Qualitative Methods and Research Planning

Postgraduate course

Course description

Objectives and Content

This is a specialization course in qualitative methods. It offers an introduction to theory of knowledge and research methodologies. Further the course provides a broad overview of (i) approaches to qualitative research, (ii) qualitative data collection methods, (iii) analysis of qualitative data, (iv) ethics throughout the research process, and (v) writing the thesis proposal. The main aim of the module is to prepare the student for their own master¿s thesis research.

Learning Outcomes

On completion of this course the students should have the following learning outcomes defined in terms of knowledge, skills and general competence:


The student has in-depth knowledge of:

  • Different knowledge paradigms and explanatory models, and their implications for choice of methodological strategy
  • Key concepts and theories within quantitative and qualitative methodologies, mixed methods
  • Ethical principles in research and their application in quantitative and qualitative research
  • Different approaches to qualitative research
  • Characteristics and appropriate use of a range of qualitative methods/techniques
  • Different approaches to analysing qualitative data
  • Trustworthiness and reflexivity in qualitative research
  • Ethics throughout the research procedure
  • The requirements for the master's thesis proposal


The student has the ability to:

  • Design an interview guide and conduct an in-depth interview and use at least two other qualitative data collection methods/techniques
  • Code and analyse qualitative data
  • Evaluate ethical procedures related to research design and data collection
  • Design a research project and write a project plan

General competence:

The student:

  • Can critically, analytically and systematically evaluate research literature (both qualitative and quantitative)
  • Can communicate and discuss different qualitative research designs and account for their respective advantages and uses
  • Can make qualified choices between different qualitative research methods
  • Can collaborate professionally in groups



ECTS Credits


Level of Study


Semester of Instruction

Required Previous Knowledge
Students must have completed the first semester of study in the master's program in Global Development Theory and Practice, Health Promotion and Health Psychology, Child Protection and Welfare or Child Welfare Work.
Access to the Course
Open to all students registered in the Master's Programmes at the Department of Health Promotion and Development.
Teaching and learning methods
The teaching methods will consist of lectures, group work and a field work exercise.
Compulsory Assignments and Attendance
  • 80% compulsory attendance in seminars
  • Drafting parts of the project plan for master thesis
  • Presentation of own research project for staff and fellow students
  • All activities must be completed and approved before the student's final exam kan be evaluated.

    Forms of Assessment

    Home exam. 5 days.

    NOTE: Text generated by ChatGPT and other AI text generators is not permitted in the submitted written work.

    Grading Scale
    Assessment Semester
    Reading List
    Will be made available on 1st December.
    Course Evaluation
    The course will be evaluated in accordance with the Faculty of Psychology's routines for participatory evaluation and the University of Bergen's Quality Assurance System.
    Programme Committee
    Department of Health Promotion and Development, Faculty of Psychology.
    Course Coordinator
    Department of Health Promotion and Development, Faculty of Psychology
    Course Administrator
    Department of Health Promotion and Development, Faculty of Psychology