Introduction to Qualitative Research Methods (QLRM)

Graduate Program (& Advanced Certificate) Status

Course Level: 
Course Open to: 
Students on-site
Remote students
Academic Year: 
US Credits: 
ECTS Credits: 
Course Code: 
ENVS 5013
Course Description: 

This course introduces students to qualitative research methods from critical and practical standpoints.  First, we will explore and examine our own assumptions about truth and social reality and how these assumptions align and/or contrast with the epistemological traditions associated with qualitative research.  Based on this critical foundation we will venture into how qualitative research assumptions translate into concrete methods of data collection and analysis, with a particular emphasis on in-depth, open-ended interviewing.  In this approach, understanding how various actors perceive and articulate environmental phenomena provides analytical research insights into the dynamics and challenges of environmental issues.  

Learning Outcomes: 

Upon successful completion of this course, you will be able to:

  • Critically reflect on your own (and others’) assumptions about qualitative environmental research, while discerning some of the key concepts and applications that support a rigorous qualitative study design
  • Apply skills in qualitative data collection and preliminary data analysis 
  • Engage ethical research standards and the guiding principles of writing up qualitative research

In order to pass this course (it is a pass/fail course), you need to successfully complete all of the following:


Observation Exercise

Interviewing Exercise 

Interview Data Coding Exercise

Ethics Discussion Forum Contribution

Write-Up Wiki Contribution