Qualitative Observational Studies
Duration 0.5 days
Training Units 1.0
Team Researcher Academy

Target Audience: Postgraduate research students and research staff in the Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences only

Course description: 

Qualitative observational studies are very different from the category of observational studies (non-experimental research designs) used in epidemiology, nor are they like the clinical observation of a patient. Qualitative Observational Studies involve the systematic, detailed observation of behaviour and talk: watching and recording what people do and say.  The qualitative researcher systematically watches people and events to find out about behaviours and interactions in natural settings. 

Qualitative Observation studies can help to overcome the discrepancy between what people say and what they actually do. Observational methods are particularly well suited to the study of the working of organisations and how the people within them perform their functions. It may also uncover behaviours or routines of which the participants themselves may be unaware. 

Aims: To give an overview of the different types of observational study


By the end of the session you will:

  • Know the 4 different types of observational methods

  • Be able to identify which type of observational method is appropriate in a given situation

  • Know different ways of recording data from observations

  • Understand the barriers and benefits of using qualitative observational methods in Health Services Research

  • To have a brief understanding of how to analyse and present your data


Booking Guidelines

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 pg-training@nottingham.ac.uk). This 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. 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.

Course dates for 2019/20 will be published in early October 2019.  If there are no dates listed below then the instance(s) of the course has (have) already taken place for 2019/20 academic year.



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