Introduction to Qualitative Research Methods



The goal of this course is to provide a sound understanding of qualitative research design. This will be accompanied with a specific focus on pragmatic questions and method design aiming at providing tools for constructing solid qualitative research. The course will consist of following main components:

a) It will provide the students with hands-on knowledge on how to conduct a qualitative research project with a particular interest in how to make a research topic workable, how to design and analyze interview data, and how to select cases.

b) It will discuss qualitative research methods in relation to dominant theoretical perspectives and the quality criteria of research projects today.

c) By actively participating in an intensive supervisory process, the course will provide the students with a good platform for developing their own research methods and project.

Teaching Objectives

Students will learn key concepts for designing qualitative research studies, and collecting and analyzing qualitative data. Students will also learn how to critique and deconstruct qualitative research papers.


  • Command of English language
  • willingness to engage in readings for each class session discussion of those readings in class
  • willingness to engage with the ambiguities of qualitative data.

The course is specifically designed for Ph.D. students interested in conducting and/or evaluating qualitative academic research studies, but is also open to advanced master students meeting the above criteria.


  • The final grade will be based on class participation/discussion (small group and whole group); assignments, and research project.


  • All Master's students who have already participated in the course "Qualitative Forschungsmethoden" by Professor Paluch cannot get credit for the module owing to major content overlaps. It is not possible to get credit for both courses.