NOFRI104 Qualitative methodology (5 ECTS) 

Course facts

Course code
Course title
Qualitative methodology
Course language
Academic responsible
Kirsti Pedersen Gurholt


Decentralized study at NIH. 

Making sense of peoples’ ways of moving, acting, interacting, and experiencing in friluftsliv-contexts necessitates theoretical and practical tools for generating, systematizing and analyzing research data.

This course focuses on qualitative methods (such as interviews, fieldwork, texts, and visual expressions) as means to get an understanding of participation patterns and motifs, experiences, and meaning-making, and the sociocultural and geographical (material) structures that influence these motifs, experiences - exemplified through examples from the research projects in the Nordic countries. 

The course introduces the students to theoretical and philosophical foundations of qualitative methodology: How it is legitimized, the role of the researcher and what kind of knowledge these research methods can produce. Further, the course focuses on developing practical skills in selective qualitative methods. The two main methods explored are qualitative interviewing and ethnographic fieldwork. During the course, the students will work extensively to acquire hands-on experiences of and reflections on both approaches, discussing their theoretical underpinnings, the knowledge constructed, and the practical preparation for and designing of a qualitative research project. The students will explore how to organize and analyze qualitative data. Academic writing and ethical issues will be discussed throughout the course. 

Learning outcome


Students shall develop knowledge about and understanding of the theoretical foundations of qualitative methodology. 


Students shall develop knowledge of how to design and execute qualitative methods and analyze qualitative data. 


Students shall be able to use selective qualitative methods (preferably interviews, fieldwork, and texts) to collect data for their master thesis. 

Learning styles and activities

The course will consist of lectures, discussions, and field experiences. The course includes active involvement of the students in mandatory individual- and groupwork.

The course will be held as an intensive one-week seminar.


The students are required to write an individual essay elaborating on a relevant self-chosen theme, agreed by the responsible professors. 

The written essay must not exceed a maximum of 3000 words (1.5 line spacing), excluding the table of contents, references, and attachments. All sources must be accurately cited and referenced using the APA 6th edition 

The essay must be submitted through WISEFLOW. Please note, the plagiarism control program Ephorus will scan all essays.