Qual Essentials

A DIY guide to the essential stages of qualitative research. This section takes you through a qualitative research project from start to finish, with tips and advice from our arts partners.

What is qualitative research?
playing music with unusually created instruments.
  • the nature of qualitative research
  • the benefits of a qualitative approach
  • when to consider qualitative research
What are you trying to find out?
A group of people networking inside traditional building.
  • identifying your research need
  • the research brief and what it should include
  • developing your research question
Who should you talk to?
John Harris talking about recruiting a sample.
  • identifying who you want to talk to – your sample
  • recruiting your sample
  • incentives
Choosing your approach
Old sweeping brush propped against box of pamphlets.
  • your research question and your research capacity as elements that determine the approach
  • which methods are suitable for different situations
  • creative approaches
Qualitative methods
Bottles of brightly coloured printing ink on a shelf.
  • topic guides
  • focus groups
  • in-depth interviews
  • facilitation
  • observation and informal interactions
Interpreting your findings
Industrial workshop space.
  • verbatim transcripts
  • how to approach analysis
  • identifying key themes that emerge from your transcripts
Artist creating sculpture at workbench.
  • tailoring your report to its audience
  • different types of reporting and what to include
  • defending your research
Acting on your research
Christopher Glasgow talking about using research results.
  • acting and building on research findings
  • how organisations have used qualitative research outcomes to make positive changes
  • developing a research habit and a bank of research
Research conduct and ethics
Young people studying at desks.
  • your responsibilities as a researcher
  • taking care of those involved in your research