Qualitative Methods for Public Policy

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Course Open to: 
Students on-site
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Course Description: 

Mandatory for MAPP, MAIPA, MPA and Mundus MAPP 1st year students at DPP

DPP only course

The course deals with the philosophy of (social) science, research design and techniques of qualitative data collection and analysis. We examine what social scientists do and how they evaluate their theories and empirical material. In the course we examine research design (research paradigm, theory formation, conceptualisation, case design), qualitative data collection (interviews, focus groups, participant observation) and qualitative techniques of data analysis and evaluation. The course consists of twelve seminars. The format is based on introductions by the lecturer, student presentations and group work exercises.

Learning Outcomes: 

The general aim of the course is to raise awareness of methodological problems and solutions in qualitative research and to enable students to write methodologically sound term papers and MA theses. The material is based on journal articles, book chapters and a selection of applied studies. As specific learning outcomes, students should be able to independently develop a coherent research design and choose the appropriate method of data collection and data analysis tailored to their research question. In addition, students should be able to critically review research and policy work with regard to their research design and methodological decisions.


• Course presentation: 15%
• 1st Take-home essay: 25%
• 2nd Take-home essay: 25%
• Research paper review: 35%