A Comparison of Qualitative Methods

Years: 1,2,3


This session will compare and contrast the aims, data collection preferences, analytic style, limitations and appropriate usage of four different qualitative methods - grounded theory, thematic analysis, interpretative phenomenological analysis and narrative analysis – in order to identify the types of research questions to which each method is best suited. The possibility of conducting by-person or case analyses using qualitative data will also be considered.

Access Instructions

Bookings for these online courses are via Bookwhen.

The demand for these courses is high and you are advised to book your place as soon as the booking system goes live.

Information on the booking dates will be circulated by email.

Indicative Student Feedback for this Session

This lecture on comparing qualitative methods has been outstanding in creating several light bulb moments for me…You have clarified complex academic processes to make the approach less intimidating [and] more practical and approachable for a novice researcher.
- Univ. of East Anglia; Medicine

This has been really useful. I have done six sessions of a qualitative methodologies course before joining your session and feel clearer after tonight. Thank you.
- Sussex

I found the grounded theory section really helpful, especially points such as ‘listen to the data’ and the need for a ‘data led process’, which I hardly take notice of if they’re mentioned in a paper or book. Again, thanks for such an insightful session.

Thanks very much. You really flagged up the key differences very well, which is not always easy to pick up from the papers.
- Royal Holloway

This session was a real myth buster, particularly for grounded theory and IPA. I wasn't aware of the different strands in grounded theory and IPA seems less complex the way you explained it. Great session, thanks a lot
- Surrey

A nice introduction to qualitative methods for a 1st year PhD still working out what direction I'm going in!
- Kent

The session really added to my understanding of the types of qualitative methods that I can apply to my research. It was coherently delivered using a comparative method. Thanks very much!
- Goldsmiths

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