Certificate in Qualitative Research Methods

There is a growing need for evidence-based, rigorous, methodologically sound social research in a wide variety of fields in the public and private sectors—business, government, non-profit, social service, public health, criminal justice, law enforcement. The list is long. Yet many professional staff in these fields feel inadequately trained to conduct the necessary research. With this in mind, the SSRC has developed a certificate course in qualitative research methods that will be offered at DePaul in the spring quarter.

This course will teach students the fundamentals of scientific qualitative research design and how to conduct the most common types of qualitative field research, including in-depth interviews, ethnography, life narratives, focus groups, and participant observation. Students will get hands-on, practical experience designing and conducting qualitative research, including data collection techniques. By its conclusion, they’ll be able to:

  • Develop and elucidate testable hypotheses
  • Understand how social theory and specific research methods work together
  • Recognize an appropriate methodology based on research questions and develop a corresponding research design
  • Craft quality control mechanisms for data collection activities
  • Design data collection instruments
  • Enumerate various ethical and political dilemmas in qualitative research
  • Conduct qualitative field research
  • Identify the most common qualitative field research pitfalls and strategies to avoid them

Chicago-area professionals working within behavioral and/or social science research and those just wanting to bolster their marketable research skills will benefit from the certificate program, which will run on five Saturdays from March 31 to May 12 (with the exception of April 7 and May 5).

Recent graduates, both graduate and undergraduate, current graduate students, and advanced upperclassmen considering a career in social or behavioral science fields or graduate programs in sociology, psychology, anthropology, public service, policy studies, social work, and public health would also benefit.

Registration is now open! Contact Jessica Speer (jspeer3 at depaul.edu) to learn more.


Author: Jessica Speer

As the Research Specialist at SSRC, Jessica edits re/search, consults with faculty, and conducts SSRC research projects. She is interested in questions of information management, preservation, communication, and dissemination.

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