As a qualitative method, qualitative interviewing can generate wonderfully rich and nuanced data, but it requires considerable social, listening and questioning skills. This one-day course is designed to help participants become aware of and practise some of the techniques involved. As well as a grounding in the principles of semi-structured and in-depth interviewing, participants will gain hands-on experience of conducting interviews, acting as an interviewee, and/or giving and receiving detailed feedback. We will use example topic guides to examine the difference between interview approaches and styles (for policy, intervention, assessment, and academic applications). The course will briefly cover relevant issues around recording, transcription and analysis.
By the end of the course participants should:
Have practical and critical awareness of the theory and logic of qualitative (interpretive) interviewing
- Be familiar with diverse styles of, and approaches to, qualitative interviewing
- Be equipped to independently conduct qualitative interviews
- Be confident to handle difficult situations and complex interview situations
- Acquire good listening and probing skills
- Be equipped to undertake appropriate design and planning of interviews
- Have critical awareness of how to evaluate the quality of an interview
During the course we will cover:
Theories of interviewing
- When to use this method
- Different kinds of interview and degrees of structure
- Questioning and probing skills (how to criticise and improve on these)
- Using a topic guide
- Practical issues involved in setting up interviews
- Interviewing different kinds of participant, dealing with some challenges
- Recording and transcription
How analysis relates to interview design
Who will benefit:
The course will benefit those who intend to use qualitative interviewing as the main method in a project or just a small element of it. It is also designed to support those who need to know what to look for when commissioning good quality research. It is suitable for participants with very little or no experience of interviewing but also can be of benefit for those wishing to brush-up their skills or simply acquire new skills without a specific project in mind. Participants come from diverse academic and policy backgrounds and very diverse topic areas. Some knowledge of qualitative research or attendance on the Foundations in Qualitative Research course is advisable.
Dr Karen Lumsden is currently Assistant Professor in Criminology at the University of Nottingham and has a PhD in Sociology from the University of Aberdeen. She has over 15 years experience teaching qualitative research methods at postgraduate level and to academics and practitioners. This includes courses at the University of Aberdeen, University of Glasgow, University of Essex and Kingston University, and for the Social Research Association. Karen has also designed and delivered social research methods training for police officers and staff via the East Midlands Policing Academic Collaboration (EMPAC) and for research consultancies. She has authored a number of academic books and journal articles in the areas of sociology and criminology, and on qualitative research methods. Karen is also Chair of the Editorial Board of Sociological Research Online.
This course contributes 6 hours to the MRS CPD programme