FASS637 Qualitative Research Interviews - Methods and Practice

Module description

These two sessions offer an opportunity to reflect in depth on the practice of conducting qualitative research interviews.  Session 1 briefly sets out a theoretical backdrop to understanding approaches to qualitative interviews. An ethics and ethical practice framework to interviewing is outlined before considering such areas as interview structure, question style and preparation. A group exercise provides the opportunity to work on question sequence and interview schedule structure.

In Session 2, we look at interview recruitment, preparation, equipment and managing the interview. Alongside these more practical matters, there will be the chance to think about recruiting ‘hard to reach’ and vulnerable people, asking sensitive questions and considering the needs of interview participants. There is a brief introduction to the use of computer software tools for interview data management and coding.  

Reading list

The books listed below are just a few of the many books available on interviews. I would also suggest you read some interview-based research in an area of interest to you. The long interview extracts and analysis in Bourdieu (1999) are unusual and very valuable for those trying to get a grasp of how interviews work in a social science context.

Alvesson, M. (2010). Interpreting interviews. London: Sage.

Bourdieu, P. et al. (1999). The weight of the world: social suffering in contemporary society (trans Ferguson P.P.). Cambridge: Polity Press.

Busher, H. & Nalita, J. (2009).Online interviewing. London: Sage.

Danby, S., Ewing, L. & Thorpe, K. (2011) The novice researcher: interviewing young children. Qualitative Inquiry, 17 (1), 74-4.

Edwards, R. & Holland, J. (2013). What is Qualitative Interviewing? London: Bloomsbury Academic

Garton, S. & Copland, F. (2010). 'I like this interview; I can get cake and cats!': The effect of prior relationships on interview talk. Qualitative Research, 10(5), 533-551.

Hughes, R. (2009) The strengths and weaknesses of telephone interviews. European Journal of Palliative Care, 16(2), 87-89

King, N. & Horrocks, C. (2010). Interviewing in Qualitative Research. Los Angeles, California, Sage.

Kvale, S. (2007). Doing Interviews. London, Sage.

Kvale, S. & Brinkmann, S. (2009). Inteviews: learning the craft of qualitative interviewing.(2nd ed.) Thousand Oaks (California): Sage.

Lee, R. & Esterhuizen, L. (2000). Computer software and qualitative analysis: Trends, issues and resources. International Journal of Social Research Methodology. 3 (3)231-243

Silver, C. & Lewins, A. (2014) Using Software in Qualitative Research: A Step-by-Step Guide. London: Sage Publications.

Tang, N. (2002). Interviewer and Interviewee Relationships Between Women. Sociology, 36, 703-721.

Timing and Location




29/05/18 - 05/06/18

Number of sessions:

2 x 2 hour sessions

Timing and Location:

2.00-4.00, Tuesdays, Bowland North Seminar Room 02


Additional information

Minimum quota: 6

This module repeats the two sessions in FASS510 on Interviewing in Qualitative Research.  Students who have attended those two sessions should not also take FASS637.