Focus Groups, the Social Research Association

The course attended was ‘Focus Groups’ – it took place at the Apex Hotel in Edinburgh for one day in May 2015.

From Lindsay’s Perspective

As focus groups form part of the studies result generation we identified that training would be needed in this area. Although we had done in-depth interview training we appreciated that the logistics and dynamics of a focus group were very different and this required a different skill set. So…we set off to Edinburgh for a one day session delivered by the SRA on focus group training.

This was a really useful course; the trainer had a lot of knowledge and experience of focus groups being able to give examples and ‘real life’ examples to help contextualise and explain the information provided on the slides. Although there was some didactic teaching this was interspersed with various exercises, of which we had to take part in at least one of them – this helped to utilise and consider how the information provided was used.

Overall, a good course – lots to learn and also very practical and hands on.

From Gemma’s Perspective

I really enjoyed this course as I haven’t got any experience of running focus groups. I volunteered to facilitate the mock focus group with the whole class watching, but it was great to get the feedback from the course facilitator afterwards which I wouldn’t have got if I hadn’t volunteered. There were some useful materials given out which I’ve used for reference since. The same as with the NatCen course, the training was very experienced and knowledgeable and this came across in the delivery of the day.

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:

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