FRM9925 – NFIF - Real world research – qualitative methods

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Course content

The course entails qualitative real world research methods at an advanced scientific level for research within the Social and Clinical Pharmacy area.

The course focuses on both theoretical lectures and practical assignments.


Learning outcome

After completing the course the student should:

  1. Have an understanding of the foundations for qualitative methodology and methods
  2. Have a broad understanding of a range of qualitative methods: focus groups, interviews, covert and overt observation and documentary analysis and different approaches for analysis
  3. Have an understanding of how to use theory in qualitative research (inductive and deductive approaches)
  4. Be able to discuss the role of the researcher when using qualitative methods, including how preconceptions affect the research
  5. Have an understanding of concepts such as different sampling strategies, saturation of data, and research ethics and quality of qualitative research
  6. Have first-hand experience with interviews/observations, and be able to reflect upon them
  7. Have a specific experience of a chosen method of analysis (will be chosen based on needs/wishes of participants)


The final registration deadline is August 1st 2018. Registration is done by filling out a web form.

PhD candidates who are admitted to other faculties at UiO or education institutions than UiO must at the same time apply for visiting status, before August 1st 2018. They must submit the same documentation as regular visiting status applicants, but the application and documentation is to be sent by e-mail to The School of Pharmacy,, and not to the Faculty point of contact. Applicants must be able to present original documentation on request. 

If the number of applicants exceeds the number of places available, PhD candidates who are members of the Norwegian School of Pharmacy and the Norwegian Research School in General Practice will have priority.


Formal prerequisite knowledge

It is a prerequisite that the students are presently doing a PhD which include qualitative real world research methods.


This course has three parts.

Part 1. Online lectures on e-Learning Platform and individual preparation

In Part 1, we expect you to do individual work online on the eLearning platform, and read the course literature. It includes lectures and individual preparations. You will also meet other participants and have an opportunity to present yourself online. The structure is as follows:

Internet podcast lectures which you can watch in your own time.

  1. Welcome. Structure of the course.
  2. Theory, epistemology and methodology.
  3. Focus groups and interviews.
  4. Observation studies.
  5. Sampling and recruitment.
  6. Interview guide, development and transcription.
  7. Ethics and informed consent.
  8. The use of theory in scientific qualitative papers.
  9. Data sources for document analysis.

Individual preparations:

a. You will tape a 2-minute presentation of yourself on who you are, your research interests, and what you hope to learn from the course.

b. You will make two interviews relevant to your research field, and transcribe these. The transcripts must be ready before the seminar in Oslo, where you will analyze them with other students.

Part 2. Workshop in Oslo (3 days)

In Part 2, you will attend a three-day workshop in Oslo. We expect active participation from you on all three days. You will learn about how to use theory in qualitative research and how to analyze qualitative data using different approaches. We will discuss ethical issues performing qualitative research. You will get practical experience in observation methods, and will analyze your two interviews. You must be prepared to give others feedback, and you will also get feedback from fellow students and teachers.

Preliminary program for the workshop in Oslo.

Part 3. Webinar and written report

In Part 3, you will submit a written report about learning outcomes, where you reflect upon your own qualitative interviews and the use of qualitative theory and methods. You will be expected to give feedback comments to one fellow student. The written reports and feedback comments will be discussed in an online webinar in small groups with one of the teachers.

The webinar will take place November 30th 2018.

Obligatory student activities throughout the course:

  • Watch 8 lectures and submit a 2-minute film on the e-Learning Platform
  • Read the course material
  • Perform two interviews and transcribe them prior to the workshop in Oslo
  • Attend all three days at the workshop in Oslo
  • Submit written report after the workshop
  • Give written feedback comments to one fellow student
  • Attend an online webinar in small groups after the workshop


  • Submit written report about learning outcomes after the workshop
  • Attend online webinar in small groups after the workshop

Examination support material

Technical support eLearning – content removed

Language of examination

The examination text is given in English, and you submit your response in English.

Grading scale

Grades are awarded on a pass/fail scale. Read more about the grading system.

Explanations and appeals

Resit an examination

This course offers both postponed and resit of examination. Read more:

Special examination arrangements

Application form, deadline and requirements for special examination arrangements.

Facts about this course






Autumn 2018


Autumn 2018

Teaching language


Registration deadline

August 1st 2018