Mixed Methods in Social Research

This course by Dr Gordon Emmerson covers practical approaches to undertaking mixed method research that combines qualitative and quantitative methodologies.


Monday 25 February – Friday 1 March 2019


Dr Gordon Emmerson

Course outline

This is a course for those interested in practical approaches to undertaking mixed method research; that is, inquiry that combines qualitative and quantitative methodologies. It will provide grounding in both approaches, a defence for the utility of combined methodologies, and practical strategies to ensure research questions are addressed.

Participants will be encouraged to share research issues and challenges in designated group sessions. The course will include a blend of presentation and activities in pairs and small groups to encourage interaction and open exchange of ideas.

Day 1: Introduction to mixed methods research

  • Defining parameters: qualitative and quantitative research
  • Learning the language of each methodology
  • Applications of mixed method research in practice (academic/policy research)
  • Conceptualising design – fixed and flexible designs

Day 2: Designing a research or evaluation study – Design Frameworks

  • Characteristics of research design: quantitative – experimental, quasi-experimental, non-experimental; qualitative – ethnography, grounded theory, and case study
  • Linking research questions to purpose
  • Asking meaningful research questions – ensuring methods address research questions

Day 3: Sampling and data collection strategies and procedures

  • Probability and non-probability sampling procedures
  • Surveys, semantic differential and goal attainment scaling
  • Interviewing, focus groups and observational techniques
  • Types of data and choosing approaches

Day 4: Analysing qualitative and quantitative data

  • Choosing the right statistical procedure, e.g. Chi-square, t-test, ANOVA, ANCOVA, regression, correlation
  • Analysing statistical data
  • Qualitative data analysis procedures – manual methods: content, thematic, matrix displays, narrative
  • Computer applications for qualitative and quantitative data
  • Integrating qualitative and quantitative data

Day 5: Validity and trustworthiness issues in mixed method designs representing qualitative and quantitative data for research and evaluation for academic and policy audiences

  • Threats to validity in research and evaluation design
  • Validity and trustworthiness in mixed methods research
  • Establishing valid claims
  • Writing up: integrating and reporting mixed methods research


Greene J (2007). Mixed Methods in Social Inquiry. Jossey Bass: Wiley.

Robson C (2002). Real World Research (2nd ed). Oxford, UK: Blackwell.

Thody A (2006). Writing and presenting research. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.