Qualitative Interviewing

Years: 1,2,3


This session will consider three different types of interviewing (structured, semi-structured and unstructured), but with a particular focus on semi-structured or 'qualitative' interviewing. Other issues covered will include the nature of interview questions, the design and structure of an effective interview schedule and the mechanics of conducting a successful interview (with different people and to deliver on our research aims). The idea is to share experiences, knowledge and potential 'tricks-of-the-trade'. Time will be allowed for raising questions and/or issues pertinent to your own PhD studies.

Access Instructions

Bookings for these online courses are via: https://bookwhen.com/ueaonlinetraining

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

Brilliantly insightful session - your anecdotes/examples revealed many hidden gems that I haven't noted from the methodological literature. I'm certainly more confident in how to approach this now. Thanks so very much (Univ. of East Anglia; Law).

Thanks for answering so many of my questions. Your examples of what you and your students have done to deal with practical issues have been really helpful…in shaping my [own] approach and giving me confidence about some of the decisions I have made so far. I'm looking forward to looking up the references you provided - really helpful (Kent).

Thank you again for Wednesday's session, it was really helpful. I learned lots in the two hours and I [now] feel much better prepared for tackling my elite interviews (East Anglia; Creative Writing).

The session has been brilliant, thank you so much! It's helped to clarify lots of grey areas for me, like the difference between group interviews and focus groups, and to distinguish between different types of interview…It also helped me to relax about how I carry out the interviews - that there's no right or wrong and that I'm doing alright - phew! Thanks again (Reading).

Thanks a lot - that was really helpful. I liked how you went into detail on some issues that I've only heard about superficially in other contexts – especially prompts/follow-up questions and how to structure the interview schedule (Kent).


  • Simon Watts

    Dr Simon Watts is a Postgraduate Research Training Coordinator for the Faculty of Social Sciences in University of East Anglia.  He teaches the majority of the sessions on the UEA Online Training Series which are open to Ulster PhD Researchers as part of the overall Researcher Development Programme. The Online Training Series offers research and professional training skills training for PhD Researchers in a ‘live-taught’ online format.  Training session are delivered via a virtual classroom on Tuesday evenings between 7pm-9pm.

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