Qualitative Research Techniques

This interactive course by Dr Delwyn Goodrick provides an overview of the theory and practice of qualitative research.



Monday 18 – Friday 22 February 2019


Dr Delwyn Goodrick

Course outline

This five-day introductory course is designed for participants with little or no background or experience with qualitative research. It will suit individuals who are in the design stages of a qualitative research project or who are interested in an overview of the theory and practice of qualitative research.

The course will be interactive and participants will be encouraged to share their own research plans and issues in working group sessions. Examples of published research will be reviewed across the five days to illustrate the stages of research design, conduct, analysis and representation.

Day One: Introductory session

Designing qualitative research. Research interests and expectations. Overview of common features of qualitative research. When to use a qualitative approach. The relationship of theoretical positioning of the researcher to selection of qualitative approach. Types of qualitative research. Applications of qualitative research in health, education, and psychology. Paradigm and methods debates, ethical issues in qualitative research. Writing a qualitative research proposal.

Day Two: Major methods I

  1. Participant Observation: The role of observation and fieldwork in qualitative research. Types of observational study. Selecting an appropriate observational role. Recording observation.
  2. Focus Groups: Characteristics of focus groups. Designing focus group questions. Moderator skills. Analysing and reporting focus group data.

Day Three: Major methods II

  1. Interviewing: The theory and practice of interviewing, level of interview structure and types of question, designing effective questions, developing rapport with research participants, recording and transcribing interviews, managing and analysing interview data.
  2. Document Analysis: The role of documentation. Analysing documents.

Day Four: Data management and analysis

Manual and computer-assisted methods of data analysis. Structuring analysis. Types of analysis – content, theory-driven, thematic. Developing a systematic categorising system. Refining analytic skills. Mapping analysis to purpose and theoretical perspective. Description, analysis and interpretation. Types of claims and evidence base. Enhancing the quality of research claims. Quality criteria in qualitative research.

Day Five: Validity/trustworthiness of Qualitative Research / Reporting Qualitative Research

Formats for reporting qualitative research: the case study, the narrative account, the ethnography. Common rhetorical structures will be reviewed with reference to published qualitative research examples. Representation issues: the role of the researcher, voice and authority in qualitative writing. The ‘new ethnography’ and auto-ethnography. Combining qualitative and quantitative research approaches.

Course Text

The following texts are not required reading, but provide a useful orientation to qualitative research. A package of handout materials and additional reference material will be provided to participants.


Booth WC, Colomb GG, Williams JM (2008). The craft of research (3rd Ed). Chicago: University of Chicago Press.

Goodall, jnr HL (2008). Writing qualitative inquiry: Self, stories, and academic life. Walnut Creek, CA: Left Coast Press.

Kvale S & Brinkmann S (2009). InterViews: Learning the craft of qualitative research interviewing (2nd Ed). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.

Patton MQ (2002). Qualitative research and evaluation methods (3rd Ed). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.

Woods P (1999). Successful writing for qualitative researchers. London, UK: Routledge.