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Qualitative Research Methods

The Ninth batch commences on 2 September, 2024

Course Description

This course is designed to introduce basic qualitative research methods. The course will use a combination of didactic, interactive and applied techniques to provide a rich and in-depth understanding of qualitative research in scientific research. Through the course, participants will be expected to conduct their own qualitative study. Participants will also learn the basic steps of qualitative data management and analysis using the software, Atlas. ti.

Expectations and Goals

By the end of the course, students will develop skills in how to formulate appropriate qualitative research questions and collect and analyze qualitative data. Students will be exposed to different styles of presenting qualitative research results and will consider different ways in which qualitative data is used in practice.


Laptop with stable internet connection.

Class Days, Times, Location

Classes will be held online thrice a week.

Course software

All students will use AtlasTi, a qualitative software package for the data management and analysis of the data from their group project available at https://atlasti.com. The participants are expected to download and install a trial version of the software to be used during the course upon instruction. More information on the software, how to download it, and how to use it for analysis will be presented in class.

Course Format

The course format will include three weekly lectures online. The lecture will be supplemented with small group discussions, in-class exercises, case studies, and examples from literature.

Discussion Board

The participants can use the google classroom discussion board for this class.

Telephone Messages

To communicate with the instructor or the TAs, please use email and do not leave phone messages.

Appropriate Use of Course Resources:

Any unauthorized copying of the class materials is a violation of federal law and may result in disciplinary actions being taken against the student. Additionally, the sharing of class materials without the specific, express approval of the instructor may be a violation of the institute’s Honor Code and an act of academic dishonesty, which could result in further action. This includes, among other things, uploading class materials to websites for the purpose of sharing those materials with other current or future students.

Attendance/ Participation

Your attendance and active participation are an integral part of your learning experience in this course. Students are expected to attend class regularly. We will be taking attendance at each class. If students are not able to make it to class, please send an email to the course coordinator explaining your absence. It is expected that students will read all assigned readings prior to class. Students are encouraged to share their prior experiences with qualitative data collection during class. We have designed the class to include a combination of large group presentations/discussions, and small group discussions and breakout sessions.


You are expected to follow professional etiquette and common courtesy in all communication including email, discussion boards, and face-to-face. All electronic communications sent should follow proper English grammar rules to include complete sentences. This is a professional course, and you are expected to communicate like a professional.


You are expected to offer individual contributions in class and on individual assignments, and collaborate with fellow students on group assignments.

Late Work Late,

Late submissions will not be entertained. Such submissions will not be evaluated unless the instructors are not informed in advance due to extenuating circumstances, such as medical procedures or professional travel. Corrected submissions will not be accepted unless stated otherwise. Attendance on all course days and active participation in class is required to receive a course completion certificate.

Course Support

The International Institute of Migration and Development (IIMAD) will provide technical support for the course. If you need help with installation and access to course materials, please contact the IIMAD Help Desk by email at info@iimad.org .

Course contents

Compulsory Reading

Hennink, M., Hutter, I., & Bailey, A. (2020). Qualitative Research Methods. Sage

Course Instructors

Dr Mala Ramanathan (she/her) is a Professor at the Achutha Menon Centre for Health Science Studies (AMCHSS), SCTIMST, Thiruvananthapuram. She has completed her Master’s in Statistics (MSc) from the University of Madras, Chennai and has another Masters in Medical Anthropology (MA) from the University of Amsterdam, Amsterdam. She is a trained demographer with an MPhil and PhD in Population Studies from the International Institute for Population Sciences, Mumbai. She has also completed her Fellowship in Research Ethics from the Harvard TH Chan School of Public Health, Boston as part of an NIH initiative. She has been faculty at the AMCHSS for 26 years where she has been teaching Gender issues in Health, Qualitative Research Methods, Anthropological Perspectives in Health and Ethics in Health Research. She is also currently one of the Working Editors of the Indian Journal of Medical Ethics, a leading Bioethics journal that is published quarterly in India by the Forum for Medical Ethics Society, Mumbai. She is also visiting faculty for Research and Public Health Ethics across several transnational NIH-supported training programmes in Bioethics. Dr Mala has more than 50 publications in national and international journals in her area of interest and brings to the training, her rich experience of research, teaching and mentoring students in health research.

Dr Ajay Bailey is a Professor of Transnational Mobilities at the Department of Human Geography and Spatial Planning, Utrecht University in the Netherlands. He leads the research line Global Migration, Culture and Place working at the interface of anthropology, geography, demography and public health. He holds the prestigious Dr T.M.A. Pai Endowed Chair in Qualitative Methods at Manipal Academy of Higher Education, India, named after Dr Tonse Madhav Ananth, the founder of the university. With his Chair, he coordinates the Transdisciplinary Center for Qualitative Methods – a joint initiative with Manipal Academy of Higher Education. To develop this research line he has been awarded more than €1.5 million in grant funding by a number of organizations such as NWO/Dutch Organization for Scientific Research, Ubbo Emmius Foundation, Gratama Foundation, amongst others. As an anthropologist and a cultural demographer, he has produced more than 30 top peer-reviewed international publications; one highly cited monograph; and has supervised nine PhD researchers. He is passionate about qualitative research, teaching, and capacity building of young researchers. His work significantly contributes to expanding the field of transnational mobilities, ageing, inter-generational relations, health systems research, health services, reducing barriers to care, while establishing meaningful North–South and South–South collaborations.

Dr. H. Arokkiaraj holds a PhD in Social Work from the University of Delhi. Prior to joining RGNIYD, he was a postdoctoral fellow at Leibniz Science Campus, Germany. He also worked as a research affiliate at the School of Social Sciences at Nanyang Technological University, Singapore. During different periods he worked at the Centre for Development Studies, Kerala. Further, he also worked as a research intern at the India Centre for Migration (ICM) at the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA), India. At present, he is jointly coordinating India’s country case inventory on mobility and COVID-19 for the Mobility, Livelihood, and Wellbeing Lab (MoLab) at the Max Planck Institute for Social Anthropology, Germany. He has also widely published on international labour migration from India to Gulf countries. His research interests include international labour migration, student mobility, and human trafficking, particularly in Gulf countries and intra-Asia.

Dr Nikhil P N holds a master’s degree in Social Work from the Sree Sankaracharya University of Sanskrit, Kalady, Kerala and Population Studies from the International Institute for Populations Sciences (IIPS), Mumbai, India. For this doctoral pursuit, he has received Ubbo Emmius scholarship from the University of Groningen, The Netherlands and Prof. VKRV Rao fellowship from Institute for Social and Economic Change (ISEC) Bangalore, India. Based on this book, he holds a PhD in demography from the The University of Groningen, The Netherlands. In the last few years, he is involved in teaching and training students/researchers in qualitative research methods. He coordinated various qualitative research programs such as Certificate Course in Qualitative research methods, summer school/winter school/ workshop on Advanced qualitative methods for Transdisciplinary Centre for Qualitative Methods (TCQM), Manipal Academy of Higher Education, Manipal, India.

Dr. Dipti Govil is an Assistant Professor in the International Institute for Population Sciences. Before joined IIPS, she was Assistant Professor, in Indian Institute of Health Management Research (IIHMR), Jaipur. Her areas of interests are Health Policy, Reproductive Health, Middle Age, Population Aging, Abortion, Child Health, Nutrition, Breastfeeding, Community Health, Health System, Quality of Care.

Dr. Niyathi R. Krishna is a Sir Ratan Tata Post-Doctoral Visiting Fellow , International Inequalities Institute, London School of Economics. She is a feminist scholar and development practitioner working as Assistant Professor in the Dept. of Development Studies at Rajiv Gandhi National Institute of Youth Development (RGNIYD) Regional Centre, Chandigarh, under the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports, Govt. of India. She has Ph.D. from Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Roorkee and Master’s Degrees in Development Studies and Women Studies. For a short while, she has worked as Research Assistant in the Dept. of Gender Studies, IUCSSRE, MG University, Kerala and Dept. of Humanities and Social Sciences, IIT Roorkee. Dr. Niyathi has over a decade of expertise in qualitative research. She has received the first Triennial ‘Preet Rustagi Research Fund Award’ by Indian Association for Women’s Studies (IAWS) for young researchers below 35 years of age, to facilitate independent field-based research on women and work (2020) and RGNIYD Grant for a project on women and labour at the backdrop of the COVID-19 pandemic (2021). She has extensively published articles in journals, books and compendium issues. She is also the recipient of National Balshree Award from the President of India for excellence in Creative Writing.

Dr. Selim Jahangir is a postdoctoral research fellow at the Transdisciplinary Centre for Qualitative Methods and Health Demography, Prasanna School of Public Health, Manipal Academy of Higher Education, Manipal. His key research and education interests are in Population aging and care, Health Inequalities in the Global South, and Qualitative research methods. He is the course coordinator of the ‘Certificate course in Qualitative Research Methods’ in Manipal. 

Dr. Sharada Srinivasan is Associate Professor and Canada Research Chair in Gender, Justice and Development, Department of Sociology & Anthropology at the University of Guelph. Her research is located within the broad field of gender and development and has a strong focus on social justice. She has explored gender discrimination, violence, generational dynamics, well-being and empowerment through research on sex ratio imbalance, daughter discrimination, and related gendered practices, domestic violence, and youth and farming. She is interested in exploring masculinities among young men in India and the Indian and South Asian diaspora in Canada. She is currently the Director of the Canada India Research Centre for Learning and Engagement (CIRCLE) and also co-facilitate the People’s Archive of Rural Ontario (PARO). 

Course Fee

The course fee is ₹3000 for normal participants of the course. 50 USD for International Scholars.

Payment Details

Mode of Payment: Online Transfer

Name of the Account: The International Institute of Migration and Development

Name of the Bank: Union Bank

Bank Address: T C 3/21(18) Mathews Arcade, Kesavadasapuram, Pattom Palace, Trivandrum 695 004

Account Number: 545101010050227