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Focus groups are increasingly used in qualitative research as a method for exploring people’s experiences of specific topics. This one-day training course, delivered in Oxford, will help participants to develop skills in organising and facilitating focus groups, and in analysing focus group data. Practical exercises and small group work will be used throughout the course to develop competence in designing topic guides, moderating focus groups and analysing data.

This course is suitable for those with little or no understanding of running a focus group, as well as those wishing to review and broaden their existing skills. While it is aimed at the needs of health professionals, researchers, academics and postgraduate students, the skills developed here apply to many settings  - so everyone is welcome, regardless of their research or professional background.


The course will include:

  • an overview of focus groups as a qualitative research method,
  • key stages in organising and conducting focus groups,
  • approaches to analysing focus group data. 

Feedback sessions will help improve understanding and provide opportunities for participants to relate the course to their own research projects.


By the end of the course participants will have developed knowledge and skills to:

  • discuss the use of focus groups as a qualitative research method,
  • identify the key stages in organising and conducting focus groups,
  • explain the role of the moderator in facilitating focus groups,
  • design a topic guide,
  • moderate a focus group,
  • analyse focus group data.