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Qualitative methods in Social work, 7.5 Credits, 7.5 Credits

Swedish name: Kvalitativ metod i socialt arbete 7.5 hp

This syllabus is valid: 2022-03-07 and until further notice

Course code: 2SA129

Credit points: 7.5

Education level: Second cycle

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

Grading scale: VG Pass with distinction, G Pass, U Fail

Responsible department: Department of Social Work

Revised by: Head of Department of Social Work, 2021-09-14


The course provides an in-depth knowledge in and about various qualitative methods, as well as main characteristics and key concepts within the traditions which constitutes the background to these methods. Central in the course is to perform exercises in a selection of qualitative methods based on empirical data obtained through observation, interview, or text. Themes raised and problematize in the course is the qualitative research implications regarding: methodological considerations; choice of method in relation to a research question; collection of empirical material; interpretation; knowledge claims; and the ethical positions that arise.

Expected learning outcomes

After completing the course, students must:

-Have a thorough knowledge of the main features of the different scientific traditions and its central concepts
-demonstrate good knowledge and understanding of methodological considerations in qualitative research approaches, and be able to relate these to the scientific traditions that constitute the basis for qualitative research

-Demonstrate skills and abilities in terms of qualitative analysis of empirical data such as observation, interviews and document studies
-Be able to apply and justify the methods mentioned above

-Be able to critically evaluate texts in terms of qualitative approaches
-Be able to identify and evaluate ethical issues, and argue for their own ethical standpoints, in relation to qualitative methods

Required Knowledge

For admission to the course a minimum of 90 university credits are required in the following subjects: social work, sociology, Psychology, Peace and conflict studies, Gender Studies, Economic and social geography, Pedagogy, Political science, Law/legal Science or in other courses that are considered equal to thus above, including  a bachelor thesis carrying at least 15 credits or 90 ECTS wihtin nursing including an individual essay carrying at least 15 credits. Proficiency in English equivalent to Swedish upper secondary course English A/5 or comparable is also required

Form of instruction

Teaching methods consist of lectures, literature studies, practical exercises and seminars. The teaching is based on students' active participation and independent study where the students have to prepare various tasks, individually and / or in groups. Students have to base the individual work on his/her own research question and problematize and apply different methodological approaches. The course ends with an individual written assignment.

Examination modes

Examination is as follows:
* active participation in seminars
* written assignments
* individual written final assignment
In the individual written assignment the grades are Fail (U), Pass (G), or Pass with Distinction (VG). For written assignments and active participation in seminars is given grades U or G. In order to obtain the grade Pass with Distinction on the course, Pass with Distinction is required on the individual written final assignment.

If the student has a certificate of special pedagogical support, the examiner has the right to decide on an adjusted form of examination.
The appointed examiner may decide to use other forms of examination if required by particular circumstances.
A student who has not received a passing grade on a test will be afforded an opportunity for re-examination.
A student who has passed examination may not be re-examined. A student who has taken two tests for a course or segment of a course, without passing, has the right to have another examiner appointed, unless special reasons exist. A written request for change of examiner is submitted to the Director of Advanced Education.

Written assignments should be in accordance with academically accepted forms and must be of a good linguistic standard.


The literature list is not available through the web. Please contact the faculty.