Singapore University of Social Sciences

Qualitative Research

Qualitative Research (PSY455)


While psychological studies are dominated by quantitative research methods, qualitative research remains deeply entrenched for certain disciplines in psychology, such as group dynamics and psychotherapy. Qualitative research is grounded in a different paradigm that focuses on experiential feeling as opposed to quantifiable numbers. The course will explore a range of methodologies commonly adopted in qualitative research and there will be opportunities for students to design their own qualitative research.

Level: 4
Credit Units: 5
Presentation Pattern: Every January


  • Why Qualitative Research?, Philosophy, Paradigms and Interpretative Frameworks for Qualitative Study
  • Designing a Qualitative Study, Learning about Five Qualitative Approaches to Inquiry
  • Focusing the Study, Data Collection
  • Data Analysis and Representation
  • Writing Up the Study
  • Standards of Validation and Evaluation

Learning Outcome

  • Appraise the strengths and limitations of qualitative research
  • Differentiate the distinctive features of qualitative research from that of quantitative research
  • Discuss these methodologies: Ethnography, Narrative Research, Grounded Theory, Case Study and Phenomenology
  • Defend the standards of validating and evaluating qualitative research
  • Construct a viable step-by-step qualitative inquiry process to guide decision-making and action and construct interviews and observation studies
  • Design observation studies and interviews for information gathering and decision making
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