Please note: there may be some adjustments to the teaching arrangements published in the course catalogue for 2020-21. Given current circumstances related to the Covid-19 pandemic it is anticipated that some usual arrangements for teaching on campus will be modified to ensure the safety and wellbeing of students and staff on campus; further adjustments may also be necessary, or beneficial, during the course of the academic year as national requirements relating to management of the pandemic are revised.

Applied Qualitative Methods in Psychology 4H PSYCH4050

  • Academic Session: 2020-21
  • School: School of Psychology
  • Credits: 10
  • Level: Level 4 (SCQF level 10)
  • Typically Offered: Semester 1
  • Available to Visiting Students: Yes
  • Available to Erasmus Students: Yes

Short Description

This course introduces specialised qualitative methods which offer different approaches of analysis for the researcher. This course will enable the learner to develop skills in terms of identifying the theoretical and practical aspects of different qualitative approaches in terms of data collection, methods, process of analysis and situate these within a framework to assess rigour and quality. . 


10 hours of teaching sessions over a 5 week block

Requirements of Entry

Successful completion of level 3H psychology single honours

Excluded Courses



Submission of 2700 words collaboratively written qualitative research report (85% of coursework). Students will work collaboratively in a pair to analyse a specified source of secondary qualitative data. Students will write a research report (APA format) which will not exceed 2700 words and produce 300 word reflection piece (still written in pairs, 15%) about how working collaboratively on one submitted piece of joint course work has enabled their professional and research skills development. They will address how they have acted upon on the formative feedback throughout the course and specifically from their peers following support seminar (see 22. Formative Assessment and Feedback) 

Are reassessment opportunities available for all summative assessments? Not applicable

Reassessments are normally available for all courses, except those which contribute to the Honours classification. For non Honours courses, students are offered reassessment in all or any of the components of assessment if the satisfactory (threshold) grade for the overall course is not achieved at the first attempt. This is normally grade D3 for undergraduate students and grade C3 for postgraduate students. Exceptionally it may not be possible to offer reassessment of some coursework items, in which case the mark achieved at the first attempt will be counted towards the final course grade. Any such exceptions for this course are described below. 

Course Aims

This course aims to prepare students to design, execute and evaluate a range of qualitative methods suited to different aspects of psychological enquiry.

Intended Learning Outcomes of Course

By the end of this course students will be able to:

- Identify and select appropriate data collection techniques that best suit the purpose of qualitative enquiry (e.g. Interviews, Focus Groups, Observation, Internet, Primary/Secondary data))

- Describe and evaluate the different epistemological principles underpinning different qualitative analysis techniques

- Select appropriate techniques and methods suited to qualitative research analysis (Discourse Analysis, Interpretative phenomenological analysis (Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis (IPA) and Grounded Theory)

- Appraise indices of rigour and quality (including reflexivity) when designing and reviewing research which utilise qualitative methods

- Describe and evaluate the role of computer aided analysis in qualitative methods

Minimum Requirement for Award of Credits

Students must submit at least 75% by weight of the components (including examinations) of the course's summative assessment.