This session provides an introduction to the key characteristics of qualitative research. The session provides a description of the key differences between qualitative and quantitative research, and how each technique can be used in complementary ways within a research project. It also introduces the core techniques used within qualitative research, most of which are explored in greater detail in subsequent sessions.

Overall by the end of the session users should be able to:

  • Describe key characteristics of qualitative methods
  • Discuss the ways in which qualitative and quantitative research can complement each other
  • Recognize core techniques used within qualitative research

You can download the powerpoint here.

Recommended reading:

Jones, R. (1995) Why do qualitative research? BMJ 311: 1-2

Lingard, L. Albert, M. & Levinson, W. (2008) Grounded theory, mixed methods, and action research BMJ (337): 459-461

Mack et al (2005) Qualitative Research Methods Overview (Module 1). In Qualitative Research Methods: A Data Collector’s Field Guide

Ritchie & Lewis (2003) The Applications of Qualitative Methods to Social Research (Chapter 2). In Qualitative Research Practice: A Guide for Social Science Students and Researchers