Foundations of Qualitative Methodologies, Data Collection and Analysis (3-Day)

This is an introductory course designed for the individual with limited or no previous experience with qualitative techniques of data collection and analysis.


Level 1 - runs over 3 days
Emeritus Professor Carol Grbich is a Social Epidemiologist from Flinders University, South Australia.  Her previous appointments were in the School of Behavioural Health Sciences at Latrobe University and in the School of Education at Monash University. She is an experienced researcher and teacher of qualitative research and is the author of 7 qualitative textbooks including; Qualitative Research in Health: An introduction (Allen and Unwin and Sage International, 1999); New Approaches in Social Research (London Sage publications, 2004) and Qualitative Data Analysis (London Sage Publications, 2013). Carol has supervised 50 doctoral students to successful completion, 25 of whom are now full Professors in Australian and overseas universities. She was the foundation Editor of one of the two International Journals whose focus is on mixed research methods and is the recipient of over $80 million in research grants.
About this course: 

The aim of this course is to give you an accessible and comprehensive coverage of the current state of qualitative research, especially with regard to paradigms, methodologies and techniques of both data collection and analysis.  The course will combine lectures and practical 'workshops'. Time will also be set aside during the breaks for participants to discuss their own research.

The target audience for this course is those who would like to become more familiar with qualitative research techniques, from postgraduate university students and staff to researchers in government and private organisations.

Course syllabus: 

Topics scheduled are:

Day 1
Introductory session. Outline of the course and identification of participants’ research interests and expectations. Framing. Theoretical underpinnings from positivism through to  post post modernism and performative research. Types of qualitative methodologies: issues of qualitative design: sampling; triangulation; validity, reliability and ethics will be covered.


Day 2
Interviewing. Casual and formal techniques of face to face interviewing (access, rapport, recording, and question design). Data storage: transcribing interviews, preliminary data analysis, recursive techniques of data collection. Workshop on face to face interviewing. Group interviews – Nominal, Delphi and Focus groups.


Day 3
Focus group practice and participant observation techniques. Thematic analysis and developing a coding system.  Computer management. Data display and criteria for assessment of good qualitative research


Course format: 

This course will take place in a classroom. No equipment is required.


Recommended Background: 

There are no prerequisites for this course

Recommended Texts: 

The instructor's bound, book length course notes will serve as the course text.


Other reading:

  • Grbich, C., Qualitative Data Analysis London: Sage International, 2013.
  • Grbich, C. New Approaches in Social Research. London: Sage Publications 2004
  • Denzin, N., and Y. Lincoln, Handbooks of Qualitative Research, California: Sage,. various versions, various years of publication.
  • Minichiello, V., R. Aroni, E. Timewell, and L. Alexander, In-Depth Interviewing: Researching People, (2nd ed), Melbourne: Longman Cheshire, 2008.

Q: Do I have to have had any qualitative or quantative research experience to do this course?
A: No, this is an introductory course and no prior knowledge is required


Q: Has the name of this course changed?
A: This course was previously a 5 day course known as Foundations of Qualitative methodologies, Data collection and Analysis

Participant feedback: 

Very useful on gaining knowledge on techniques and how to gather data. Very relevant to my research. (Summer 2020)


The lecturer’s knowledge of the subject matter was impressive and her stories/experiences helped contextulise our understanding of the matter. There are a lot of resources provided which is very helpful. (Winter 2019)


A good introduction to a method of research I know little about. A guide as to what I need to learn about and source to explore. Encouraging, informative, stimulating. (Summer 2019)


Fantastic mix of theory & practice. It really solidified the concept. (Summer 2019)


Course targeted my needs. I wanted practical information & strategies, insight into problems/problem solving (Winter 2017)


Great balance of presentation, discussions, small group work and hands-on activities. Lots of practical examples. I loved hearing about the instructor’s (Carol)’s own long & varied experience. (Summer 2017)


The data collection and analysis focusing on interviews and observation was highly relevant to my research. I'm currently running my PhD proposal and found the very helpful for study design development. (Spring 2016)


This course allowed me to get exposure & practice qualitative research skills. I particularly enjoyed the focus group scenario. (Summer 2016)



The instructor's bound, book length course notes will serve as the course text.