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The Process of Research: Qualitative Methods, Data Analysis and Academic Writing

The skills required to outline a convincing research design are some of the most crucial parts of the research that you will conduct. This is since research design forms the frame on which different other skills are assembled and connected to one another. This course is oriented towards helping you design, conduct and write up your research with a specific focus on the master thesis. In class we will discuss different approaches to research as well as problems, experiences and challenges which tend to surface during the research process. The aim is to equip you with methods, skills and tools that will help you make informed decisions during your own research and help you analyse and write academic texts. The course attempts to situate theory and methods across a wide variety of empirical settings from both the Global North and South and across contexts with examples from both rural development and environmental communication. The focus of this course is on qualitative research skills although we will discuss other approaches as well. We look forward to interesting discussions in class that will enable you to conduct and present your research in the best possible way.

LU0091 The Process of Research: Qualitative Methods, Data Analysis and Academic Writing, 15.0 Credits

Forskningsprocessen: kvalitativa metoder, dataanalys och akademiskt skrivande

Syllabus approved



Rural Development

Education cycle

Master’s level


Title Credits Code
Research design and process 5.00 1002
Methods for data collection 5.00 1003
Methods for analysis 5.00 1004

Advanced study in the main field

Second cycle, only first-cycle courses as entry requirements(A1N)

Grading scale

5:Pass with Distinction, 4:Pass with Credit, 3:Pass, U:Fail The requirements for attaining different grades are described in the course assessment criteria which are contained in a supplement to the course syllabus. Current information on assessment criteria shall be made available at the start of the course.



Prior knowledge

Equivalent to 120 credits within social, natural sciences or the humanities, of which 90 credits within a particular major. Knowledge equivalent to English B (Swedish educational system), English 550 or higher TOEFL or English 5,5 or higher IELTS.


The aim of this course is to provide students with the knowledge and skills required to use relevant research methods and approaches to data analysis, so as to produce clearly structured academic research texts.

Upon completion of the course, the student will be able to:
- select relevant research methods in relation to a given research problem
- maintain a reflexive position in relation to the selected research methods and be able to apply these in specific contexts, taking important ethical aspects into consideration
- structure and write an academic research text
- present a research proposal for a research project on rural and/or environmental aspects, such as rural livelihoods, natural resources management or environmental issues, including a thematic and theoretical background
- present an analysis of published research texts, concerning rural and/or environmental aspects, such as rural livelihoods, natural resources management or environmental problems


The course consists of lectures and individual and group seminar assignments.

The course prepares students with the skills for identifying and selecting methods in the planning execution of their master thesis. The research methods that the student may select cover qualitative research methods with a focus on primary data collection via for example ethnographic methods. Quantitative methods such as surveys will also be briefly covered. Emphasis is placed on training students to write analytically and academically.

Formats and requirements for examination

For successful completion of the course the student must participate in compulsory sessions and give in a portfolio that comprise approved exams and assignments.
  • If the student fails a test, the examiner may give the student a supplementary assignment, provided this is possible and there is reason to do so.
  • If the student has been granted special educational support because of a disability, the examiner has the right to offer the student an adapted test, or provide an alternative assessment.
  • If changes are made to this course syllabus, or if the course is closed, SLU shall decide on transitional rules for examination of students admitted under this syllabus but who have not yet passed the course.
  • For the examination of a degree project (independent project), the examiner may also allow the student to add supplemental information after the deadline. For more information on this, please refer to the regulations for education at Bachelor's and Master's level.

Other information

  • The right to take part in teaching and/or supervision only applies to the course date to which the student has been admitted and registered on.
  • If there are special reasons, the student may take part in course components that require compulsory attendance at a later date. For more information on this, please refer to the regulations for education at Bachelor's and Master's level.

Responsible department

Department of Urban and Rural Development

Further information

Determined by: Programnämnden för utbildning inom naturresurser och jordbruk (PN - NJ)
Replaces: LU0039, LU0059
There are no Grading criteria posted for this course

Course facts

The course is offered as an independent course: No The course is offered as a programme course: Agriculture Programme - Rural Development (270 hec) EnvEuro - European Master in Environmental Science Environmental Communication and Management - Master´s Programme Rural Development and Natural Resource Management - Master´s Programme Agriculture Programme - Rural Development Sustainable Food Systems – Master´s Programme Tuition fee: Tuition fee only for non-EU/EEA/Switzerland citizens: 27500 SEK Cycle: Master’s level
Subject: Rural Development
Course code: LU0091 Application code: SLU-20131 Location: Uppsala Distance course: No Language: English Responsible department: Department of Urban and Rural Development Pace: 100%