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2017/2018  BA-BPOLO2006U  Qualitative Methods

English Title
Qualitative Methods

Course information

Language English
Course ECTS 7.5 ECTS
Type Mandatory
Level Bachelor
Duration One Semester
Start time of the course Autumn
Timetable Course schedule will be posted at calendar.cbs.dk
Study board
Study Board for BSc/MSc i International Business and Politics, BSc
Course coordinator
  • Antje Vetterlein - Department of Organization (IOA)
Main academic disciplines
  • Methodology and philosophy of science
Last updated on 09-08-2017

Relevant links

Learning objectives
To achieve the grade 12, students should meet the following learning objectives with no or only minor mistakes or errors:
  • Assess the strengths and limitations of different qualitative methods when applied to a given research problem
  • Apply qualitative methods to a research problem and account for the relationships between theory, method, data collection and analysis
  • Demonstrate applied skills and apply methodologically informed analyses to a research question in the field of international business and politicsand account for the relationships between a research problem, theory, method, data collection and analysis
  • Critically reflect on how to analyze and report qualitative data and assess their validity and reliability
Qualitative Methods:
Exam ECTS 7,5
Examination form Home assignment - written product
Individual or group exam Group exam
Please note the rules in the Programme Regulations about identification of individual contributions.
Number of people in the group 2-5
Size of written product Max. 15 pages
1-3 students max. 10 pages
4-5 students max. 15 pages

It is possible to write the project individually without applying for exemption.
Assignment type Written assignment
Duration Written product to be submitted on specified date and time.
Grading scale 7-step scale
Examiner(s) One internal examiner
Exam period Winter
Make-up exam/re-exam
Same examination form as the ordinary exam
A new exam assignment must be answered. This apply to all students (failed, ill, or otherwise).
Description of the exam procedure

The essay is based on the mini-research project, conducted during the course. 

Course content and structure

The objective of this course is to provide students with an understanding of how to conduct, analyze and report qualitative research in the social sciences. The primary focus of the course is to introduce qualitative case study designs with a focus on how to produce, analyze and write up qualitative research using different methods, such as text analysis, interview methods and observation techniques. The course further discusses how to assess data reliability and validity, including how to triangulate data from different sources and combine different methods, as well as ethical questions concerning qualitative research.

Teaching methods
The course is based on 3 components:
• interactive lectures that provide space for plenary discussion
• substantial group work applying qualitative methods in a mini-research project
• a one-day workshop, in which students will present the results of their projects

The course requires active participation, this means in particular that we expect students to do the readings before the lectures, attend and actively participate in the lectures and a show a high degree of willingness to engage in empirical group work.

The course will be structured around 5 weeks of 4-hour interactive lectures (2 per week), 3+3 weeks of independent group work conducting an empirical analysis and a one-day workshop.
Feedback during the teaching period
The course seeks to offer feedback wherever feasible. Lectures and the one-day workshop will provide extensive opportunities for questions. Please feel free to take full advantage of the ‘office hours’ offered by full-time staff members, although these can never be a substitute for participation in lectures and classes. We also encourage you to ask questions or make comments in class and form self-study groups to secure peer feedback on your work.
Student workload
Preparation time (readings, group work etc.) 102 hours
Lectures / class exercises / “homework cafés” / workshops etc. 36 hours
Exam (incl. preparation for the exam and actual exam period) 70 hours
Expected literature

There are two text books that will be used during the course:


  • Bryman (2015) Social Research Methods, Oxford University Press
  • Eriksson & Kovalainen (2016) Qualitative Methods in Business Research, Sage Publications.


This is a sample of the literature that will be used. A comprehensive reading list can be found in the course plan that will be published on CBS Learn before classes begin.

Last updated on 09-08-2017