Qualitative Methods   


Module leader: Sophie Norton


Cultural heritage management and archaeology have long incorporated a diversity of methodologies into their practice, but the qualitative approaches that underlie our work often go unspoken or otherwise stand poorly defined.  Heritage agencies, museums and related institutions increasingly require rigorous qualitative data to inform strategic planning and guide short and long-term decision making.  This module will consider common qualitative methodologies, their ethical dimensions, and their critical application to the cultural heritage record, including interviews, focus groups, surveys, observation and ethnography.   We will look in detail at a local heritage project, working with qualitative methods to assess the project’s impact on its various audiences. 

Learning outcomes

Upon completion of this module you should:

  • demonstrate an understanding of the key intellectual goals of qualitative research as applied to heritage and conservation
  • display a knowledge of the ethical dimensions and responsibilities inherent in qualitative research
  • show an understanding of the uses of specific qualitative methods, including interviews, focus groups, surveys, observational approaches, and ethnography
  • gain an awareness of the possibilities and complications behind designing and applying different qualitative methodologies
  • demonstrate an understanding of the process of sampling and analysing qualitative data, developed through participation in an active collaborative field project in York

qualitative methods rhc image