• Offered by ANU Centre for Social Research Methods
  • ANU College ANU College of Arts and Social Sciences
  • Classification Transitional
  • Course subject Social Research
  • Areas of interest Anthropology, Population Studies, Sociology, Demography
  • Academic career PGRD
  • Course convener
    • Dr Liz Allen
  • Mode of delivery In Person
  • Co-taught Course
  • Offered in First Semester 2023
    See Future Offerings

This course provides a broad overview of the theory of qualitative research, and examines the basic skills involved in the application of these methods in social research, demography and population studies. Qualitative methods are defined, and their uses and limitations explored. Qualitative methods are compared with quantitative methods, and approaches to the integration of qualitative data are reviewed. Strong emphasis is given to practical exercises in the collection, analysis and reporting of qualitative data. In analyzing textual data, the use of NVivo will be introduced.

Learning Outcomes

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

  1. understand and explain the following: the theoretical underpinnings of qualitative methods; the strengths and limitations of qualitative methods; how qualitative methods can be used as a combined method with quantitative methods in social research, demography and population studies research;
  2. conduct participant observation, develop an observation sheet, analyse and report the results;
  3. conduct an in-depth interview, develop in-depth interview guidelines, analyse and report the results;
  4. conduct a focus group discussion (FGD), develop FGD guidelines, analyse and report the results; and
  5. understand data gathering and data analysis in qualitative research; management and analysis of qualitative data; and how to write up the results of qualitative research.

Indicative Assessment

  1. Assignment I. Observation. 10 minute oral presentation. (15) [LO 1,2,5]
  2. Assignment 1 observation sheet and notes, 700 words (5) [LO 1,2,5]
  3. Project assignment and report II: In-depth Interview. 2500 words (35) [LO 1,3,5]
  4. Project assignment and report III: Focus Group Discussion. 10 minute oral presentation in class-group work (10) [LO 1,4,5]
  5. Project assignment and report III: Focus Group Discussion. Individual report, 2500 word (35) [LO 1,4,5]

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130 hours of total student learning time made up from:
a) 36 hours of contact over 12 weeks: 24 hours of lectures and 12 hours of workshop or workshop-like activities; and
b) 94 hours of independent student research, reading and writing.

Inherent Requirements

Not applicable

Requisite and Incompatibility

You are not able to enrol in this course if you have previously completed SOCR4008.

Prescribed Texts

A reading brick will be provided.

Preliminary Reading

Berg, L.B.  2004. Qualitative Research Methods for the Social Sciences,  Fifth Edition Allyn and Bacon, USA;

Denzin, N.K. and Y.S. Lincoln. 1998. ‘Introduction: Entering the Field of Qualitative Research’,  in N.K. Denzin and Y.S. Lincoln (eds.), Strategies of Qualitative Inquiry,  Thousand Oaks: Sage Publications.


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
2023 $3960
International fee paying students
Year Fee
2023 $5820
Note: Please note that fee information is for current year only.

Offerings, Dates and Class Summary Links

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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
2548 20 Feb 2023 27 Feb 2023 31 Mar 2023 26 May 2023 In Person View

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