University of Technology Sydney

21992 Qualitative Methods, Design and Analysis

Warning: The information on this page is indicative. The subject outline for a particular session, location and mode of offering is the authoritative source of all information about the subject for that offering. Required texts, recommended texts and references in particular are likely to change. Students will be provided with a subject outline once they enrol in the subject.

Subject handbook information prior to 2024 is available in the Archives.

UTS: Business: Management
Credit points: 6 cp

Subject level:


Result type: Grade and marks

There are course requisites for this subject. See access conditions.


This subject introduces students to the methods and issues in qualitative research. It examines the epistemological and theoretical foundations of qualitative research, the relationship between research questions and appropriate strategy and design, as well as the issues of sampling, data collection, analysis and ethical considerations. Students develop extensive skills in the use of various qualitative interviewing and observation techniques. Students develop a broad-based and critical understanding of different qualitative methods, their strengths and limitations.

Subject learning objectives (SLOs)

Upon successful completion of this subject students should be able to:
1. Critically evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of a range of qualitative research methods
2. Apply methodological skills to address research problems in Management
3. Analyze and interpret qualitative data
4. Critically assess published research using qualitative methods

Contribution to the development of graduate attributes

This subject enables the development of technical professional skills necessary to execute research across the Honours and MRes programs.

This subject develops the following Program Learning Objective(s) for the Bachelor of Business (Honours):

  • Apply the appropriate research method and analytical tools in addressing discipline specific problems (4.1)

This subject develops the following Program Learning Objective(s) for the Master of Business (Research):

  • Apply technical and professional skills necessary to plan and execute a piece of scholarship (4.1)

Teaching and learning strategies

This subject will run as an interactive seminar with activities designed to foster discussion and hands-on data analysis.

Content (topics)

The subject will comprise of the following topics:

  • Epistemology of qualitative research
  • Theoretical orientations and framing
  • Research strategy, design and ethics
  • Participants and qualitative sampling
  • Different types of qualitative data collection
  • Qualitative data analysis
  • Writing and publishing qualitative research


Assessment task 1: Methodological analysis and critique (Individual)


This addresses subject learning objective(s):

1 and 4

Weight: 40%

2,000 words maximum

  • Analysis of methodological objectives
  • Critical evaluation of published research
  • Identification of solutions to methodological problems

Assessment task 2: Methodological plans & rationale for proposed qualitative research (Individual)


This addresses subject learning objective(s):


Weight: 40%

2,000 words maximum

  • Articulation of research aims and epistemological stance
  • Explanation of connection between research design and methods
  • Elaboration of methodological approaches
  • Justification of selected methods

Assessment task 3: Qualitative data collection presentation/pilot (10% Group and 10% Individual)*


This addresses subject learning objective(s):


Weight: 20%

15 minute presentation, submission of notes and data collection instruments

  • Analysis of issues in qualitative data collection
  • Demonstrated ability to apply appropriate technical skills to research problems
  • Articulation of analytical strategy

*Note: Late submission of the assessment task will not be marked and awarded a mark of zero.

Minimum requirements

Students must achieve at least 50% of the subject’s total marks.

Required texts

Creswell, J. W., & Poth, C. N. (2016). Qualitative inquiry and research design: Choosing among five approaches. Sage publications.


Bowden, J. A., & Walsh, E. (2000). Phenomenography. Melbourne: RMIT University Press.

Jackson, K., & Bazeley, P. (2019). Qualitative data analysis with NVivo. Sage.

Clark, A., & Christie, T. (2005). Ready...ready..drop!: A content analysis of coalition leaflets used in the Iraq war. WAPOR.

Corbin, J. & Strauss, A. (1990) Grounded Theory Research: Procedures, Cannons and Evaluative Criteria. Qualitative Sociology. 12(1) 3-21.

Creswell, J. W., & Poth, C. N. (2016). Qualitative inquiry and research design: Choosing among five approaches. Sage publications.

Denzin, K., & Lincoln, Y. (1998). The landscape of qualitative research. California: Sage.

Fade, S. (2003 ) Communicating and judging the quality of qualitative research: the need for a new language. J Hum Nutr Dietet, 16, pp. 139–149

Bowden, J. A., & Walsh, E. (2000). Phenomenography. Melbourne: RMIT University Press.

Mays, N. & Pope, C. (2006) Qualitative research in health care: Assessing quality in qualitative research. British Medical Journal 2000;320;50-52

Miles, M., & Huberman, M. (1984). Qualitative data analysis: A sourcebook of new methods. California: Sage.

Morse, J. M., & Richards, L. (2002). README FIRST: For a user's guide to qualitative methods. London: Sage.

Morse, J., Barrett, M., Mayan, M., Olsen, K. & Spiers, J. (2002) Verification Strategies for Establishing Reliability and Validity in Qualitative Research. International Journal of Qualitative Methods 1 (2) 1-19.

Smith, J. A. (2015). Qualitative psychology: A practical guide to research methods. Qualitative psychology, 1-312.Sage.

Stemler, Steve (2001). An overview of content analysis. Practical Assessment, Research & Evaluation, 7(17). Retrieved January 10, 2007 from

Strauss, A. & Corbin, J. (1998) Basics of qualitative research: techniques and procedures for developing grounded theory. California: Sage

Reinecke, J., Arnold, D. G., & Palazzo, G. (2016). Qualitative methods in business ethics, corporate responsibility, and sustainability research. Business Ethics Quarterly, 26(4), xiii-xxii.

Rashid, Y., Rashid, A., Warraich, M. A., Sabir, S. S., & Waseem, A. (2019). Case study method: A step-by-step guide for business researchers. International journal of qualitative methods, 18, 1609406919862424.

Aguinis, H., & Solarino, A. M. (2019). Transparency and replicability in qualitative research: The case of interviews with elite informants. Strategic Management Journal, 40(8), 1291-1315.

Remenyi, D. (2012). Field methods for academic research: Interviews, focus groups and questionnaires. The business and management series. Reading, UK: Academic Publishing International.