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 emphasis in this course will be on getting acquainted with: (a) the canonical steps of the qualitative research process in general, and (b) four exemplary qualitative research designs in particular.

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, Atlas.ti, DICTION, fs/QCA, or MAXQDA.


The following topics are covered in this course in 4 consecutive weeks: (1a) qualitative “versus” quantitative research; (1b) measurement and operationalization in qualitative research settings; (2a) data collection: interviews, participant observation, textual documents, unobtrusive data, and visual materials; (2b) data analysis: data reduction, causal inference, and qualitative data analysis software (NVivo, Atlas.ti, fs/QCA, et cetera); (3a) ethnography; (3b) grounded theory methods; (4a) case study methods; and (4b) content analytical methods and discourse analysis.


The grade components for this course are: (1) developing a written qualitative research proposal (30%); (2) class participation (20%); (3) a written final exam (50%).


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

Additional info

The timetable for this course can be found here. (The linked timetable might not show all the sessions at one glance. Please scroll per month to see the schedule of the entire course.)

ERIM PhD candidates (Fulltime & Part-time) can register for this course via Osiris Student.

External (non-ERIM) participants are welcome to this course. To register, please fill in the registration form and e-mail it to the ERIM Doctoral Office by four weeks prior to the start of the course. For external participants, the course fee is 1300 euro.