This one-day intensive foundation course aims to equip participants with a good
understanding of the philosophical and practical decision-making required when planning
a qualitative research project. Through a combination of lectures and hands-on
practical sessions, the course takes participants from conception to design of
a qualitative research project. The course aims to: give participants a solid
grounding in the basic logic of qualitative research and how to make informed practical
decisions; enable participants to select appropriate sampling strategies;
introduce participants to a range of methods and techniques and to consider
their relevance for diverse research questions; consider quality concern issues,
reflexivity and ethics; and give practical, hands-on, experience of designing
aspects of a research proposal including a relevant sampling strategy. (This course was formerly Foundations in Qualitative Research)
By the end of the course participants should:
- Be equipped to plan, design, and defend their own research projects using qualitative research techniques,
- Have a clear understanding of why certain choices are made, when in relation to design
Be confident to proceed to the next level of actually conducting the research with a clear framework and plan of action.
Understand choices to be made with respect to sampling
Be confident to prepare clear aims and objectives
- Understand which are relevant topic areas for qualitative design
Participants should also feel confident to prepare (and assess) research grant funding and support applications as a result of attending this one-day course.
- The broad nature of qualitative research
Reviewing the literature and developing qualitative research questions
Developing the design from a broad topic area to aims and objectives
Linking research questions, methodologies and methods
An introduction to main methods and techniques, and selecting an appropriate strategy
Designing a qualitative sample
Designing topic guides and other materials for use in interview or focus group studies
- Judging, and explaining, the ‘quality’ of qualitative research
Who will benefit
Anyone starting out in qualitative research, or taking a course in qualitative methods (eg. interviewing, ethnography, creative methods, narrative, or focus groups) would be advised to take this Foundations in Qualitative Research course as it provides an invaluable basis for future practice. 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 qualitative research but also can be of benefit for those wishing to brush-up their skills or enhance their understanding of the qualitative paradigm. It works better if participants have a specific research project or set of projects in mind. Participants come from diverse academic and policy backgrounds and very diverse topic areas.
Karen O'Reilly is Emeritus Professor of Sociology at Loughborough University and a Freelance Researcher. She has taught ethnographic and qualitative methods for over 25 years, including the Essex Summer School in Social Science Data Collection and Analysis, the Swiss Summer School in Social Science Methods, in Lugano; at the Universities of Aberdeen, Essex, Loughborough and Oxford; and in Germany, Norway and Hong Kong. Her experience also includes being a Member of the Advisory Board of the NCRM biannual Research Methods Festival 2011-2012; and a member of the ESRC Peer Review College 2012 – 2016.
Karen is a highly experienced ethnographer whose many publications include two widely cited books on ethnography: Ethnographic Methods (Routledge, 2nd ed. 2012) and Key Concepts in Ethnography (Sage, 2009). She has also been instrumental in the design and evaluation of Masters level Research Methods courses and programmes in a number of universities. Karen provides short courses for the SRA on a regular basis.
This course contributes 6 hours to the MRS CPD programme
Cancellation policy: Full refund if cancelled 21 days or more from the course date. No refund if cancelled 20 days or fewer from the course date.