply the provider institution with a copy of the Unit Profile in the approved format, which you can download here. Note that the Unit Profile is set at the start of the year, and if textbooks change this may not match the Co-Op textbook list.

Textbooks are subject to change within the academic year. Students are advised to purchase their books no earlier than one to two months before the start of a unit.

Click on the titles of the listed books below to find out more:

Required textbooks

There are no required textbooks for this unit.

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