Qualitative Methods


This unit aims to debate critical concepts, methods and principles within qualitative research in order to enable students to get adequate competences for planning, designing and conducting qualitative research.

General characterization





Responsible teacher

Maria João Major


Weekly - Available soon

Total - Available soon

Teaching language



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•    Denzin, N. and Lincoln, Y. (2017) (Eds.), The Sage Handbook of Qualitative Research, 5th edition, Sage Publications, Thousand Oaks, CA.

•    Marshall, C. and Rossman, G. B. (2016) Designing Qualitative Research, 6th edition, Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage;

•    Mason, J. (2017) Qualitative Researching, 3rd edition, London: Sage;

•    Miles, M. B., Huberman, A. M. & Saldaña, J. (2019) Qualitative Data Analysis, 4th edition, Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage;

•    Patton, M. Q. (2015) Qualitative Research and Evaluation Methods, 4th edition, Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage;

•    Silverman, D. (2017) Doing Qualitative Research, 5th edition, London: Sage;

•    Yin, R. (2018), Case study research and Applications: Research Design and Methods, Sage, 6th edition.

Teaching method

During the learning-teaching term each student should acquire analytical, information gathering, written and oral communication skills, according to the established learning outcomes for this unit.

To contribute to the acquisition of these skills the following learning methodologies (LM) will be used:

1.    Expositional, to the presentation of the theoretical reference frames
2.    Participative, with the analysis and discussion of readings
3.    Active, with the realization of individual works
4.    Self-study, related with autonomous work by the student.

Evaluation method

The evaluation system is based on the delivery of an essay, which should be developed individually by each student. The topic of the essay is provided by the lecturer at the beginning of the course and it should relate to a particular aspect of the course’s syllabus. In order to prepare the essay students are encouraged to supplement the main bibliographical references adopted in the course with articles from scientific journals in the area.

Subject matter

1.    Features of qualitative research
2.    The ontological and epistemological perspectives and the research questions: defining the intellectual puzzle
3.    Designing qualitative research
4.    Conducting case studies
5.    Strategies for generating evidence
a.    Data sources, methods and approaches
b.    Qualitative interviewing
c.    Observing and participating
d.    Documents
6.    Analyzing qualitative data
a.    Organizing and indexing qualitative data
b.    The three components of data analysis of Miles & Huberman
c.    The Gioia et al.’s methodology
d.    Making convincing arguments with qualitative data


Programs where the course is taught: