Visual methods: Using images and video in qualitative research


Content, progress and pedagogy of the module

The course is aimed at providing theoretical and methodological knowledge about visuals and their use within research. Psychology research relies heavily on spoken and written language, while many meaning-making processes also involve how we understand and appropriate our visual culture. The module builds upon and supplements students’ knowledge of Social Psychology, Social Theory, and Qualitative Methods.

This elective course aims to orient students with different approaches to analyse images in our visual culture and to incorporate images and videos as methods in their qualitative research.

Visual, along side verbal communication, mediate a wide range of psychological processes (e.g. memory, emotions, imagination, etc.) both at individual and collective level. By making abstract concepts and social representations into something concrete and tangible, images have played a key role as meaning-making cultural tools through which people imagine, remember, think, argue and communicate their views on different social issues. Such a symbolic power usually makes images the arena in which political and social struggle is reflected. Thus, the use of images in art, media, urban space, etc. can be used to justify the status quo or provoke social change, to impose official propaganda or to resist the hegemonic worldview.

Learning objectives


Theoretical and methodological approaches to analyzing visual culture.


Hands-on methodological tools to use visuals within data collection: Photo & video elicitation, ethnographic video documentation, subjective cameras, mental maps, and annotated drawings.


To critically analyze visual culture through the lens of psychology. And to incorporate visuals into meaning-making processes along side spoken and written text in a variety of research topics.



Name of examVisual methods: Using images and video in qualitative research
Type of exam
Active participation/continuous evaluation
AssessmentPassed/Not Passed
Type of gradingInternal examination
Criteria of assessmentThe criteria of assessment are stated in the Examination Policies and Procedures

Facts about the module

Danish titleVisuelle metoder: Brug af billeder og video i kvalitativ forskning
Module codeKAPSY201536
Module typeCourse
Duration1 semester
Language of instructionDanish and English
Location of the lectureCampus Aalborg
Responsible for the module


Study BoardStudy Board of Psychology
DepartmentDepartment of Communication and Psychology
FacultyThe Faculty of Humanities