Qualitative Research Methods in Health, Warwick University
The course attended was ‘Qualitative Research Methods in Health’ – it took place at Warwick University and lasted for 5 days in January 2015.
From Lindsay’s Perspective
As a newcomer to qualitative research, with no previous experience or knowledge in this area I found the course very useful. It provided a good overview of what qualitative research is, covering various research methods, interview skills, data analysis, ethics and PPI involvement. The week was well organised with pre-reading and information sent prior to the first day of the course.
The course was five full days, with a number of different staff teaching the content; this was beneficial as it exposed you to different experiences/approaches to qualitative research. Overall, it was a good course, providing a breadth of information; especially for myself it gave me a basic knowledge to start building on. The course allows you to develop knowledge and gain an appreciation for how qualitative research can be carried out, however, if you are looking for specific, more in depth skills then this probably isn’t the course for you!
Practically, it was a relatively long distance to travel for the course, however, we were able to stay on the University campus, which was reasonably priced, it was a short walk from where the course was being held making it convenient. Located in and nearby the accommodation were places to get food/drinks, the rooms had free Wi-Fi (always a plus!) and were comfortable with en-suite facilities.
From Gemma’s Perspective
I spent most of the first part of the week covering material that I already had learned as part of my training to conduct my MSc project. However, the second part of the week was much more interesting. Whilst the content wasn’t relevant necessarily to the EMULSION study, it was useful for me to think about other potential future projects. This included thinking about the development of patient reported outcome measures (PROMs), ethnographic methods, realist evaluation and discourse analysis. In hindsight, the first session on qualitative synthesis from published literature was also helpful.
The delivery of the course was generally good with plenty of application exercises between the formal teaching sessions. The health services slant was also very helpful. Most of these methodologies have been developed in the sociological sciences field and some can be difficult to contextualise into a health setting so that aspect of the course was very helpful.
The other aspect that I liked, which I have liked about all of our qualitative research training but was particularly pronounced with this course due to the longer duration, is the opportunity to talk to other researchers. To find out what their research questions are, the methodologies they’ve chosen to use and why, their research experience so far and basically to be nosy (or nebby as they say here in the North East)! I love this aspect to all training but something like this where you get to spend a week with a wide diversity of other researchers (and their projects) really helps stimulate my own thoughts about research and its use in health, and in my case in pharmacy.
However, if like me you’ve already covered quite a lot of ground in qualitative methodology then some advice from an experienced qualitative researcher (for example Lyn!) and some more focused training might serve you better.
Here is a link to the course we attended:
A useful database for all research methods training, including qualitative methods training can be found here: