Interviewing and Qualitative Data Analysis

The details
Colchester Campus
Postgraduate: Level 7
Monday 15 January 2024
Friday 22 March 2024
21 July 2023


Requisites for this module



Key module for

MA M90012 Criminology,
MODPL200MB Modular Postgraduate: Government (Module Based),
MODPL300MB Modular Postgraduate: Sociology (Module Based),
MSC C80612 Research Methods in Psychology,
MA L30112 Sociological Research Methods,
MPHDML9048 Criminology,
PHD ML9048 Criminology,
MPHDC80048 Psychology,
PHD C80048 Psychology,
MSOCM999 Criminology,
MSOCMX98 Criminology (Including Placement Year),
MSOCMX99 Criminology (Including Year Abroad),
MSCIC998 Psychology with Advanced Research Methods,
MSCICB98 Psychology with Advanced Research Methods (Including Placement Year),
MSCICB99 Psychology with Advanced Research Methods (Including Year Abroad)

Module description

This module gives students a practical grounding in the most widely used qualitative research technique in the social sciences – the interview. It systematically guides students through the research processes specific to a qualitative interview project, from research design through to conducting interviews, analysing them and writing up the findings. Ethical issues and power differentials in the field are addressed throughout the module in relation to the topics addressed. The module gives students the opportunity to gain practical experience in how to design and conduct a qualitative interview, both online and offline and to reflect on the politics of representing and interpreting 'others'. For their main assessed assignment students will conduct an in-depth interview, and write an essay reflecting on it.

The module begins with an overview of the key principles and theoretical assumptions underlying the qualitative interview before moving onto the practicalities of setting up an interview research project. Students will be asked to collectively devise an interview guide, test out this guide and then conduct an in-depth interview. Using the qualitative data analysis software NVivo, we introduce techniques for analysing interview data before we conclude with top tips on writing up interview research.

As an applied qualitative interviewing and analysis module, sessions will be face to face and last for two hours. The sessions will consist of lectures, practical application of methods and reflective exercises.

Module aims

This module aims:

- To take students through the qualitative research process including choosing appropriate methods, interviewing and analysis.
- To experience the process of conducting and analysing qualitative interviews.
- To give an overview of different approaches to qualitative data analysis.
- To develop reflective writing skills by reflecting on the process of learning and doing qualitative research.
- To equip students with the skills to tackle a qualitative study of their own in the future (either online or offline).

Module learning outcomes

By the end of the course, students should understand the principles behind and practicalities of doing a research project based on qualitative interviews.

Module information

Topic 1 - week 16: Introduction to Qualitative Interviewing
Topic 2 - week 17: Planning your research project: Ethics, Positionality, Reflexivity
Topic 3 - week 18: Key qualitative interviewing skills
Topic 4 - week 19: Writing interview guides and transcription
Topic 5 - week 20: Varieties of qualitative interview

Reading week – week 21

Topic 6 - week 22: Reflecting on the interview process: Peer review of interviews
Topic 7 - week 23: Qualitative Data analysis: developing a coding frame
Topic 8 - week 24: Working with NVivo
Topic 9 - week 25: Writing up Qualitative research and reflecting on the research process.

Our core text will be:

Morgan Brett, B. & Wheeler, K. (2021) How to do Qualitative Interviewing, London: Sage

Additional and weekly readings can be found on the TALIS reading list.

Learning and teaching methods

Learning and Teaching methods Most modules at postgraduate level in Sociology are taught as a 2hr seminar. Most classes, labs and seminars will be taught face-to-face (assuming social distancing allows this). Please note that you should be spending up to ten hours per week undertaking your own private study (reading, preparing for classes or assignments, etc.) on each of your modules (e.g. 30 hours in total for three 20--credit modules). This module [SC520] will include a range of activities to help you and your teachers to check your understanding and progress. These are: * Practical application of the methods presented in the readings and lectures. * Computer lab workshops to learn how to use qualitative analysis software * Group discussions on the key readings. * Group work to aid reflective learning through the research process. * Reflective essay writing. Students have a chance to ask questions and learn from their experience. You are strongly encouraged to attend the seminars as they provide an opportunity to talk with your class teacher and other students. The seminars will be captured and available via Listen Again. However, if you want to gain the most you can from these seminars it is very important that you attend and engage. Please note that the recording of seminars is at the discretion of the teacher. .


The above list is indicative of the essential reading for the course.
The library makes provision for all reading list items, with digital provision where possible, and these resources are shared between students.
Further reading can be obtained from this module's reading list.

Assessment items, weightings and deadlines

Coursework / exam Description Deadline Coursework weighting
Coursework   Annotated transcript of 45-minute interview, with a 500-word reflective statement  06/03/2024  30% 
Coursework   Essay  10/04/2024  70% 

Exam format definitions

  • Remote, open book: Your exam will take place remotely via an online learning platform. You may refer to any physical or electronic materials during the exam.
  • In-person, open book: Your exam will take place on campus under invigilation. You may refer to any physical materials such as paper study notes or a textbook during the exam. Electronic devices may not be used in the exam.
  • In-person, open book (restricted): The exam will take place on campus under invigilation. You may refer only to specific physical materials such as a named textbook during the exam. Permitted materials will be specified by your department. Electronic devices may not be used in the exam.
  • In-person, closed book: The exam will take place on campus under invigilation. You may not refer to any physical materials or electronic devices during the exam. There may be times when a paper dictionary, for example, may be permitted in an otherwise closed book exam. Any exceptions will be specified by your department.

Your department will provide further guidance before your exams.

Overall assessment

Coursework Exam
100% 0%


Coursework Exam
100% 0%
Module supervisor and teaching staff
Dr Katy Wheeler, email:
Dr Katy Wheeler



External examiner

Dr Umut Erel
Open University
Senior Lecturer
Available via Moodle
Of 10 hours, 10 (100%) hours available to students:
0 hours not recorded due to service coverage or fault;
0 hours not recorded due to opt-out by lecturer(s), module, or event type.


Further information

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