Humanities Social Sciences
Qualitative research methods have gained growing popularity within the fields of Social Sciences and Humanities. This course is designed to equip you with the expertise and abilities required for conducting your own qualitative research.

Course Details

Language English
Duration 8 weeks
Effort 10 hrs/week

Qualitative Research Methods are increasingly popular in the Social Sciences and Humanities. They enable us to get an in-depth and contextual understanding of the topical phenomena in our society. In this introductory course, you will learn how to set up your qualitative research, how to collect and analyse qualitative data, and how to report on the qualitative results. We will provide many hands-on examples, and give you the opportunity to extensively try it out yourself. This course stands out because it also gives you detailed instructions on how to do this with the assistance of computer software. Finally, we really want you to experience the fascination of doing qualitative research yourself.

This course will help you in developing the knowledge and skills to conduct your own Qualitative Research. As such it is suitable for Bachelor students working on their bachelor thesis research project, or for Master students working on their master thesis research project, but also for PhD students working on their PhD research.

This course covers the following topics: Principles of qualitative research; Setting up your research: Qualitative designs, Mixed Designs, Case study designs; Collecting qualitative data: interviews, observation, visual data, existing documents; Analysing qualitative data: Grounded Theory Analysis, Phenomenological Analysis, Ethnographic Analysis, Critical Discourse Analysis, Visual Data Analysis; Objective Hermeneutical Analysis; Reporting qualitative results.

What you will learn

After the successful completion of this course, you will obtain:

  • an overview of the different qualitative research methods enabling you to make the right methodological choices;

  • insight into the scientific and theoretical backgrounds of these methods, assuring theoretic consistency and enabling you to underpin your methodological choices;

  • deeper knowledge of the backgrounds and basic principles of the different techniques for the analysis of qualitative data.

In addition, you will be able to:

  • make a suitable choice of qualitative research techniques for your research;

  • critically reflect on the choice and the application of qualitative research techniques;

  • practically apply the specific methods and draw conclusions based on the results and relate the results of qualitative research to the theory;

  • to present the results of qualitative research in an effective way.


To take part in this course you do not need any special skills or prerequired knowledge, but acquaintance with the general social scientific way of thinking is certainly an advantage. This course

Course instructors

Huib Ernste

Prof. Huib Ernste is a critical geographer, focussing his research on topical societal problems and how we can create a better, more inclusive and sustainable future, in fields such as mobility, migration, urban development, governance, sustainable action…


Radboud University (abbreviated as RU, Dutch: Radboud Universiteit, formerly Katholieke Universiteit Nijmegen) is a public research university located in Nijmegen, the Netherlands. The university bears the name of Saint Radboud, a 9th-century Dutch bishop…

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