How to contact us

Tyrone Curtis
Programme Coordinator

Methods Summer Programme
London School of Economics
Houghton Street
London WC2A 2AE

Tel: +44 (0)20 3199 5379

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Qualitative Research Methods


Aude Bicquelet Dr Jen TarrDates: 17-28 August 2015

Tuition fees
Standard rate: £2310
Academic rate: £1365

Dr Jen Tarr
Dr Aude Bicquelet

Department of Methodology

The purpose of this course is to equip students to sensitively and critically design, carry out, report, read, and evaluate qualitative research projects. It is taught by a team of qualitative research experts, who regularly use the methods which they teach, making the course particularly practical and realistic. It covers the full cycle of a qualitative research project, from design, to data collection, analysis, reporting and disseminating. The course has the dual aims of equipping students with both conceptual understandings of current academic debates regarding different methods, and the practical skills to put those methods into practice.

This course is ideal for postgraduates, academics or professionals with an interest in using qualitative methods to undertake social research.  

Course benefits
This course will provide students with:

  • a solid understanding of the core methods of qualitative data collection and analysis
  • critical skills in interpreting and evaluating reports of qualitative studies
  • experience in putting qualitative skills into practice
  • realistic and practical teaching from established researchers who put these tools to use in their ongoing research projects 

The course assumes little or no knowledge of qualitative methods. There are no formal prerequisites, however applicants should be at postgraduate level or higher.

Software used

Excellent course!
2013 participant on Qualitative Research Methods

I enjoyed the programme and it will be really useful in my work.
2012 participant on Qualitative Research Methods

The teaching was excellent and clarified complex concepts with pragmatic examples.
2012 participant on Qualitative Research Methods

It has been an amazing time both academically but also personally.
2012 participant on Qualitative Research Methods

This course presents the fundamentals of qualitative research methods. It covers the classic sources of qualitative data: interviews, focus groups, participant observation and documentary and historical work. It also discusses the challenges and opportunities of new media including visual images and Internet research. Three widely-used data analysis methods are covered: thematic analysis, content analysis and discourse analysis. In addition, issues including quality indicators, research design, ethics, writing up and disseminating are also addressed.

The format of the course is a combination of lectures and seminars. Lectures are interactive and introduce the key conceptual issues of each method, as well as giving practical guidance. Lectures also incorporate critical discussion of sample papers from the peer-reviewed literature, developing students’ skills in critically evaluating reports of qualitative research. Seminars provide hands-on experience of the core methods, including training in the software package NVIVO.

Examination (optional) is through a two-hour exam on the final day. A sample exam paper is available, and a revision session is offered the previous day.

Main Texts
Seale, C., Gobo, G., Gubrium, J.F. & Silverman, D. (2004). Qualitative research practice. London: Sage.
Bauer, M.W. & Gaskell, G. (2000) Qualitative Researching with Text, Image and Sound, London: Sage.
Flick, U. (2009) An Introduction to Qualitative Research, London: Sage.  

Teaching Schedule
The following teaching schedule is indicative only, and is subject to change.

Week 1
 Week 1 Monday   Tuesday Wednesday  Thursday  Friday 
 Qualitative research & design  Documents & archives  Participant observation  Interviewing  Focus groups
Quality indicators  Selecting & evaluating documents  Fieldnotes Interview topic guides  Focus group topic guide
 Week 2 Monday   Tuesday Wednesday Thursday  Friday 
 Visual & online data Thematic analysis Content analysis  Discourse analysis  Writing up & disseminating qualitative research
A fternoon
 Introduction to NVIVO  Coding with NVIVO  Counting codes & content analysis Discourse analysis / revision Exam

A 2-hour final examination will take place on the afternoon of Friday 29 August 2014.