Module code: PSY2029

Module Overview

1. The module will introduce qualitative research methods. Students will be introduced though lectures to: 1. the key principles and characteristics that distinguish qualitative research; 2. methods of generating data commonly used by qualitative researchers; and, 3 a foundational method of qualitative data analysis (Thematic Analysis). The workshops will then build on the lectures by helping develop student’s skills in the field through a supervised qualitative research project. This will equip students to conduct qualitative analyses for their own research dissertation should they wish to do so in their final year.

2. Introduce students to: a) the importance of ethical principles, following the guidelines outlined by the British Psychological Society (BPS) where the focus will be on a number of key issues, including special populations, sensitive topics, deception and management of data in accordance with GDPR (2018) guidelines; b) the university ethics system (SAGE) and how the ethical principles previously discussed are dealt with within this system.  This will equip students with the ability to complete their ethics form when conducting own research dissertation in their final year.

Module provider


Module Leader

WILLIAMS Emma (Psychology)

Number of Credits: 15

ECTS Credits: 7.5

Framework: FHEQ Level 5

Module cap (Maximum number of students): N/A

Overall student workload

Workshop Hours: 11

Independent Learning Hours: 95

Lecture Hours: 11

Seminar Hours: 11

Guided Learning: 11

Captured Content: 11

Module Availability

Semester 2

Prerequisites / Co-requisites


Module content

Indicative content includes:

Qualitative research Component

Week 1 Introduction to qualitative research and the group project

Week 2 Generating qualitative data: Constructing and Conducting individual semi-structured interviews/Group project

Week 3 Reflexivity and evaluation in qualitative research/Group project

Week 4 No lectures/workshops [students collecting data]

Week 5 Introducing Thematic Analysis (TA): a foundational method of qualitative analysis/ Group project

Week 6 Coding in TA and what makes a good quality TA/Group project

Week 7 Advice clinics

Ethics Component

Week 8 Introduction to BPS ethical principles and guidelines

Week 9 Dealing ethically with special populations and sensitive topics

Week 10 Dealing ethically deception and management of data following GDPR guidelines and

Week 11 Introduction to University Ethics System/workshop giving students opportunity to complete a SAGE form online

Assessment pattern

Assessment type Unit of assessment Weighting
Examination Online EXAM 20

Alternative Assessment


Assessment Strategy

The assessment strategy is designed to provide students with the opportunity to demonstrate the skill to analyse and report qualitative data using one qualitative research method.

Thus, the summative assessment for this module consists of:

Research Report (addresses learning outcomes: 1 - 10): Students will write up the research study as a qualitative report including critical reflection.

Short Answer Exam (addresses learning outcomes: 11 - 16): Students will answer 3 questions; 2 relating to ethics and 1 to open research.


Module aims

  • Provide students with philosophical knowledge underlying qualitative psychological research
  • Provide students with knowledge of methods of qualitative approaches to data collection and data analysis
  • To give the opportunity to students to apply qualitative research methods knowledge in data collection and analysis to a topic
  • Introduce students to the overall ethical principles and guidelines outlined by the BPS.
  • Ensure students understand the importance of, and reasons for, particular BPS ethical guidelines around key issues including sensitive topics, vulnerable populations, data management and deception.
  • Introduce students to the concepts of open science and pre-registration
  • Introduce students to the online university ethics system and how the ethical principles/ guidelines outlined by the BPS are attended to within this.

Learning outcomes

Attributes Developed
001 Understand how to formulate qualitative research question/s CK
002 Understand the utility of using qualitative methods. CK
003 Construct a semi-structured interview schedule CP
004 Conduct a qualitative interview CPT
005 Understand the interpersonal skills required to conduct a good quality interview CKPT
006 Critically reflect on the experience of developing and implementing an interview schedule CPT
007 Analyse qualitative data (using thematic analysis) CP
008 Write a qualitative research report CKP
009 Critically evaluate qualitative research CPT
010 Reflect critically on personal interpretative framework CPT
011 1. Understand the ethical principles and guidelines as outlined by the BPS KC
012 2. Understand the key ethical issues around research which involves vulnerable populations and sensitive topics KC
013 3. Understand the key ethical issues relating to data management KC
014 4. Understand the key ethical issues relating to deception as grounded in the BPS guidelines KC
015 5. Introduce students to the concepts of open science and pre-registration KCP
016 6. Complete an ethics form following the BPS guidelines using the University online ethics system KCPT

Attributes Developed

C - Cognitive/analytical

K - Subject knowledge

T - Transferable skills

P - Professional/Practical skills

Methods of Teaching / Learning

The learning and teaching strategy is designed to:

1. Develop skills in qualitative research through small group discussion, facilitated by the lecturer and graduate teaching assistants

2. Develop skills in applying ethical principles and guidelines learned in lectures through completing an online ethics application facilitated by lecturer and graduate teaching assistants

The learning and teaching methods include: Lectures and supervised group work.

32 contact hours and 118 hours of independent study (reading and developing assignments).

The contact hours will be comprised of 10 two-hour lecture sessions, 6 two-hour workshops. The majority of the workshop sessions will include group work in which the students will work on developing their interview schedules and analysing the data obtained from their interviews for their group project.

Indicated Lecture Hours (which may also include seminars, tutorials, workshops and other contact time) are approximate and may include in-class tests where one or more of these are an assessment on the module. In-class tests are scheduled/organised separately to taught content and will be published on to student personal timetables, where they apply to taken modules, as soon as they are finalised by central administration. This will usually be after the initial publication of the teaching timetable for the relevant semester.

Reading list

Upon accessing the reading list, please search for the module using the module code: PSY2029

Other information


Programmes this module appears in

Programme Semester Classification Qualifying conditions
Psychology BSc (Hons)(CORE) 2 Core Each unit of assessment must be passed at 40% to pass the module

Please note that the information detailed within this record is accurate at the time of publishing and may be subject to change. This record contains information for the most up to date version of the programme / module for the 2021/2 academic year.