Search | Directories | Reference Tools
UW Home > Discover UW > Student Guide > Course Catalog 

Instructor Class Description

Time Schedule:

Elizabeth L. Kier
POL S 502
Seattle Campus

Qualitative Research Methods

Introduction to qualitative methods in political science, emphasizing practical experience with techniques. Readings and exercises cover research design, multiple methods, varieties of qualitative data, measurement and validation, participant observation, interviewing, and content analysis. Research decision-making issues include analytical strategies, presentation of data, ethics, epistemology, and theory-building.

Class description

Description: This course is designed to help students develop their research design skills in qualitative methods. It focuses on the design of qualitative studies. Some of the topics covered include comparative case studies, within-case analysis, case selection, counterfactual reasoning, causal mechanisms, and process-tracing. We may also discuss the use of qualitative methods in other disciplines, and the varied methods of collecting qualitative data such as participant observation, interviewing, and archival research. The course is designed for Ph.D. students in political science and is part of the required methods sequence.

Student learning goals

General method of instruction

Recommended preparation

Texts: George, Case Studies & Theory Development; Brady, Rethinking Social Inquiry.

Class assignments and grading


The information above is intended to be helpful in choosing courses. Because the instructor may further develop his/her plans for this course, its characteristics are subject to change without notice. In most cases, the official course syllabus will be distributed on the first day of class.
Additional Information
Last Update by Suman C. Chhabra
Date: 02/08/2007