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Introduction to Qualitative Interviewing

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Introduction to Qualitative Interviewing

This course provides an introduction to the theory and practice of qualitative interviewing in both academic and applied social research. The course is primarily designed for researchers with little or no experience of qualitative interviewing. It will also be useful for more experienced researchers who have had little formal training or who wish to reflect on their practice. The course leader is an experienced social researcher who will draw on her own research as well as established practice within the social sciences.


Students £255

Education and charitable sector applicants £310

Government and commercial sector applicants £435



Course Code

Intro to Qualitative Interviewing

Course Leader

Dr Sarah Earthy
Course Description

The day includes a brief introduction to qualitative research and different types of interviews; the purpose of the interview discussion guide; practical tips on recruiting, sampling and carrying out qualitative interviews; and practical exercises on developing an interview guide and carrying out a qualitative interview. We will explore a variety of ethical issues as they arise in discussion. The course leader will be happy to address specific queries raised by course participants either during the sessions or in the breaks.

Please note: this course does not cover the analysis of qualitative interview data.

Learning outcomes

  • To understand the nature of qualitative research and the place of in-depth interviews within qualitative research.
  • To become familiar with the idea of qualitative interviews as ‘guided conversations’ (Lofland & Lofland, 1995).
  • To be able to design an interview discussion guide for a qualitative interview.
  • To be able to reflect on what constitutes good practice in qualitative interviewing.
  • To understand ethical aspects of qualitative interviewing.


Course content

  • The nature of qualitative research and underlying assumptions.
  • Different types of interview.
  • The interview process including different types of question and discussion tools.
  • Developing an interview discussion guide.
  • Practical exercises involving the development of an interview discussion guide and pilot interviews.
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