Doing Focus Group Research
Duration 0.5 days
Training Units 2.0
Team Researcher Academy

This face to face course is run by the Researcher Academy 

The Researcher Academy courses are very popular and the majority are run in both semesters to give you the opportunity to attend at a time of the year that suits you. Semester 1 courses will be available for booking from the second week of October and Semester 2 courses from the second week of February. 

As the title says, you will be doing focus groups in this session. This practical workshop is an opportunity to practice, observe and reflect on the skills of doing a focus group. You are expected to already have theoretical knowledge (See Below).

Process: This is a practical workshop where you will apply your pre-existing knowledge of focus group research.

You will find example reading material below (available through UoN Online Catalogue). You can choose your own texts if you have a preferred author or want to understand your own disciplinary focus. The important thing is that you have done a lot of focussed reading, thinking and planning before attending this practical session as you will be putting your knowledge into practice in this session. General themes such as ‘shopping’ or ‘postgrad life’ will be used during the workshop to develop your skills in facilitating focus groups.

Learning Outcomes:

By the end of this session you will have:

  • Reflected on and shared your theoretical knowledge of focus group research
  • Facilitated and observed short focus groups in action
  • Engaged in practical activities to extend your range and style of questioning in focus group research

Examples of appropriate reading:

Doing focus groups. Rosaline Barbour.

Rosaline S Barbour London : Sage 2007

Focus groups in social research [electronic resource]. Michael Bloor ... [et al.].

London : SAGE 2001
Full text available online

 Focus groups in social research. Michael Bloor ... [et al.].

London : SAGE 2001

 Social research methods / Alan Bryman.

5th ed. Oxford : Oxford University Press 2016

 Qualitative research: issues of theory, method and practice / edited by David Silverman.

3rd ed. London : SAGE c2011

 Using focus groups to understand experiences of health and illness.

Kitzinger, Jenny

Oxford University Press 2013

Understanding and Using Health Experiences, Chapter 6

Booking Conditions 

Privacy Statement 

The Researcher Academy is committed to protecting the privacy of researchers who register for our training courses and events. Your completion of the booking process shall constitute your consent to the collection, use and disclosure of your personal data to University staff and external partners responsible for the delivery of the course or event for which you have registered.  Personal information shared includes; name, role/position, mode of study, School/Department, dietary and accessibility requirements. 

Latecomer policy 

Researchers should plan to arrive prior to the advertised course start time. Except for exceptional reasons, there will be no admittance to a researcher academy or Faculty Training Programme (FTP) course 15 minutes after the advertised course start time. 

Importance of booking commitment 

When booking on to a Researcher Academy short course you are entering into a commitment to attend. If you find that you are no longer available to attend you MUST cancel your place (on the system if more than three days before the course) or if at short notice by emailing will ensure that your place can be offered to another researcher on the waiting list. Failure to cancel a place results in other researchers missing out on places through the waiting list process. 

It is unacceptable for researchers to just not attend when booked onto a course. The Researcher Academy maintains records of those who repeatedly do not attend courses they have booked. This may affect future eligibility to book onto further Researcher Academy courses and will affect considerations for Researcher Academy funded opportunities. 



You should already have theoretical knowledge of the following:

  • Strengths and weaknesses of the method
  • Limitations of the method, or reasons for choosing to use focus groups (or not)
  • Good practice in setting up and conducting focus groups

Before enrolling on this course you should have read extensively on qualitative methods. As a minimum you should have spent time considering your research in the light of reading basic research texts and texts that focus specifically on Focus Group methodology. Do not attend if you have not done this.
Web Notes


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