Short Title:Market Research: Qualitative Methods
Full Title:Market Research: Qualitative Methods
Module Code:DMKT H3015
ECTS credits: 5
NFQ Level:7
Module Delivered in 2 programme(s)
Module Contributor:Jennifer Cowman
Module Description:Situated in the context of key marketing research activities including new product development and understanding consumer behaviour, this module explores the design and practice of qualitative research. The module aims to provide learners with the necessary knowledge, skills and techniques to make evidence based decisions both within the research process, and from research findings. To this end, the module will enable learners to: 1. Identify a current research problem through critical review of previous research. 2. Design and execute a consistent, problem-centric, and ethically sound qualitative study. 3. Synthesise insights from extant theory and primary research findings to formulate and defend recommendations for real-life business situations. Consistent with this applied approach, the module incorporates guest lectures from industry practitioners, and integrated assessment with Marketing Management, DMKT H3016.
Learning Outcomes:
On successful completion of this module the learner will be able to
  1. Explain key concepts, theories and approaches pertinent to qualitative research, and apply this knowledge to marketing research situations.
  2. Review previous research to identify and justify a marketing research problem in terms of feasible qualitative research objective(s) and question(s).
  3. Demonstrate an ability to formulate a consistent, ethically sound, and problem-centric qualitative research design.
  4. Engage in group level problem solving to conduct a collaborative, qualitative marketing research project operationalising (i) access negotiation, (ii) qualitative data collection, and (iii) qualitative data analysis.
  5. Interpret primary research findings, and examine their relationship with previous enquiry to address the selected research problem and inform evidence based recommendations.
  6. Communicate the research project, its findings, and their significance in well structured research documentation.

Module Content & Assessment

Indicative Content
The Research Process
Introducing Research and Marketing Research; Exploring the Iterative Nature of Research Practice; Situating Qualitative Research within the Research Process; Considering Qualitative Research for Marketing Research
Developing the Research Problem
Literature Reviewing; Qualitative Research Questions and Objectives
Addressing the Research Problem - Qualitative Research Designs
Case Study; Grounded Theory; Ethnography; Discourse Analysis; Phenomenology
Data Collection
Ethics & Access; Interviews (Semi-Structured, Unstructured, Storytelling & Narrative Inquiry); Focus Groups; Observation (Participant Observation e.g. mystery shopping & Non-Participant Observation); Additional Methods (Documents, Diaries, Projective & Enabling Techniques)
Data Analysis
The Process and Practice of Qualitative Data Analysis; Key Approaches (Grounded Analysis, Interpretive Phenomenological Analysis & Thematic Analysis); Computers & Qualitative Data Analysis
Solving the Research Problem
Presenting Your Research Findings; Research Findings & Making Evidence Based Decisions; Evaluating Qualitative Research; Revisiting the Qual-Quant Relationship
Indicative Assessment Breakdown%
Course Work Assessment %100.00%
Course Work Assessment %
Assessment Type Assessment Description Outcome addressed % of total Assessment Date
Other Individual Assessment: Research Proposal - Learners will submit a research proposal comprised of: (i) a literature review within an assigned Marketing Management theme to identify and justify a research question, and (ii) a proposed research design including data collection and data analysis methods appropriate for the selected research question. 1,2,3,6 50.00 Week 6
Other Integrated Group Assessment: Research Paper - Within teams learners will execute a collaborative, qualitative research study within their (common) assigned Marketing Management theme. Learners will share responsibility for undertaking a qualitative research study. 4,5,6 50.00 Sem 1 End
No Final Exam Assessment %
Indicative Reassessment Requirement
Coursework Only
This module is reassessed solely on the basis of re-submitted coursework. There is no repeat written examination.

ITB reserves the right to alter the nature and timings of assessment


Indicative Module Workload & Resources

Indicative Workload: Full Time
Frequency Indicative Average Weekly Learner Workload
Every Week 2.00
Every Week 1.00
Every Week 3.00
Recommended Book Resources
  • Carson, D., Gilmore, A., Perry, C., and Gronhaug, K. 2001, Qualitative Marketing Research, Sage London
  • Daymon, C. and Holloway, I. 2011, Qualitative Research Methods in Public Relations and Marketing Communications, 2 Ed., Routledge New York
Supplementary Book Resources
  • Belk, R., Fischer, E., and Kozinets, R. 2013, Qualitative Consumer and Marketing Research, 1 Ed., Sage London
  • Malhotra, N., Birks, D. and Wills, P. 2012, Marketing Research, 4 Ed., Pearson Harlow
  • Saunders, M., Lewis, P. and Thornhill, A. 2015, Research Methods for Business Students, Edn. 7 Ed., Pearson Harlow
  • Wilson, A. 2012, Marketing Research: An Integrated Approach, 3 Ed., Pearson Harlow
Supplementary Article/Paper Resources
  • Chen, H. 2015, College-aged young consumers’ interpretation of Twitter and marketing information on Twitter, Young Consumers, 16(2)208-221
  • Goulding, C. 2005, Grounded theory, ethnography and phenomenology: A Comparative Analysis of Three Qualitative Strategies for Market Research, European Journal of Marketing, 39(3/4)294-308
  • Gummesson, E. 2005, Qualitative research in marketing, European Journal of Marketing, 39(3/4)309-327
  • Hadden, R. and Whalley, A. 2002, The Branch is Dead, Long Live the Internet! (Or so you'd have thought if we hadn't listened to the customer), International Journal of Market Research, 44(3) pp.293-297
  • Gruber, T., Szmigin, I., Reppel, A. and Voss, R. 2008, Designing and conducting online interviews to investigate interesting consumer phenomena, Qualitative Market Research: An International Journal, 11(3)256-274
  • Hanson, D. and Grimmer, M. 2005, The Mix of Qualitative and Quantitative Research in Major Marketing Journals, 1993-2002, European Journal of Marketing, 41(1/2)58-70
  • Joris Van Hoof, A. and Walenberg, N. 2007, Projective techniques for brand image research, Qualitative Market Research: An International Journal, 10(3)300-309
  • McPhee, N. 2002, Gaining Insight on Business and Organisational Behaviour: The Qualitative Dimension, International Journal of Market Research, 44(1)53-70
  • O'Connor, H. and Madge, C. 1998, “Focus groups in cyberspace”: using the Internet for qualitative research, Qualitative Market Research: An International Journal, 6(2)133-143
  • Reppel, E., Szmigin, I., and Gruber, T. 2006, The iPod phenomenon: identifying a market leader's secrets through qualitative marketing research",, Journal of Product & Brand Management, 15(4)239-249
  • Sampson, P. 1996, Commonsense in Qualitative Research, Market Research Society, 38(4)329-339
This module does not have any other resources

Module Delivered in

Programme Code Programme Semester Delivery
BN_BDMKT_8 Bachelor of Arts (Honours) in Digital Marketing 6 Mandatory
BN_BDMKT_7 Bachelor of Arts in Digital Marketing 6 Mandatory