2023-2024 / METO0821-1

Qualitative research practice


10h Th, 20h Pr

Number of credits

 Master in education (120 ECTS)3 crédits 


Christophe Lejeune

Language(s) of instruction

French language

Organisation and examination

All year long, with partial in January


Schedule online

Units courses prerequisite and corequisite

Prerequisite or corequisite units are presented within each program

Learning unit contents

Qualitative approaches are fruitful to produce theories congruent with phenomena that interest humane sciences. However there is no simple reciepe for qualitative research. Its learning requires a regular practice, in order to be able to construct accurate theories by yourself.
This course is designed as a framework for such a learning-in-action. Grounded Theory Method (GTM) is referred as a formalisation of qualitative research rather than a particular technique.

Learning outcomes of the learning unit

  • Label the operations of qualitative research using the terms from the Grounded Theory Method: microanalysis, labelling, open coding, axial coding, selective coding. All peculiarities of each of these operations have to be known.
  • Compare various text material.
  • Identify, sort and organize topics from one of several texts. Generate accounts at a theorical level.
  • Write and edit (coding, analytical, theorical, storyline) memos according to accurate their styles and rules.
  • Update log.
  • Listen and learn from other analyses.
  • Generate theories accounting broader situations.

Prerequisite knowledge and skills

Fluency in French is mandatory. Students whose mother tongue is not French are encouraged to choose another course.

Planned learning activities and teaching methods

The course consists of data sessions. Each session is dedicated to one activity of a qualitatice research

  • Open coding,
  • Code memoing,
  • Theoretical memoing,
  • Operational memoing,
  • Axial coding,
  • Selective coding,
  • Descriptive storyline memoing,
  • Analytical storyline memoing.
The teacher helps students to produce fine-tuned grounded theories.

Mode of delivery (face to face, distance learning, hybrid learning)

Face-to-face course

Additional information:

Given the practical nature of the learning, assistance to the whole seminar is required. For the same reason, no more than 10 students will be allowed to enroll.

Recommended or required readings

Students might be interested in these supplementary readings.

  • Charmaz, Kathy, 2006, Constructing Grounded Theory. A Practical Guide through Qualitative Analysis, London: Sage Publications Available at the Graulich library [XXII-235/0038]
  • Glaser, Barney G. and Strauss, Anselm L., 1967, The discovery of grounded theory : strategies for qualitative research, Chicago: Aldine. Available at the Graulich library [XXII-18 /0108]
  • Corbin, Juliet and Strauss, Anselm L., 2008, Basics of Qualitative Research. Techniques and Procedures for Developing Grounded Theory, Thousand Oaks: Sage Publications. Available at the Graulich library [XXII-21 /128] and at BGPhL-Philo and Communication [A1 STR]

Exam(s) in session

Any session

- In-person

oral exam

Written work / report

Continuous assessment

Additional information:

The participant produces an accurate, original, neat and coherent analysis.

Work placement(s)

Organisational remarks and main changes to the course

After a short introduction, transcribed interviews are collectively and actively analysed.

First class meeting

Each student introduces her master thesis project. The teacher selects the ten project most compatible with the course. The criteria are those presented in the reference handbook.

First term

Every two weeks, students share their experience and questions about their project. The teacher stimaltes the exchange and provide help to articulate the research question, prepare the first interview and submit the application on the faculty ethics comity. Indeed, given the first interview has to be conducted during the first term, the agreement from the comity is needed soon. If not, the student will be excluded from the course.

Second term

Every week, student collectively analyse the transcribed material.


Students brings to the class (a) their own research diary (b) pencils and highlighters (c) a laptop, power supply and multi-socket adaptator.


  • Registering is based on the compatibility of the research project with the methods presented in the reference handbook (previously, it was based on a 'first come, first seved' rule).
  • The course is taughed during the two terms. This allows to help the students to better prepare and conduct the interview they will analyse during the second term 


Please insert the flag [METO0821] in the subject of any email concerning this course.

Association of one or more MOOCs

There is no MOOC associated with this course.

Items online

Companion Handbook
Lejeune, Christophe, 2019, Manuel d'analyse qualitative. Analyser sans compter ni classer, Louvain-La-Neuve, De Boeck.

2. Information to informants
This page exposes informants rights in regards to their personnal data (GPRD).

3. Preparing the second term
This document enumerates what the student has before second term.

4. Online platform (Cassandre)
Password required

5. Deliverable (end of the academic year)
Memos requested for the exam.

6. On academic reports
Some formal indications