This course is designed to equip participants with a clear understanding of qualitative research, in terms of what its key features are and the different methods that are commonly used within it. It is also intended to give you an appreciation of what qualitative research can be used for and how its findings can be understood and presented to a wider audience.
The course will be delivered through a mixture of taught sessions and practical exercises.
By the end of the workshop, participants will be able to:
describe the key features of qualitative research and its key contributions and applications
- make informed decisions about which types of research questions are best answered using qualitative approaches
- contrast qualitative and quantitative approaches and understand when they are best used singly or in combination
- understand the advantages and disadvantages of different qualitative research methods
- recognise quality in the design, undertaking and reporting of qualitative research
- understand how to make use of qualitative research evidence in a credible way
The role and use of qualitative methods in social research
- The key principles of qualitative sampling
- Qualitative data collection tools and techniques, with a focus on in-depth interviews and focus groups
- The key principles of managing and analysing qualitative data
- Talking about and using qualitative data credibly
Who will benefit
We hope this course will be useful to you if you:
are new to qualitative research, or about to embark on your first project
- commission or manage qualitative research in central or local government, health or other applied policy sectors
- work in a different research discipline (e.g. quantitative research) and are about to collaborate with qualitative researchers or use qualitative research findings
Mehul Kotecha joined the NatCen Social Research as a Senior Researcher in March 2008. He has led on a number of qualitative studies including evaluations of back to work programmes (e.g. process evaluation of the Support for the Very Long-Term Unemployed Trailblazer programme), research into financial and material circumstances in old age (e.g. exploring the relationship between material deprivation and pensioner poverty and a study which explored older people's attitudes towards the principle of automatic awards of Pension Credit), and research into education and skills (e.g. a study exploring motivations and barriers to part-time post-16 education). Prior to this, Mehul was a Research Fellow at the Institute of Primary Care and Public Health, based at London South Bank University – where he also received his doctorate in sociology.
Ellie Roberts is a Senior Researcher in NatCen’s Children, Families and Work team. She specialises in qualitative research and has conducted in-depth interviews and focus groups with a wide range of participant groups, such as frontline staff, local authority officials, cabinet members, people with mental health problems and prisoners. Before joining NatCen in 2014, Ellie held research posts at Community Links and the Centre for Economic and Social Inclusion. She has a BSc in Sociology from the University of Cardiff.
Course fee payable to SRA.
This course contributes 6 hours to the MRS CPD programme