Qualitative Methods
Cursus informatieRooster
Studiepunten (ECTS)6
Aangeboden doorRadboud Universiteit; Faculteit der Managementwetenschappen; Bachelor Geografie, Planologie en Milieu;
VorigeVolgende 4
dr. I.V. Barba Lata
Overige cursussen docent
dr. I.V. Barba Lata
Overige cursussen docent
Contactpersoon van de cursus
dr. I.V. Barba Lata
Overige cursussen docent
dr. I.V. Barba Lata
Overige cursussen docent
prof. dr. H. Ernste
Overige cursussen docent
1-2  (05-09-2022 t/m 29-01-2023)
Inschrijven via OSIRISJa
Inschrijven voor bijvakkersJa
After completing the course Qualitative Methods the student is able to:
  • Come up with a broad spectrum of different qualitative methods, and evaluate and compare its advantages and disadvantages;
  • Relate specific qualitative methods with their respective social theoretic background;
  • Thoroughly describe the backgrounds and basic principles of the various techniques for the analysis of qualitative data;
  • Independently make an adequate choice of qualitative research techniques for  real life research;
  • Relate the results of qualitative research to the corresponding theory;
  • Critically reflect on the choice and the application of qualitative research techniques;
  • Present the results of qualitative research in an effective way.
Qualitative research is becoming increasingly important in socio-spatial research. Instead of starting research with pre-defined, universally valid theories, concepts or hypotheses for the explanation of socio-spatial phenomena, the aim of qualitative research is to derive and understand the contingent and subjective aspects of a specific situation from the qualitative data. On the basis of these contingent situations, researchers can sometimes recognise more general patterns. This is done in various ways, e.g. by interviewing people, by analysing documents, media reports and visual material and by making direct observations in specific situations (case studies). In this sense, qualitative research methods are primarily focussed on 'discovering' relationships, instead of confirming pre-assumed relationships. This special attention for the 'context' of spatial action and spatial decision-making or specific developments is closely related to theoretical assumptions in the research project and with the concrete research questions. These assumptions and questions, therefore, lead to the choice of the specific qualitative research method.
In contrast to what is often mistakenly assumed, doing qualitative research concerns the meticulous application of rigorous, precise, imitable and verifiable scientific techniques, which can provide the researcher with an unexpected wealth of knowledge about and insights into the complexities of our world. In this course, a selected number of qualitative research methods are taught in the framework of group assignments, during which we will also make use of special software that can assist the researcher in doing qualitative research.
Each research question has its own specificities and might also demand a correspondingly specific method. Usually, however, more than one method can be used to investigate that research question. In the framework of this course, we can only deal with a selection of the full spectrum of qualitative research methods, which gives you an impression and some initial experience with the various kinds of qualitative methods. In concrete cases, one always needs to adapt the methods to the specific conditions and requirements of the research. The selected qualitative methods, therefore, do not provide standardised, universally correct research designs; they always demand a well-supported, creative and adaptive decision and application by the researcher. This course will provide you with the basic knowledge and skills needed for this purpose.

N.B. This course has been transformed into a full-fledged blended online course on the EdX online course platform. This implies, that this course offers a multitude of online video lectures, online written material, exercises, assignments, peer-reviews, reflections, quizzes and other activities. The online part of the course was meticulously put together and tested and operates almost fully automatically. This implies, that students also need to comply in a similar meticulously way with the online instructions, as the system does not allow any exceptions. In addition, we also have in-person face-to-face interactive computer lab sessions with tutors to help you and to serve you with advice. This whole course is very intense and you need to be very disciplined and well prepared and need to reserve sufficient time to work on the many activities in this course, which all have the purpose to help the students in their learning process. You cannot miss out on any of them, otherwise, you will not be able to proceed on your 'learning curve' and will not be able to pass the course. This will be a totally different learning experience.
Since this kind of learning experience might be new to you, we offer a few very brief preparatory modules, before the course even starts, in which you can learn the technicalities of the platform (EdX) for this online course, and in which you can learn how to organise yourself in an optimal way, to make the most out of this learning experience. So enrol well before the course starts and do these preparatory modules.
This course is offered for Bachelor students, but since Qualitative Research Methods are not different for Bachelor student, Master students or PhD students, this course can also be taken by Master students or PhD students of any (social-scientific) discipline.

Written Exam, graded and ungraded (but compulsory) Assignments, Online-Quizzes, Peer-Reviews and Assignments.
Only graded parts can be re-done in re-sit, so the fulfilment of compulsory ungraded parts is an absolute requisite to pass the course.
If the course is repeated, students start from scratch again, so no results from earlier attempts can be passed to the repeated course.
Software For the Qualitative Methods we make use of specialised software ‘Atlas.ti’ latest Version (Version 22). This software supports your analysis. It does not do the analysis for you. So you still need to do the scientific thinking and interpreting, but this powerful software makes it easy to do. The software is available on many locations on campus. In the Learning Zone you can also work late evenings and during weekends. The easiest way however is to have it installed on your own computer. To do so you need to go to the university website ( you will need to log-in with your student credentials) to get instructions on installing Atlas.ti and to get the licence code. The licence runs on year basis until July. After that date you can renew your licence code again. Atlas.ti is also available for Mac. In the beginning of our course you will get basic instructions for using Atlas.ti. After this introduction you will use this software for the assignments. After the course you can also continue using it for your Bachelor- or Master-Thesis research. To make sure you have the software available, do not wait to get your own copy for your own computer.
Ba 2 PM

Verplicht materiaal
Wordt nader bekendgemaakt
online materiaal op het edx platform


During the computer lab sessions, you will work together with your fellow group member on the group assignments. Tutors will be available to answer questions and give advise, but of course you first need to try yourself. They will also briefly reflect and give general feedback on earlier assignments.

Online (distance-learning) lectures

Online (distance-learning) sessions

ToetsvormDigitale toets met CIRRUS
GelegenhedenBlok 2, Blok 3