Please note! Course description is confirmed for two academic years, which means that in general, e.g. Learning outcomes, assessment methods and key content stays unchanged. However, via course syllabus, it is possible to specify or change the course execution in each realization of the course, such as how the contact sessions are organized, assessment methods weighted or materials used.


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 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.

Credits: 6

Schedule: 17.01.2022 - 14.02.2022

Teacher in charge (valid for whole curriculum period):

Teacher in charge (applies in this implementation): Johanna Moisander

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

CEFR level (valid for whole curriculum period):

Language of instruction and studies (applies in this implementation):

Teaching language: English. Languages of study attainment: English


  • valid for whole curriculum period:

    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 qualitative materials; building and elaborating theory; and writing up and publishing qualitative research contributions.

Assessment Methods and Criteria
  • valid for whole curriculum period:

    Students will be evaluated on their final course paper, which is due at the end of the study period. The final course paper will be graded on a scale of 0-5. Details on the evaluation criteria will be discussed in class.

  • valid for whole curriculum period:

    Workload 160 h (6 cr)

    • Class meetings 20 h
    • Independent learning assignments 100 h: studying the required readings (10h / week) and completing the associated learning assignments (10 h/week)
    • Final course paper (40 h)


Study Material
  • valid for whole curriculum period:

    Package of readings, to be announced.

Substitutes for Courses


Further Information
  • valid for whole curriculum period:

    Teaching Period:

    2020-2021 Spring III

    2021-2022 Spring III

    Course Homepage:

    Registration for Courses: In the academic year 2021-2022, registration for courses will take place on Sisu ( instead of WebOodi.