Postgraduate course

Qualitative Methods

  • ECTS credits10
  • Teaching semesterAutumn
  • Course codeAORG323B
  • Number of semesters1
  • LanguageEnglish
  • Resources

Teaching semester


Objectives and Content

The aim of this course is to discuss basic concepts and methodologies, train students in identifying relationships between theory and data, and enable them to develop such relationships on their own. The course will teach students the relevance of positivist, hermeneutic and discursive approaches to the study of organization and politics with a view to developing a research design of their own. Furthermore, the course aims at presenting specific methods to the students in order to assist them to a wide variety of research methods in connection with the Master thesis writing. As a preparation for conducting their own literature reviews the course will train students in understanding and assessing critically different methods used in other research contributions. A recurring topic will be research design. Thereby, the course aims to illustrate how the various parts of the research process are interconnected. Finally, an aim is to illustrate how methodological choices are related to different traditions in the philosophy of sciences.

The course consists of the following components:

  1. Philosophy of Science and Basic Conceptual Analysis
  2. Research Design
  3. Case as Research Strategy
  4. Textual Analysis and Documentary Data
  5. Qualitative Interviews

Learning Outcomes

A student who has completed the course should have the following learning outcomes defined in terms of knowledge, skills and general competence:


The student can

  • Discuss basic concepts and methods of the discipline
  • Identify relationships between theory and data
  • Explain the relevance of positivist, hermeneutic and discursive approaches
  • Understand and critically discuss methods in the empirical works of others


The student can

  • Argue for the choice of methods approach on the basis of a research question
  • Apply different methods in empirical analyses
  • Integrate different methods in a research design
  • Construct well grounded research designs
  • Integrate the different parts of a research design

General competence

The student can

  • Apply different perspectives from the philosophy of sciences in order to argue for a specific choice of methods
  • Develop one's own research design
  • Support other sudents in developing research designs

Recommended Previous Knowledge

AORG101, AORG104, AORG103 / AORG105 / AORG107, AORG209 / AORG210

Credit Reduction due to Course Overlap

Total course overlap and full point reduction in relation to AORG323A, AORG318 and AORG320.

Access to the Course

The course is open for students who have been accepted to the Master's programme in public administration. Exchange students may be accepted upon application.

Teaching and learning methods

The format of teaching is primarily class lectures. In addition, seminars will be given where students are required to present drafts and comment on another student's presentation at least once.

Compulsory Assignments and Attendance

Students are expected to actively participate in the discussion and give a presentation of an essay to be written on the basis of the syllabus. In addition, each student is required to at least one time comment on another student's oral/written presentation. This requirement is compulsory and valid for the current and the following assessment semester.

Forms of Assessment

Written essay (6.000 words)

Grading Scale


Assessment Semester


Course Evaluation

The course is evaluated every 3rd year.

Course Administrator

Department of Administration and Organization Theory


Contact Information


Tlf 55 58 21 54