Thematic Analysis

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Transcript Thematic Analysis

Teaching qualitative research methods to undergraduates

HEA Psychology Network Workshop 21 st -22 nd April, 2010 York

Thematic analysis

Professor Nigel King Department of Behavioural Sciences University of Huddersfield


Why teach thematic analysis?

Lecture content Practical work Assessment Suggested reading

Why teach thematic analysis?

Basic skill in qualitative research Forms of thematic analysis used in many approaches  IPA  Grounded theory  Some narrative approaches More generally teaches students to look closely and carefully at text

Lecture content

Define thematic analysis, which means defining “theme” 

“Themes are recurrent and distinctive features of participants’ accounts, characterising particular perceptions and/or experiences, which the researcher sees as relevant to the research question” (King & Horrocks, 2010, p.150)

Acknowledge variation in the approach Emphasis skills of careful and open reading Take through worked example

Practical work

 Essential that students do some hands-on work if to grasp what thematic analysis involves  Provide short transcript(s), and clear step-by-step guide to task  Scale of task can be set to time available  May be stand-alone session, or extend over several sessions  May run on from interviewing and transcribing practicals


 Works well as an assessment task  Students well-prepared through worked example and own practical session(s)  Can encourage reflection on process as part of assignment  Keep amount of text manageable  e.g. approx 6 sides (double spaced) for assessment weighted 50% on 20 credit module

Suggested reading

Braun, V. & Clarke, V. (2006) Using thematic analysis in psychology.

Qualitative Research in Psychology

, 3: 77-101.

King, N. & Horrocks, C. (2010)

Interviews in Qualitative Research.

London: Sage. (chapter 9) Langdridge, D. (2004)

Introduction to Research Methods and Data Analysis in Psychology.

Harlow: Pearson Education. (chapter 14)