Skip to main content

Unit information: Advanced Qualitative Research in 2021/22

Unit name Advanced Qualitative Research
Unit code SOCIM3132
Credit points 20
Level of study M/7
Teaching block(s) Teaching Block 2 (weeks 13 - 24)
Unit director Dr. Jo Haynes
Open unit status Not open

Qualitative Social Research or equivalent



School/department School of Sociology, Politics and International Studies
Faculty Faculty of Social Sciences and Law

Description including Unit Aims

This unit builds on the conceptual and practical techniques of the introductory qualitative research unit and focuses on data analysis. It also provides instruction on specialist techniques of qualitative data collection commonly employed by sociologists including working with archived and social forms of data. The unit addresses the analysis and interpretation of interviews, life histories, documents and visual data. Students will be encouraged to take a hands-on approach to the analysis of qualitative data in order to develop a reflexive and critical understanding of research design. Students will be introduced to established strategies for analysing data – including, thematic, narrative and discursive approaches. The unit will also dedicate some time to the computer software package NVivo, which has been designed specifically to support researchers in the analysis of qualitative data.


1. Explore challenges to the principles and techniques of qualitative research that are presented by archived, visual, internet and social data
2. Introduce students to the principles and problems of interpretation and analysis of qualitative data
3. Prepare students to manage and interpret their own and other’s qualitative data
4. Provide instruction for the writing up and presentation of qualitative data

Intended Learning Outcomes

By the end of the unit, students will be able to:

1. Identify a suitable approach for incorporating and managing a range of qualitative data sources in research 2. Demonstrate an understanding of the main approaches and principles of qualitative research 3. Critically engage with and evaluate different approaches to qualitative analysis 4. Make detailed and appropriate use of these insights in developing and structuring their own analysis of primary or secondary data 5. Write and present a coherent and critical narrative of qualitative analysis

Teaching Information

The unit will be taught through blended learning methods, including a mix of synchronous and asynchronous teaching activities

Assessment Information

A number of formative tasks will be completed in seminars.

The formative assessment will address how well students can demonstrate learning outcomes 2 and 3.

Summative: 4000 word essay. Students will conduct their own analysis of a qualitative data set - made available from the ESDS Qualidata archive - using the appropriate techniques, in conjunction with a literature review, which supports their focus.

The summative assessment will address how well students can demonstrate learning outcomes 1, 3, 4 and 5.


If this unit has a Resource List, you will normally find a link to it in the Blackboard area for the unit. Sometimes there will be a separate link for each weekly topic.

If you are unable to access a list through Blackboard, you can also find it via the Resource Lists homepage. Search for the list by the unit name or code (e.g. SOCIM3132).

How much time the unit requires
Each credit equates to 10 hours of total student input. For example a 20 credit unit will take you 200 hours of study to complete. Your total learning time is made up of contact time, directed learning tasks, independent learning and assessment activity.

See the Faculty workload statement relating to this unit for more information.

The Board of Examiners will consider all cases where students have failed or not completed the assessments required for credit. The Board considers each student's outcomes across all the units which contribute to each year's programme of study. If you have self-certificated your absence from an assessment, you will normally be required to complete it the next time it runs (this is usually in the next assessment period).
The Board of Examiners will take into account any extenuating circumstances and operates within the Regulations and Code of Practice for Taught Programmes.