Summer 2015 brought together 150 novice and experienced researchers, postgraduate students and professional practitioners to Kingston University for a week of intensive qualitative research study and discussion. Delegates came from the US, Portugal, Spain, Greece and all over the UK.
The programme, supported by British Psychological Society's Social Psychology Section and Qualitative Methods in Psychology Section, offered an opportunity for participants to enrich their skills and tackle the principles of qualitative research in a practical, hands-on way.
Delegates could choose from 18 day-long workshops and could attend for either one day through to a full week. Topics covered the whole span of the research process from design through to writing up. Content included different approaches to qualitative analysis, research with particular groups such as children, market research, and technical tools for qualitative research.
Workshop leaders included the summer school organisers in Kingston's School of Psychology, Criminology and Sociology, Professors Evanthia Lyons and Professor Adrian Coyle, alongside colleagues Dr Jess Prior and Dr Katie Appleford. They were joined by more than 20 academics and experts who facilitated workshops, including Dr Michael Larkin from the University of Birmingham; as well as Professor Anna Madill, University of Leeds and Dr Nick Hopkins, University of Dundee who gave keynote addresses.
The week's programme also included two consultation clinics where participants could get expert advice on your current and future research.
The summer school was facilitated by staff in Kingston University's Business and Enterprise Centre who organised all logistics and assisted attendees with everything from accommodation, catering, booking their flights home and picking them up when they got lost! Feedback has been extremely positive and we hope to repeat the programme in 2016.
"This was a mind-blowing summer school – very, very useful. Each individual workshop was designed well structurally. The networking and keynote speeches were so useful too," said Yasin Koc, Sussex University.
"The course was superb and had a really great buzz to it. I'll definitely be using this is in my work; there was the right blend of academic and practical learning. The venue was great, the food was good too and the staff really went out of their way to make our time enjoyable," said Sarah, market insight manager.