9:45am - 4:15pm
Thursday 26 July 2018

Introduction to Qualitative Interviewing

This course provides an introduction to the theory and practice of qualitative interviewing in both academic and applied social research

from £110.00 to £195.00

Rik Medlik Building, Stag Hill, University of Surrey, Guildford, Surrey, GU2 7XH
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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 little formal training; or who wish to reflect on their practice. The course leaders are very experienced social researchers who will draw on their own research as well as established practice within the social sciences; and are happy to answer specific concerns of course participants.

The day combines a brief introduction to theory; 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.

(Please note, the analysis of qualitative interviews is not covered in this course).

Course overview

  • The nature of qualitative research and underlying assumptions
  • What are you worried about / What could possibly go wrong?!
  • The interview process: from recruitment to transcription
  • Real life examples – the good, the bad and the awkward
  • Developing an interview guide – a worked example
  • Practical exercise – developing an interview guide
  • Practical exercise – conducting and observing an interview, and being an interviewee

Learning outcomes

  • By the end of the course participants will
  • Understand the main characteristics of qualitative interview data.
  • Be familiar with the key skills of interviewing, including body language, asking open questions, probing, prompting and active listening.
  • Have an awareness of some of the practical and ethical difficulties that can arise in research using qualitative interviews, and in qualitative interviews themselves.
  • Have gained practical experience of designing an interview guide, carrying out and observing an interview.
  • Have gained valuable experience of what the interview experience is like for interviewees.

Course leader

Sophie Sarre has over 20 years’ experience of research using qualitative interviews. Her broad fields of research are family life and health services. Her wide range of research includes: service evaluation, developing complex interventions, risk perceptions, through to more esoteric research on temporality in the social construction of parenthood and childhood. She has conducted qualitative interviews with numerous social groups including: children, young people, prisoners and sex offenders.

Carrie Dunn is a journalist and researcher who has been combining research, teaching and professional practice since 2005. Her research interests include fandom, sport, feminism and the consumption of popular culture, and recent publications include ‘The Roar of the Lionesses: Women’s Football in England’, nominated as one of the Guardian’s best sports books of 2016.

Entry requirements


Level of study

Entry (no or almost no prior knowledge).


Varies according to status:

  • £195 - Government/commercial sector
  • £150 - Educational/charitable sector 
  • £110 - Students


Tea and coffee will be provided during breaks (lunch is not provided).