Qualitative Interviews

Institution: see Organisers & Supporters

Programme of study: International Research Workshop

Lecturer: Betina Hollstein (University of Bremen) & Laura Behrmann (University of Bremen)

Date: Monday, 28/09/15 (09:00 – 18:00) – Tuesday, 29/09/15 (09:00  – 12:00)

Max. number of participants: 20

Credit Points: 5 CP for participating in the whole IRWS

Language of instruction: English


Qualitative interviews are often used in empirical social research. Sometimes they are part of the preparatory stage of a study. Sometimes qualitative interviews (e.g. expert interviews) are a major data source. The course will focus on theory and practice of qualitative interviews, i.e. methodological foundations and practical considerations when conducting qualitative interviews.

The course starts out with a brief overview on the specific characteristics of qualitative data and methods. We will discuss problems and challenges associated with qualitative interviewing and different ways to deal with these challenges. We will address different types of qualitative interviews (expert interviews, guided interviews, narrative interview), by highlighting the strengths and weaknesses of each approach and discussing the crucial steps when preparing and conducting qualitative interviews. Finally, we will discuss how to get access to the field, ways of data management and different strategies for data analysis.

Basic knowledge on methods of empirical social research is required. No previous knowledge on qualitative methods necessary.


  • Flick, Uwe & Ernst von Kardoff, Ines Steinke (2004): A Companion to Qualitative Research. SAGE Publications. (Esp. p. 3-11; 203-208, 209–213)
  • Robert S. Weiss (1994): Learning From Strangers: The Art and Method of Qualitative Interview Studies. Free Press.

You have to register for the 9th International Research Workshop to participate in this course.