• Offered by School of Politics and International Relations
  • ANU College ANU College of Arts and Social Sciences
  • Classification Research
  • Course subject Political Science
  • Areas of interest Policy Studies, Political Sciences

This seminar style course will teach students the three main qualitative methods used in political science: (elite) Interviewing, document analysis and participant observation. In this practically-focused course, students will learn to generate research questions suited to qualitative methods, design research protocols and implement them. They will then learn how to go about analysing the data they produce or encounter.

Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion, students will have the knowledge and skills to:

  1. understand and identify qualitative methods in and their use in political science research;
  2. develop a research protocol and design using qualitative methods in political science;
  3. develop techniques and skills appropriate to the design and conduct of qualitative research for political science; and
  4. communicate effectively and defend in written format an empirical argument appropriate to political science.

Indicative Assessment

  1. Class Participation (10) [LO 1,2,3]
  2. Research design paper (1000 words) (15) [LO 1,2,3]
  3. Reflection on method use Paper (2000 words) (30) [LO 2,3,4]
  4. Research Paper (3000-3500 words) (45) [LO 1,2,3,4]

The ANU uses Turnitin to enhance student citation and referencing techniques, and to assess assignment submissions as a component of the University's approach to managing Academic Integrity. While the use of Turnitin is not mandatory, the ANU highly recommends Turnitin is used by both teaching staff and students. For additional information regarding Turnitin please visit the ANU Online website.


Assessment is set at the 3000 level.

Inherent Requirements

Not applicable

Prescribed Texts

There are no prescribed texts for this course. Readings will be provided via wattle.

Preliminary Reading

Beach, Derek, and Rasmus Pedersen. Process-Tracing Methods: Foundations and Guidelines. Accessed November 21, 2018. https://www.press.umich.edu/2556735.

Brady, Henry E, and David Collier. Rethinking Social Inquiry?: Diverse Tools, Shared Standards. 2nd ed. Lanham, Md.?: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, 2010. http://trove.nla.gov.au/version/48781380.

Dowding, Keith. The Philosophy and Methods of Political Science. Political Analysis. London?; New York, NY: Palgrave, 2016.

Gerring, John, and Lee Cojocaru. “Selecting Cases for Intensive Analysis: A Diversity of Goals and Methods.” Sociological Methods & Research 45, no. 3 (August 1, 2016): 392–423. https://doi.org/10.1177/0049124116631692.

Jacob, Stacy, and S. Furgerson. “Writing Interview Protocols and Conducting Interviews: Tips for Students New to the Field of Qualitative Research.” The Qualitative Report 17, no. 42 (October 15, 2012): 1–10.

Moravcsik, Andrew. “Transparency: The Revolution in Qualitative Research.” PS: Political Science & Politics 47, no. 1 (January 2014): 48–53. https://doi.org/10.1017/S1049096513001789.

Ragin, Charles C., and Howard Saul Becker. What Is a Case?: Exploring the Foundations of Social Inquiry. Cambridge University Press, 1992.

Toshkov, Dimiter. Research Design in Political Science. Palgrave Macmillan, 2016.

Assumed Knowledge

POLS1009: Research and Writing in Political Science

POLS2044: Contemporary Political Analysis


Tuition fees are for the academic year indicated at the top of the page.  

Commonwealth Support (CSP) Students
If you have been offered a Commonwealth supported place, your fees are set by the Australian Government for each course. At ANU 1 EFTSL is 48 units (normally 8 x 6-unit courses). More information about your student contribution amount for each course at Fees

Student Contribution Band:
Unit value:
6 units

If you are a domestic graduate coursework student with a Domestic Tuition Fee (DTF) place or international student you will be required to pay course tuition fees (see below). Course tuition fees are indexed annually. Further information for domestic and international students about tuition and other fees can be found at Fees.

Where there is a unit range displayed for this course, not all unit options below may be available.

6.00 0.12500
Domestic fee paying students
Year Fee
2021 $3900
International fee paying students
Year Fee
2021 $5580
Note: Please note that fee information is for current year only.

Offerings, Dates and Class Summary Links

The list of offerings for future years is indicative only.
Class summaries, if available, can be accessed by clicking on the View link for the relevant class number.

First Semester

Class number Class start date Last day to enrol Census date Class end date Mode Of Delivery Class Summary
3841 21 Feb 2022 28 Feb 2022 31 Mar 2022 27 May 2022 In Person N/A

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