Qualitative Methods


The goal of this course is to equip students with the intellectual baggage necessary for the design, execution, and publication of truly excellent qualitative research studies.


The following topics are covered in this course in 5 consecutive weeks: (1a) qualitative “versus” quantitative research; (1b) measurement and operationalization in qualitative research settings; (2a) data collection: interviews, documents, observation, data bases, and more; (2b) data analysis: data reduction, causal inference, and qualitative data analysis software (NVivo, Atlas.ti, UCINET, QCA); (3a) ethnography; (3b) grounded theory methods; (4a) case study methods; (4b) content analytical methods and discourse analysis; and (5) capita selecta.

Central to this course is that students acquire an advanced understanding of the qualitative research process in general, and of several commonly used qualitative research designs in particular. Students are also expected to get acquainted with and learn how to use qualitative data analysis programs, such as NVivo, (www.qsrinternational.com), Atlas.ti (www.atlasti.de), fs/QCA (http://www.u.arizona.edu/~cragin/fsQCA/), or UCINET (www.analytictech.com).


The grade components for this course are: (1) an in-class paper presentation (20%); (2) class participation (20%); a written final exam (60%).


The literature for this course will consist of carefully selected articles and book chapters, made available through a dedicated BlackBoard site. The materials will include original methodological contributions, as well as exemplary applied research articles.

Additional info

There are no prerequisites for this course. (External) students who consider taking this course but have further questions are invited to contact the instructor in advance.


More information and detailed timetables can be found here.

ERIM PhD candidates and Research Master students can register for this course via SIN Online.

External (non-ERIM) participants are welcome to this course. To register, please fill in the registration form and e-mail it to miizuka@rsm.nl by four weeks prior to the start of the course. Please note that the number of places for this course is limited. For external participants, the course fee is 260 euro per ECTS credit.