Syllabus for Qualitative Methods in the Social Sciences

Kvalitativa metoder inom samhällsvetenskap


  • 7.5 credits
  • Course code: 2SC099
  • Education cycle: Second cycle
  • Main field(s) of study and in-depth level: Sociology A1N
  • Grading system: Fail (U), Pass (G), Pass with distinction (VG)
  • Established: 2012-03-08
  • Established by:
  • Revised: 2020-01-22
  • Revised by: The Department Board
  • Applies from: Autumn 2020
  • Entry requirements:

    A Bachelor's degree including 90 credits in social sciences.

  • Responsible department: Department of Sociology

Decisions and guidelines

The course is given as a skills course within the Master's Programme in Social Science. The course may be given in English.

Learning outcomes

After completing the course, the student should be able to:

  • Use, evaluate and critically review different qualitative methods within the social sciences;
  • Master sufficient skills to use qualitative methods in their research;
  • Critically evaluate the use of different methodological approaches in social sciences studies and reports.


The course will present various qualitative methods and engage students in discussions over the premises and use of these methods. Students will learn how to use the different methods through practical applications.


The course consists of lectures, group exercises and seminars. Active participation in seminars is compulsory. Justified absence from compulsory seminars can only be compensated to a lesser extent by written submissions. If requirements for attendance are not met, the student will be referred to the next course opportunity.


Assessment is by written home assignments and active participation in oral seminars. Assignments submitted after the deadline cannot be accepted. In case of missed deadline, the student is referred to re-examination. If there are justified special reasons, an examiner may make an exception from the method of assessment indicated and allow a student to be assessed by another method. An example of special reasons might be a certificate regarding special pedagogical support from the University's disability coordinator.

Other directives

The course is an obligatory course within the Master Programme in Social Science.

Reading list

Reading list

Applies from: Autumn 2020

Some titles may be available electronically through the University library.

  • Bergman Blix, Stina; Wettergren, Åsa The emotional labour of gaining and maintaining access to the field

    Qualitative Research, 2015


  • Kyngäs, Helvi; Elo, Satu The qualitative content analysis process

    Journal of Advanced Nursing, 2008


  • Fine, Gary Alan; Hallett, Tim Stranger and stranger: creating theory through ethnographic distance and authority

    Journal of Organizational Ethnography, 2014


  • Gentles, ; Charles, ; Ploeg, Sampling in Qualitative Research: Insights from an Overview of the Methods Literature

    The Qualitative Report, 2015


  • Barbour, Rosaline S.; Kitzinger, Jenny Developing focus group research : politics, theory and practice

    London: SAGE, 1999

    Find in the library


  • Ritchie, Jane; Lewis, Jane Qualitative research practice : a guide for social science students and researchers

    London: SAGE, 2003

    Legard, R., Keegan, J., & Ward, K. 2003. In-depth interviews, pp. 138-169.

    Find in the library


  • Mayring, P. Qualitative Content Analysis

    Forum Qualitative Social Research, 2000


  • Mills, C. Wright The sociological imagination

    3. pr.: New York: 1959, pr. 1970

    Find in the library


  • Verification strategies for establishing reliability and validity in qualitative research Morse, ; Barrett, ; Mayan, ; Olson, ; Spiers,

    International Journal of Qualitative Methods, 2002


  • Valli, Chiara Gillian Rose. 2012. Visual Methodologies: An Introduction to Researching with Visual Materials(Third edition). London: Sage. 408 pp. [Elektronisk resurs] : Book review


    Chapters 1 and 2: "Researching with Visual Materials: A Brief Survey" and "Towards a Critical Visual Methodology"

    10:2, 191-194

    Find in the library


  • Small, Mario L. "How many cases do I need?": On science and the logic of case selection in field-based research

    Ethnography, 2009


  • Streck, Danilo R. Research and Social Transformation: Notes about Method and Methodology in Participatory Research

    International Journal of Action Research, 2007


  • Flick, Uwe The SAGE handbook of qualitative data collection

    Los Angeles: SAGE, 2018

    Wästerfors, David, "Observations"

    Find in the library


Reading list revisions