Credits: 6

Schedule: 14.01.2019 - 11.02.2019

Teacher in charge (valid 01.08.2018-31.07.2020): 

Professor Johanna Moisander

Contact information for the course (applies in this implementation): 

Johanna Moisander, Department of Management Studies

Office hours: by appointment only

All queries:

I try to reply to all queries promptly. If you don't hear back from me within two  business days, please send me a reminder!

Teaching Period (valid 01.08.2018-31.07.2020): 


Learning Outcomes (valid 01.08.2018-31.07.2020): 

90L54609 Qualitative research: Principles and practices is intended for students of Aalto-BIZ doctoral program as an elective module of Common Core Studies. The course is designed to develop students’ general competences for qualitative inquiry in the field of business studies. The primary objective of the course is to develop students’ abilities to critically and independently evaluate and assess their own methodological choices, and thus to support their thesis work.
On completion of the course, students are expected to demonstrate that they
• understand the basic assumptions and methodological prescriptions of contemporary approaches to qualitative research
• know how to apply these methodological principles in research practice to define appropriate research problems and study designs for qualitative analysis
• are able to make informed and justified methodological choices in their own research.
The measurable learning outcomes used to determine the degree to which these goals are being met include the following:
• Students are able to describe and explain the typical phases and methodological choices of scholarly qualitative research.
• Students are able to use the basic research terminology and concepts of qualitative inquiry in discussing the methodology of their own research.
• Students are able to critically analyze and evaluate the methodological rigorousness of their own work and published research contributions in their own field of scholarship.

Content (valid 01.08.2018-31.07.2020): 

The course introduces students with recent developments and methodological debates in the broader field of qualitative management studies. Through class meetings and independent learning assignments the course familiarizes students with the principles and practices of setting up qualitative research projects; collecting empirical materials; analyzing text and discourse; analyzing processes and practices; building theories from practice; as well as writing up and publishing qualitative research contributions.

Details on the course content (applies in this implementation): 

The course is delivered over a period of five weeks and organized into five modules. After the last module, students are expected to work on their final course paper, which is due at the end of the term.

Each week, students are required to work on two learning assignments on the course material. The learning assignments must be turned in according to a pre-defined schedule every Monday and Thursday to the MyCourses learning environment of the course. The learning assignments will be discussed in class, and each student needs to be prepared to present his/her work in class when requested by the instructors.

The typical class session will consist of:

  • Lecture and discussion on the required readings and learning assignment
  • Group work applying the week's readings and lecture material
  • Question/answer session

Elaboration of the evaluation criteria and methods, and acquainting students with the evaluation (applies in this implementation): 


Students will be evaluated on their final course paper, which is due at the end of the seven week period. 

The final course paper will be graded on a scale of 0-5

Details on the evaluation criteria will be discussed in class.

Details on calculating the workload (applies in this implementation): 

To complete the course students are required to do the following:

  • Attend and actively participate in all class meetings
  • Study the learning material specified for each class meeting and submit the assigned learning assignments twice a week according to the pre-defined schedule.
  • Write a final course paper (8-10 pages, single spaced) according to the instructions specified later.

Expected workload (160h)

  • Class meetings 20 h
  • Independent learning assignments 80h: studying the required readings (12 h/week) and completing the associated learning assignments (4 h/week)
  • Final course paper (60 h)

Study Material (valid 01.08.2018-31.07.2020): 

Package of readings, to be announced

Details on the course materials (applies in this implementation): 

All of the course material is given in the MyCourses learning environment of the course.

Course Homepage (valid 01.08.2018-31.07.2020):

Prerequisites (valid 01.08.2018-31.07.2020): 

Pre-assignment given on the course website.

Grading Scale (valid 01.08.2018-31.07.2020): 

0 - 5

Registration for Courses (valid 01.08.2018-31.07.2020): 


Further Information (valid 01.08.2018-31.07.2020): 

Maximum number of students 24.

Additional information for the course (applies in this implementation): 

Course policies

All course work must be completed as scheduled in the virtual learning environment of the course and as announced in class. Exceptions will only be made in extenuating circumstances and at the discretion of the instructor. 

Homework will not be accepted after the due date. Learning assignments will be submitted to the virtual learning environment of the course and the system will not allow late submission after the cut off time. Exceptions will only be made in extenuating circumstances and at the discretion of the instructor. 

Aalto University considers student plagiarism a serious violation of ethical conduct. All suspected cases of plagiarism will be reported to the head of Student Services and Aalto University lawyers for disciplinary measures. Detected major offences of plagiarism may constitute grounds for exclusion from the class and possibly also from the university.

Plagiarism involves the unacknowledged and deceitful use by a student of someone else’s work, usually in coursework, and passing it off as if it were his or her own. This category of cheating includes the following:

  • collusion, where a piece of work prepared by a group is represented as if it were the student’s own;
  • commissioning or use of work by the student which is not his or her own and representing it as if it were:
    • purchase of a paper from a commercial service, including internet sites, whether pre-written or specially prepared for the student concerned;
    • submission of a paper written by another person, either by a fellow student or a person who is not a member of the University;
  • duplication of the same or almost identical work for more than one module;
  • the act of copying or paraphrasing some or all of a paper from a source text, whether in manuscript, printed or electronic form, without appropriate acknowledgement;
  • cheating in class tests.

Details on the schedule (applies in this implementation): 

For details of the schedule, please see the MyCourses learning environment of the course.


Registration and further information