Qualitative Researchers Working Group

The Qualitative Researchers Working Group is a researcher-led forum in the UCL Division of Psychiatry that provides a meeting point for researchers to share and explore ideas and techniques in qualitative research. It is run mainly through seminars that encourage an intellectually lively yet supportive atmosphere for discussion, allowing early career and experienced researchers from any academic discipline to present, experiment with, work through and learn about qualitative theory, methods and writing. For 2018, we have included more slots to discuss key themes in qualitative work in a journal club format. We are now running eight one-hour sessions to provide more flexibility for members to attend a number of meetings throughout the year. Sessions will rotate between a journal club format and a working group. The group is also a core part of the cross-faculty UCL Qualitative Researchers Health Network, which hosts larger biennial symposia and further quarterly seminars. Meetings will generally be held on the third Wednesday of the month, from 11.30am-12.30pm in the Seminar Room at Maple House, unless otherwise advised. There will be no meetings in April, August or December in 2018.

Journal Club seminars

These seminars support discussion around qualitative research by setting an issue or problem that encourages the group to examine qualitative methods and practice, interrogate classic qualitative concepts, or critique innovative methods. Generally we will centre discussion on published articles, which are posted on this page and circulated before the meeting.

Working Group seminars

These seminars offer an opportunity for researchers to raise particular aspects of their own work for discussion or support. Materials are usually pre-circulated before meetings to encourage fuller discussions. We encourage researchers to discuss their work at any stage of the research process to support a critical reflection of their approach. Generally, researchers will provide a short overview of the study at the beginning of the session which will be followed by broader discussion of the methodological, ethical and analytical issues that the study raises.

If you would like to present your study at one of the Working Groups in 2018, please contact the Chair for that meeting (or contact any of the chairs if you are flexible with a date). We will update the page as we fill sessions.


The group holds an evolving archive of resources to enable researchers to engage with qualitative research. We keep some books in Division and a list of electronic references. If you would like more information please email us or sign up to our mailing list.

Journal Club 2018, 11.30am-12.30pm

Date Chair Topic Papers
January 17th Kirsten Moore

Examining epistemology

Methods are not simply neutral/value free tools but carry assumptions about what counts as knowledge and what constitutes reality This paper compares two different theoretical frameworks: positivist/post-positivist and interpretivist views of the nature of reality which underpin their respective research methods. This is part 1 of a 2 part paper in manual therapy and the call for a strengthening of qualitative approaches in this discipline. The paper however has broad relevance to health research.

Petty NJ, Thomson OP, Stew G: Ready for a paradigm shift? Part 1: introducing the philosophy of qualitative research. Manual therapy 2012, 17(4):267-274.
March 21st Nuriye Kupeli

Mixed Methods

An increasing number of researchers are adopting a mixed methods approach to scientific enquiry, however there are tensions about how qualitative and quantitative methods should be presented together. This paper compares and contrasts qualitative and quantitative methods by evaluating the similarities and differences between the two approaches. This paper explores and discusses the methods used in research design and data analyses to combine qualitative and quantitative methods in mixed methods studies.

Brannen J. Mixing methods: The entry of qualitative and quantitative approaches into the research process. International journal of social research methodology. 2005 Jul 1;8(3):173-84.
June 20th Henry Llewellyn

Analysis in qualitative research

Analysis is amongst the most confusing, contested and intimidating parts of doing qualitative research and is often something left to the end and with little guidance. There is a dizzying array of methods to choose from each of which privileges certain features, scopes and scales of analysis. These situate themselves along continua of interpretation, validity, reliability, and so on, always aligned (though not always explicitly stated) to particular ways of seeing the world and ideas about how the world is constituted. This seminar will encourage us to think differently about analysis by starting from a simple question: What is analysis and what does it do? In short, this seminar promises no answers or certain routes to analysis (how it is done), but rather make us feel a little more comfortable about its purpose.

September 19th S├ębastien Libert

Questioning observational research and ethnography

Observation is now a common approach to produce data in health research. Through materials, and experiences from the researchers of the working group, this session will be an opportunity to discuss various aspects of this approach and deconstruct its underlying principles and subtle variations. For instance, what is observational? What is ethnographic? What is participant-observation versus non-participant observation? Is the researcher external or internal to the social phenomena he wishes to elucidate? What are the kind of challenges, tensions and ambiguities that emerge in this practice, and how does it influence the data produced?


Discussion Groups 2018, 11.30am-12.30pm

Date Chair Speaker and project title
February 21st Henry Llewellyn TBC
May 16th Nuriye Kupeli TBC
July 18th S├ębastien Libert TBC
October 17th Kirsten Moore TBC


  • Henry Llewellyn
  • Kirsten Moore
  • Nuriye Kupeli
  • Sebastien Libert