Qualitative Research: Designing, doing, and getting it done

An introductory course designed for those with no background in research or previous experience with qualitative techniques of data collection and analysis.


Monday 18 – Friday 22 November (5 days IN PERSON, Massey University, Wellington)

Fee structure

Full-time students

Everyone else


Rosie Solomon & Delwyn Goodrick
Rosie Solomon & Delwyn Goodrick

Delwyn "Del" Goodrick is a Pākehā New Zealander who, until COVID-19 struck, was living and working in Australia. She is a registered psychologist, and now works between the two countries. She has extensive experience in designing and implementing qualitative research and evaluation studies.

Most of the qualitative research Del has conducted has been in the health and education sectors, but she has undertaken qualitative research in organisational and business contexts as well. She is committed to collaborative research practices and using research to contribute to knowledge that informs social justice and social change.

Rosie Solomon is of Ngāpuhi descent. She has had a wide-ranging career in education, working in a range of roles: teacher in primary and secondary school settings, and in-service teacher educator. As a Review Officer in the Education Review Office (ERO), she evaluated the quality of education provision in primary and secondary schools and early childhood education centres. Most recently, Rosie held the role of Manager of Review and Improvement in ERO. She has supported teams and individuals to build their evaluation capacity.

Rosie's key areas of expertise are school and system improvement, educational leadership and managements, professional learning and development, and evaluation. Rosie has worked extensively with schools in the Far North. She has an unerring focus on outcomes for Māori ākonga. Rosie is currently a member of the Implementation and Design Group for the New Zealand Curriculum Refresh.

Course outline

This course is designed for participants with little or no background or experience with qualitative research. If you are keen to design and conduct a rigorous qualitative study in your workplace and/or for a higher degree, then this course is for you.

New in 2023 this course embeds principles and practices for working with and for Māori. Over the first two days of the course, Rosie Solomon will highlight the opportunities and challenges in doing research that seeks to incorporate genuine participation with Māori. Her content and examples will provide an understanding of the key grounding principles of doing research within Aotearoa.

Both facilitators will share wide-ranging insights from their own experiences, and discuss the implications of research principles for high quality qualitative research.

The course will be relevant to those interested in an overview of the current and emerging theories and practices of qualitative research across several academic genres, primarily health, business, and education. Analysis of qualitative and narrative data is a central focus of days 4 and 5, and will include examples of content analysis, several types of thematic analysis (with a focus on reflexive), narrative analysis, and the use of diagramming and matrix displays for organising and making sense of qualitative data.

Examples of published research will be reviewed across the week, to illustrate the stages of research design, conduct, analysis, and representation. The course is interactive, and participants are encouraged to share their own research plans in working group sessions, to help to progress their own work. If you want any further advice on if this course is right for you, please contact us and we will put you in touch with the instructors.

Day one: Starting Places – How to design a qualitative study, considerations & planning

  • How to design qualitative research: some upfront considerations
  • Principles of working with and for Māori
  • An overview of common features of qualitative research
  • The relationship between the positioning of the researcher and the selection of qualitative research approaches
  • Positioning your research: Do ontology, epistemology, and paradigms really matter? What does this mean for research in Aotearoa?

Day two: How to select design frameworks and methods

  • Developing qualitative research questions. Partnering with our communities to devise useful questions
  • Types of qualitative research and how they fit with research questions
  • The generic qualitative study
  • Grounded Theory, including critical and Kaupapa Māori adaptations
  • Making the case for Case Studies – approaches and key steps
  • Phenomenological and experiential approaches to qualitative research
  • Narrative/biographical approaches

Day three: How to structure data collection – options and opportunities

  • Observation and fieldwork
  • Interviews, both individual and as focus groups
  • Interview types and how to structure and manage the interview process
  • Document Analysis.

Day four: How to analyse qualitative research

  • Sense-making and qualitative research
  • Mapping analysis to purpose and theoretical perspective
  • Principles of qualitative data analysis
  • Examples of each approach – participants will have the opportunity to work through several types of analytical frameworks using "real" data

Day five: How to write up and assess the quality of qualitative research

  • Types of claims (descriptive, interpretive, causal/explanatory) and the required evidence bases
  • Issues of validity, trustworthiness, authenticity, and inference quality
  • Quality criteria in qualitative research – the role of guidelines and checklists
  • Examples of good qualitative research – references and sharing among the group


No pre-reading is required, but the following may prove useful references on the topics covered in the course:

Booth WC, Colomb GG, Williams JM, Bizup J, Fitzgerald WT (2016).
The Craft of Research, 4th Edition. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.

Braun V & Clarke V (2022). Thematic Analysis: A practical guide. London: Sage.

Kvale S & Brinkmann S (2014). InterViews: Learning the Craft of Qualitative Research Interviewing, 3rd Edition. Thousand Oaks: Sage.

Patton MQ (2014). Qualitative Research & Evaluation Methods, 4th Edition. Thousand Oaks: Sage.

Tuhiwai Smith (2021). Decolonizing Methodologies: Research and Indigenous Peoples, 3rd edition. London: Zed Books.

Woods P (2022). Successful Writing for Qualitative Researchers, 3rd Edition. London: Routledge.