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Qualitative Research in Information Systems, 7.5 Credits

Swedish name: Kvalitativ forskning i informatik

This syllabus is valid: 2021-09-13 and until further notice

Course code: 2IN191

Credit points: 7.5

Education level: Second cycle

Main Field of Study and progress level: Informatics: Second cycle, has only first-cycle course/s as entry requirements

Grading scale: Three-grade scale

Responsible department: Department of Informatics

Revised by: Head of Department of Informatics, 2021-09-09


This course gives an overview of commonly used qualitative methods in the field of information systems. It will cover basic techniques for collecting, interpreting, and analyzing qualitative data. This includes a focus on how to gather different types of qualitative data, including empirical data from observations, interviews, and documents. The next part of the course deals with the process of proceeding from data collection to data analysis. Students will be introduced to the basic techniques of using computer programs for qualitative data analysis.

Expected learning outcomes

Regarding knowledge and understanding the student is, after the course, expected to be able to:
1. Describe and explain qualitative methods widely used in information systems research.
2. Describe and explain different data collection techniques.

Regarding proficiency and aptitude the student is, after the course, expected to be able to:
3. Develop a plan for data collection.
4. Argue for the methodological choices.
5. Conduct a qualitative data analysis, where the different steps in the analysis are traceable.
6. Use computer programs for qualitative data analysis.

Regarding evaluative capacity and approach the student is, after the course, expected to be able to:
7. Reflect on consequences of and challenges connected to methodological decisions and data analysis.
8. Critically reflect on ethical dilemmas in qualitative research.

Required Knowledge

Admission to the course requires 90 credits in informatics, computer science, business administration, cognitive science, media and communication studies, pedagogics, psychology, political science or sociology (or equivalent competence). Also required is English B/6.

Form of instruction

Learning is supported mainly by lectures, seminars, group activities and supervision in connection with self-studies. Some teaching sessions may be compulsory. If the course so requires, necessary computer applications are introduced and provided, which the students use on their own. Some guidance may be provided in connection with the use of these applications. The language of instruction is normally English and good writing skills and knowledge of the English language are both important in order to be able to complete the course. During the course, students have access to a number of the department's computer labs.

Examination modes

The course grade is based on individual assignments and seminar participation. The grading scale for the course is pass with distinction (VG), pass (G) or fail (U).  
Students who do not pass the exams during the course will be given a second opportunity soon afterwards. Students who do not pass after these two attempts have the possibility to complete remaining assignments during subsequent re-exam periods.
When a student has failed an exam on two occasions, they have the right to request another examiner. Requests for new examiners are made to the Director of Studies. 
If special circumstances arise, the examiner has the right to decide on another type of exam.