Introduction to Qualitative Research Methods

This interactive workshop will provide a short introduction to the use of qualitative research methods. It will include the purpose and essential characteristics of qualitative research, key criteria in choosing to use a qualitative approach, and the key stages of data collection, analysis and presentation. You will be briefly introduced to a range of qualitative data collection methods, including interviews, focus groups, observation, documents and visual data. You will work with samples of these in discussing the validity and reliability of qualitative data.

The workshop will examine:

·  An overview of qualitative designs

· The link between research question and a method

·  An overview of frequently used qualitative data collection methods

·  A brief introduction to non-probability sampling

·  Conducting a semi-structured interview

·  How to write a methodology chapter in a qualitative doctoral dissertation


  • Dr Paul Joseph-Richard

    Paul is a Lecturer in Human Resource Management at Ulster Business School. He is the Course Director for the BSc Management and Leadership Development programme.  He is teaching on Undergraduate and Postgraduate taught programmes. Paul holds an MBA in HRM, an M.A. in Psychology, and a PhD in Leadership Development, from Queens’ University Belfast.  Paul's research seeks to extend our understanding of leadership development, programme evaluation, research-informed teaching, qualitative research methods and higher education pedagogy. He is a Senior Fellow of Higher Education Academy and a Chartered Member of CIPD.  He has published his research in prestigious academic journals such as Studies in Higher Education and British Educational Research Journal.  Prior to joining Ulster University, Paul taught in Solent University and Queens’ University Belfast and had a successful career in a Software Company and in the NHS where he developed leadership capabilities in individuals and teams.

    Externally, Paul serves as the Co-Track Chair of the British Academy of Management Special Interest Group in Leadership and Leadership Development, since 2014. He is an external examiner for HRM and Research Methods modules offered for Masters programmes at the University of Northampton.  As a certified coach, he has carried out over 10 consultancy assignments with large British organisations and leads a consulting practice that offers psychometric assessment and leadership development services in the UK and beyond.  Paul uses the British Psychological Society’s code of ethics for all of his work with his clients.

The Vitae Researcher Development Framework

This session maps on to Domain A of the Vitae Framework: Knowledge and intellectual abilities which includes the sub-domain areas of:

  • A1: Knowledge base
  • A2: Cognitive abilities
  • A3: Creativity
The Vitae Researcher Development Framework