LFKK10258U  Qualitative Methods in Agricultural Development

Volume 2013/2014
MSc Programme in Agricultural Development
MSC Programme in Agriculture
The knowledge and skills acquired through this course will be useful for for academic work at all levels, including for thesis work and relevant for students interested in research design, methods and methodology.

The course goes through the research process from designing the research and selecting methods to the process of qualitative data collection and analysis. It complements disciplinary skills with a view to get the full benefit of subsequent thematic courses, thesis work and post-graduate careers.

Specifically, the students will acquire knowledge within the following fields:
-Knowledge on available qualitative methods. Some knowledge about quantitative methods. Understanding pros and cons of each method.
- when and how to apply selected techniques for data collection (interviews, questionnaires, participatory appraisals; participatory observation);
- how to plan and conduct fieldwork (including in developing countries)
- how to analyse qualitative data
-Very basic introduction to theory of science,

The students will, among other things, obtain knowledge on:
- research processes and design
- planning and conducting data collection/fieldwork
- qualitative data collection methods
- quantitative data collection methods
- data recording
- data quality

Special emphasis will be put on how to apply qualitative methods in studies of agricultural systems and natural resource management, and on qualitative research in developing countries.
Learning Outcome
The main aim of the course is for the students to obtain essential skills in relation to conducting qualitative research, including in developing countries. The students will demonstrate that they have obtained these skills through their contributions to group project reports, and through oral exams.

The objective is that at the end of the course, the students can demonstrate that they

1.Can describe the research methods, the theoretical aspects of these methods, and other aspects of field research which have been introduced during the course, compendium and classes

2. Can formulate a research question and/or a research problem, and can define and make the key concepts operational for an empirical enquiry in the field.
3. Can identify and choose research methods suitable for answering a particular research question/problem given a particular empirical context
4. Can argue convincingly for their choice of methods referring to theory as well as to the given empirical context.
5. Can elaborate a realistic time line for field research
6. Can apply the research methods introduced at the course
7. Can critically evaluate the quality (reliability/validity) of a given set of primary and secondary data, analyse data and draw conclusions in relation to a given research question/problem.

8. Through the project work, the students will demonstrate that they can work in a team under time pressure
Useful as introduction: Mikkelsen,B. 2005. Methods for Development Work and Research. A New Guide for Practitioners, SAGE
Lectures, group project with practical exercises, case descriptions, theoretical exercises
7,5 ECTS
Type of assessment
Oral examination, 25 minutes under invigilation
Oral exams are mainly conducted on the basis of research cases. The 25 minutes of examination include assessment.

Weight: Oral exam counts for 100% of final mark.
Exam registration requirements
Project report passed
All aids allowed
Marking scale
7-point grading scale
Censorship form
No external censorship
One internal examiner
If 10 or fewer register for the reexamination the examination form will be oral.
Criteria for exam assesment
To obtain the grade 12 the student must fullfil the Learning outcome
  • Category
  • Hours
  • Lectures
  • 30
  • Project work
  • 90
  • Theory exercises
  • 15
  • Exam
  • 2
  • Preparation
  • 67
  • Guidance
  • 2
  • Total
  • 206