Course code Soci6014

Credit points 2

Research of the Quality of Life

Total Hours in Course80

Number of hours for lectures12

Number of hours for seminars and practical classes12

Independent study hours56

Date of course confirmation06.10.2020

Responsible UnitInstitute of Social Sciences and Humanities

Course developer

author doc.

Anda Grīnfelde

Dr. oec.

Prior knowledge

Soci5041, Social Research Methods

Soci5042, Social Welfare

Soci5043, Sociological Theory

Course abstract

During the course the master students acquire in-depth knowledge on conceptualization of quality of life and research specificity in social sciences: on factors influencing quality of life, research levels, objective and subjective indicators, theoretical and methodological approaches. During the course the students are introduced with experience and topical studies in the field of life quality research emphasizing national and international sociological studies and its role in the process for improvements of social policy.

Learning outcomes and their assessment

Knowledge. Knowledge on the concept of quality of life, its development, research levels, paradigms, methodological problems (test). Understanding of the specifics of the concept of quality of life and research approaches in the social sciences, as well as the importance of quality of life measurements in social policy (independent work).

Skills. Ability to evaluate and apply in practice theoretical approaches explaining the quality of life in empirical research (independent work). Ability to justify the topicality of the research and independently develop a program for empirical research on the quality of life and its influencing factors (independent work). Ability to plan and perform assigned tasks independently (independent work). Ability to evaluate information independently and critically (independent work).

Competence. Ability to independently and critically evaluate quality of life research approaches and formulate elements of a research program (independent work).
Gained in-depth understanding of the application of quality of life measurements in the development of social policy and the ability to independently conduct research on various aspects related to quality of life (independent work).

Course Content(Calendar)

1. Historical development of quality of life as a field of research (1 hour).
2. Quality of life: human needs and opportunities (1 hour).
3. Definitions of quality of life (1 hour).
4. Conceptualization of quality of life in social sciences (1 hour).
5. Sociological perspectives on quality of life (1 hour).
6. Possibilities of measuring quality of life (1 hour).
7. Description of different aspects of quality of life research (1 hour).
8. Description of quality of life models (2 hours).
9. Theory of integrated research model for quality of life (1 hour).
10. The role of quality of life research in social policy (1 hour).
11. Experience of quality of life research (1 hour).

Practical works and seminars (12 hours)
1. Conceptualization of quality of life research.
2. Needs and opportunities as elements characterizing the well-being of different social categories.
3. Quality of life as an interdisciplinary research subject.
4. Subjective evaluations of quality of life in sociological research.
5. Characterization of subjective well-being and objective living conditions and their application in research.
6. Methodological aspects of research of quality of life of different social categories in foreign research.
7. Application of Dennis Raphael’s and Erik Allardt's theoretical models of quality of life in sociological research.
8. Survey elaboration for researching professional life quality.
9. Methodological aspects of quality of life research in the context of an aging society.
10. “Good life” of families in Latvian social media: media analysis.
11. Identification of measures to improve the quality of life in municipal planning documents.
12. Master students’ presentations: quality of life research program.

Requirements for awarding credit points

Test with a grade, cumulative assessment on following topics: 1) The concept of quality of life, its development, research levels, paradigms, methodological problems (test - 20%); 2) Experience of quality of life research abroad: research review (independent work - 20%); 3) Identification of measures to improve the quality of life in municipal planning documents (independent work - 20%); Quality of life research program (presentation - 40%).


Acquisition of the study course in distance learning is organized in accordance with the order of the Vice-Rector for Studies “On the procedure of e-studies at LLU”, a study course acquisition schedule is created for each semester. Students acquire the topics included in the study course independently, using the materials created and inserted by the lecturer in the e-learning environment Moodle. Feedback on the acquisition of topics in lectures and seminars in distance learning is organized in the form of self-examination tests, discussion forums and individual assignments, as well as face-to-face or online consultations, lectures and final examinations according to the schedule.

Description of the organization and tasks of students’ independent work

During the course, master students elaborate the following works:
1) Experience of quality of life research abroad: research review,
2) Identification of measures to improve the quality of life in municipal planning documents,
3) Quality of life research program.

Criteria for Evaluating Learning Outcomes

Master students have to develop 2 independent works (each gives 20% in the overall assessment), write a test (20%) and prepare a presentation (40%). 10% corresponds to one point on the 10-point assessment scale.

Compulsory reading

1. Abbott L. F. The Quality of Life Concept in Sociology. The American Sociologist, Vol. 35, 2004, p. 37–51.
2. Phillips D. Quality of Life: Concept, Policy and Practice. London; New York: Routledge, 2006. 288 p.
3. Housing, Space and Quality of Life. G. R. Mira, L. D. Uzzell, J.E. Real, J. Romay (Eds.). London; New York: Routledge, 2017. 185 p.
4. Sirgy M. J. Handbook of Quality-of-Life Research: An Ethical. Vol. 8. Netherlands: Kluwer Academic Publishers, 2001. Marketing Perspective by Social Indicators Research Series.

Further reading

1. Bunge M. What is a quality of life indicator? Social Indicators Research, Vol. 2, 1975, p. 65–79. DOI https://doi.org/10.1007
2. Social Ouality: A Vision for Europe. Ed.by W. Beck et al. Hague: Kluwer Law International, 2001.
3. Ventegodt S., Merrick J., Andersen N. J. Quality of Life Theory I. The IQOL Theory: An Integrative Theory of the Global Quality of Life Concept. The Scientific World Journal, Vol. 3, 2003, p. 1030-1040.
4. Veenhoven R. Quality-of-Life Research [tiešsaiste]. 2007. [Skatīts 11.03.2021.]. Pieejams: http://hdl.handle.net/1765/12321

Periodicals and other sources

1. Eurostat. Quality of life indicators - measuring quality of life. Pieejams: https://ec.europa.eu/eurostat/statistics-explained/index.php/Quality_of_life_indicators_-_measuring_quality_of_life
2. Centrālā statistikas pārvalde. Dzīves kvalitātes rādītāji. Pieejams: https://www.csb.gov.lv/lv/statistika/statistikas-temas/socialie-procesi/dzives_kvalitate/galvenie-raditaji/dzives-kvalitates-raditaji
3. Quality of Life Research. ISSN 15732649. Pieejams: https://www.springer.com/journal/11136
4. Bela B., Tisenkopfs T. Dzīves kvalitāte Latvijā. Stratēģiskās analīzes komisija. Rīga: Zinātne, 2006.
5. Latvijas iedzīvotāju dzīves kvalitātes indekss. Stratēģiskās analīzes komisijas darba grupas atskaite. Pieejams: http://petijumi.mk.gov.lv/sites/default/files/file/VP_Latv_dzives_kval_indekss.pdf

Notes

Compulsory study course in the ESAF academic master’s study programme “Sociology of Organizations and Public Administration”.