Research Methods

Ways to Collect Data

Qualitative research

Qualitative methods collect non-numerical data and related categories (themes). They can enable you to find out the 'What?', 'When', 'Where', 'How?' and 'Why?' behind numbers and can provide a greater understanding of findings from quantitative research methods. They generate rich in-depth data from a relatively small number of people but cannot provide numbers so should not be used when numbers are required.

Quantitative research

Quantitative methods collect numerical data that can be used in statistical analysis. Research questions are in a specific order and enable information to be collected in a uniform manner. Although quantitative research generally involves larger sample sizes than qualitative research it is still the case that a relatively small numbers of people are questioned so it is important to ensure that the sample size is large enough to produce meaningful results.

Please refer to the following separate guides on specific methods: