Social Science Qualitative Research Methods
Priority for these workshops will be given to PhD students who do not have access to qualitative methods training through their own School.
The following Schools provide their own methods training at Masters level or beyond for their own students. Please access training via your School if you are based within:Education, Law, SSP, LUBS, Media and Communications, PRHS, Design, PCI, Geography, Healthcare and other Schools within Medicine.
Please note: You can book for individual sessions (you do not have to attend all the sessions).
- Introduction to Qualitative Social Science Research Methods 20 Jan 2015 2-4.30
During this session, we will discuss the stages in the research process and the things you need to consider when designing your research project. I will present some resources, including places to look for secondary data, forums and guidance. We will also discuss the different methods such as Interviews and Focus groups and think about the decisions you need to make in order to select a method.
- Observation 27 Jan 2015 2-4.30
This is an introduction to the use of observation in qualitative studies. The participant observer collects data by participating in the daily life of those he or she is studying. This session will look at the processes in setting up an observational study, such as gaining consent and recording what you observe. We will also discuss the qualities that are required in observation studies and highlight the ethical issues that may arise. There will be an opportunity to carry out a short observational study during the workshop
- Starting your Qualitative Research Project? 9 Feb 2-4.30pm
This informal event will give those starting out with their qualitative research project the chance to talk with current PhD students about the issues they may encounter. Come to hear some words of experience from PhD students, Charlotte Elliot (Media & Comms), Sarah Mawby (Music), Hasan Hafidh (Languages) and Ben Vincent (SSP) who conducted their fieldwork last year and lived to tell the tale! It will also be a good chance to meet others in the same situation and may help build your network of support.
- Questionnaires 10 Feb 2015 2-4.30
Questionnaires can be useful as scoping tools in qualitative research. They are also often used in mixed methods studies. We will look at the stages of designing a questionnaire. This includes designing your survey, producing the best questions and ensuring a good response rate. We will also look at the importance of piloting your project and testing out your questions. I will provide links to resources for secondary data and forums to discuss the design of your project.
- Focus groups 19 Feb 2015 2-4.30
Focus groups are useful tools in qualitative research. They can be used for preliminary studies and as the main method. We will look at the process of setting up focus groups and provide some tips for facilitating such groups. There will be opportunity to practise facilitating or taking part in a focus group during the session.
- Interviews 12 March 2-4.30
The interview may seem straight forward, and is at the heart of qualitative research, but it is often difficult in practice. This session will introduce you to practices and methods (and pitfalls) of setting up and conducting interviews. We will look at issues of consent, recording, transcription and ethical issues.
- Interviews 19 March 2-4.30
an additional session to deal with the queues for the 12 March session. Those booked for 12 March Interviews will not be eligible to attend this workshop.
- Reflections on Qualitative Data analysis 25 March 2-4.30
This is an additional session to deal with the queues for the April 22 data analysis workshop. Those booked for that workshop will not be eligible to attend this workshop. This is a beginners-level session. Professor Sarah Irwin and Dr Anna Tarrant will explore some themes in the analysis of qualitative data including the importance of understanding the ways in which research is shaped by sampling and the contexts in which we run interviews and generate data. We also consider possibilities for secondary data analysis, and ways in which qualitative evidence can be oriented to social explanation.
- Analysing qualitative data 22 April 2-4.30
This session will focus on the analysis and interpretation of your data. We will look at simple methods to aid in the process of data analysis. It will aim to provide advice on how we might proceed with our analysis of interviews, focus groups and observations. It will not focus on any one methodological approach; rather it will present a basic introduction to qualitative data analysis.
- Presenting your findings 28 April 2-4.30
We will look at the ways of presenting the findings from our work. This will include the ways that qualitative and mixed methods research is presented in articles. We will also examine some examples of Theses submitted to White Rose Universities. We will focus on the language we can use to describe our findings and the structures we can employ in presenting our research.
In 2015, there will also be sessions on Sampling for Qualitative Data and Ethnography, Auto-ethnography & Researcher Reflexivity. Details for these sessions are:
Sampling (or choosing cases) in qualitative research
Selecting a representative sub-group from a population is an important task in all research. In practice, thinking about sampling in qualitative research presents challenges that help us to consider the ways in which qualitative research investigates, interprets, and explains social phenomena, and the possibilities for representativeness in social research. Drawing on the main traditions in qualitative researching, this session will consider how we might choose cases, the implications of these choices for the claims we can make from qualitative research, and investigate how many cases are enough in qualitative researching. The session is practical and will provide you with an opportunity to reflect on your own research design.
Ethnography/autoethnography and researcher positioning 4 Feb 2015 2-4.30pm
This session will look at the strategies and skills necessary for conducting ethnography and ways of including and valuing your own input into such studies in reflexive and rigorous ways.
The session will also be useful for anyone conducting qualitative research because it examines the various roles of the researcher in qualitative studies
Also check the Research Methods resources which are suitable for researchers starting out with qualitative research.
Join the Qualitative Methods Reading Group, Resonances. The group is aimed at those new to Qualitative Methods and is especially useful for those who do not have access to Social Science methods training in their own School.