Universität Wien FIND

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233050 SE Introducing interviewing (2020W)

Thinking and practicing qualitative interviews

5.00 ECTS (2.00 SWS), SPL 23 - Soziologie
Continuous assessment of course work


Note: The time of your registration within the registration period has no effect on the allocation of places (no first come, first served).


max. 25 participants
Language: English


Classes (iCal) - next class is marked with N

Adapted Teaching Format
In order to comply with COVID-19 safety measures, the teaching for this course is adapted in order to facilitate presence teaching. In the case that more than 15 students registered for the course, students will be randomly assigned to either Group A or Group B. Each group will attend a physical class every other scheduled date (with Group A kicking off on 09.10.2020), while engaging every week with online content and discussion.

Friday 09.10. 09:15 - 11:30 Seminarraum STS, NIG Universitätsstraße 7/Stg. II/6. Stock, 1010 Wien (Kickoff Class)
Friday 16.10. 09:15 - 11:30 Seminarraum STS, NIG Universitätsstraße 7/Stg. II/6. Stock, 1010 Wien
Friday 23.10. 09:15 - 11:30 Seminarraum STS, NIG Universitätsstraße 7/Stg. II/6. Stock, 1010 Wien
Friday 30.10. 09:15 - 11:30 Seminarraum STS, NIG Universitätsstraße 7/Stg. II/6. Stock, 1010 Wien
Friday 06.11. 09:15 - 11:30 Digital
Friday 20.11. 09:15 - 11:30 Digital
Friday 27.11. 09:15 - 11:30 Digital
Friday 04.12. 09:15 - 11:30 Digital
Friday 11.12. 09:15 - 11:30 Digital
Friday 18.12. 09:15 - 11:30 Digital


Aims, contents and method of the course

This course offers an introduction to the theory and practice of qualitative interviewing. Taking an approach grounded in STS, and which is therefore sensitive to the sociomaterial construction of knowledge (in interviews, about interviews, and through interviewing), we will start by exploring the nature of a qualitative interview and the various approaches that are taken to them. The course will go on to cover topics such as access and recruitment, ethics and positionality, different types of interviewing, failure, transcription, and analysis. Classes will be practical in orientation and will involve frequent practice in interviewing, both in class and as part of the assessment. The aim is to equip students to be able to select the appropriate type of interview for their own research projects, and to confidently and reflexively employ this methodological technique.

Assessment and permitted materials

To pass the seminar, students are expected to complete the following tasks:

• Actively participate in class discussion, both on- and off-line as relevant.
• As part of a group, develop a video presentation summarising key themes concerning one of the course topics (topic to be assigned by the lecturer).
• Submit a reflexive essay (approximately 2000 words) where they describe one or more interviews they have carried out over the course of the class, and reflect on their experiences of these.

Minimum requirements and assessment criteria

The grading scheme is based on a total of 100 points. These points will be awarded in relation to students’ performance in meeting the course learning aims in the different obligatory tasks.

The maximum number of points to be acquired for each task is:

• Participation: 20 points, assessed individually.
• Presentation: 40 points, assessed as a group.
• Essay: 40 points, assessed individually.

A minimum of 50 points is necessary to successfully complete the course. Failure to meet the attendance regulations, to deliver course assignments on time or to adhere to standards of academic work may result in a deduction of points.

Presence and participation are compulsory. Absences of four hours at maximum are tolerated, provided that the lecturer is informed about the absence. Absences of up to eight hours in total may be compensated by either a deduction of grading points or/and extra work agreed with the lecturer. Whether compensation is possible is decided by the lecturer.

Absences of more than eight hours in total cannot be compensated. In this case, or if the lecturer does not allow a student to compensate absences of more than four hours, the course cannot be completed and is graded as a ‘fail’ (5), unless there is a major and unpredictable reason for not being able to fulfil the attendance requirements on the student’s side (e.g. a longer illness). In such a case, the student may be de-registered from the course without grading. It is the student’s responsibility to communicate this in a timely manner, and to provide relevant evidence to their claims if necessary. Whether this exception applies is decided by the lecturer.

If any requirement of the course has been fulfilled by fraudulent means, be it for example by cheating at an exam, plagiarizing parts of a written assignment or by faking signatures on an attendance sheet, the student's participation in the course will be discontinued, the entire course will be graded as ‘not assessed’ and will be entered into the electronic exam record as ‘fraudulently obtained’. Self-plagiarism, particularly re-using own work handed in for other courses, will be treated likewise.

Examination topics

Reading list


Association in the course directory

Last modified: Fr 11.12.2020 10:08