Qualitative Methods – PLCY 812

CG • Section 8WK • 11/08/2019 to 04/16/2020 • Modified 02/10/2022

Course Description

Qualitative Analysis introduces the use methods applicable to qualitative data in order to contribute God-honoring, original public policy related research.

For information regarding prerequisites for this course, please refer to the Academic Course Catalog.


Third in the series of methods courses, Qualitative Methods, PLCY 812 prepares the doctoral student in the field of Public Policy to engage academic, theory-based, discussions where qualitative data is offered as evidence in support of societal action. With the tools gained in this course, doctoral students attain a thorough understanding of the settings in which qualitative analysis is appropriate. They will explore qualitative study design, data collection, and data analysis. Furthering the discipline, the student acquires the tools needed to offer God-honoring explanation for national, international, and global conditions while executing the best approaches to research dissemination unique to qualitative studies.

Course Assignment

Textbook readings and lecture presentations/notes

Course Requirements Checklist

After reading the Course Syllabus and Student Expectations, the student will complete the related checklist found in the Course Overview.

Discussions (2)

Discussions are collaborative learning experiences. Therefore, you are required to provide a thread in response to the provided prompt for each discussion. Each thread must be 800 words and demonstrate course-related knowledge. In addition to the thread, you are required to reply to 1 other classmates’ threads. Each reply must be 500 words.

Working Paper Assignments (5)

These written works are designed to cover the use of specific qualitative methods appropriate to your selected public policy-related research area. From the assigned readings, you are to (a) describe in detail the kind of question(s) that may be answered by the approach(es) discussed in current module; (b) render a detailed description of the approach along with implementation pitfalls to be avoided; (c) the steps associated with analysis; and, (d) the interpretation of results. Discuss all of the above within the context of policy-related research interests you may consider for your dissertation. Each Working Paper Assignment must be 5-8 pages and include 5-10 citations properly formatted according to current APA standards.

Research Proposal Assignment

You are required to write a 10-page minimum qualitative research proposal directed at investigating a specific public policy concern. This document will culminate from your Working Paper Assignments. Given the sequence of working papers you have completed, each addressing an aspect of the research proposal development process, you are to generate the final proposal. The final draft of this research proposal should conform to the commonly understood elements of a qualitative investigation, i.e. statement of the research question and sub-questions under investigation; a brief review of the literature surrounding the question(s); the practical and theoretical significance of the question(s); description and rationale for the methods employed; description of the proposed means of investigation, and the approach to interpretation. Give the reasons why such research should be undertaken, highlighting the implications for future policy decision-making. Make sure all additional research report components that may be required are well-labeled: i.e. proposal’s anticipated milestones, required resources, timeframe for accomplishment, letter of transmittal, foundations and professional audiences that would welcome the proposed study. The entire document is produced according to current APA formatting.