Training Courses and Events for the National Centre for Research Methods

As a new Senior Fellow of the National Centre for Research Methods (NCRM) Dr Kahryn Hughes will be commissioning cutting edge training in qualitative research methods, particularly Qualitative Secondary Analysis and Qualitative Longitudinal research methods for all UK social scientists for the next five years.

Ongoing dates and details of this training will appear below.

The NCRM was established by the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) in 2004. In January 2020 NCRM entered a new phase with an ESRC award for 5 years. The new phase focuses on delivering a comprehensive programme of cutting-edge research methods training across the UK. This phase is still delivered by the Universities of Southampton, Manchester and Edinburgh but this partnership is significantly enhanced and expanded to include strategically selected Centre partner institutions who will deliver training locally to ensure geographical and subject expertise diversity. The nine institutions are UCL, NatCen, WISERD, Bristol, Exeter, Essex, Leeds, Liverpool and Glasgow.

For further information on all the NCRM courses, please visit their Training & Events database.


The Timescapes 10 Festival

We are pleased to announce that registrations are now open for the Timescapes 10 Festival, a major celebration of progress and advance in qualitative longitudinal methods. Please go to: to register.

Jointly run through the Timescapes Archive and the National Centre for Research Methods, the Timescapes 10 Festival celebrates ten years since the conclusion of the original Timescapes Programme of research.

A key aim of Timescapes was to facilitate advances in Qualitative Longitudinal (QL) research, archiving and the re-use of QL data. Through a mixture of international symposia, panel sessions, video provocations, sandpits, and demonstrator events, this online only festival showcases the huge amount of progress in these methodological fields, as well as international advances in:

  • Qualitative Longitudinal research
  • Qualitative Secondary Analysis
  • Qualitative archiving
  • Decolonising Archives
  • Qualitative data in panel surveys
  • Auto/biographical methods
  • Big Qual
  • Mixed Methods
  • Ethics
  • Data Integrity and Data Management
  • Time and temporality, temporal methodologies.

For a nominal fee of £10, delegates will gain access to a range of informative, thematic events that are taking place across the two weeks of the festival.

These include sessions with archives such as UKDA, Mass Observations and the Timescapes Archive, as well as presentations and training delivered by senior international and interdisciplinary scholars.

Conformed keynote speakers include:

  • Barbara Adam, Professor of Sociology, University of Cardiff
  • Bren Neale, Professor of Life Course and Family Research, University of Leeds
  • Mike Savage, Professor of Sociology, London School of Economics
  • Rosalind Edwards, Professor of Sociology, University of Southampton
  • Mr Masud Khokhar, University Librarian and Keeper of the Brotherton Collection, University of Leeds

Confirmed Panel sessions and Symposia include:

  • Professor Ann Oakley in conversation with Professors Graham Crow and John Goodwin, plus the launch of an exclusive interview with Ann about her life’s work and legacy
  • Exploring Causal Complexity through Qualitative Longitudinal Research, Chaired by Professor Bren Neale,
  • The Big Qual Conversation, with Dr Susie Weller and Dr Emma Davidson
  • Intergenerational Poverty, chaired by Professor Julia Brannen
  • Fathers and Longitudinal research, Chaired by Professor Anna Tarrant, University of Lincoln
  • Rachel Thomson and Liam Berriman, Exploring Everyday Childhoods with the Mass Observations Archive

The full programme will appear below as the details are finalised. In the meantime, here are some examples of what’s to come:

5th  September 2022, Keynotes:

Fluid Enquiry, Causal Complexity, Policy Processes: Making a Difference with Qualitative Longitudinal Research, Professor Bren Neale

Based on a recently published article in Social Policy and Society (2021), this presentation sets out the contours of Qualitative Longitudinal Research and explores its potential to ask new questions about what works (or fails to work) in policy interventions and professional practice. The particular focus is on the fluidity and complexity of causal processes. These themes will also be explored in a related Festival event: an international, interdisciplinary symposium on Causal Complexity.

The Politics of Archiving, Professor Mike Savage

Mike Savage will reflect on the changing historical form of the in-depth qualitative interview, drawing on his own experiences since the 1980s, as well as recent debates about the politics of archiving, and the challenges of re-analysing archived qualitative social science data. Mike will reflect on the potential to challenge the disciplinary divide between history and sociology which these recent affordances have allowed.


6th September 2022:  Qualitative Longitudinal Research using Quantitative Panel Surveys

What are the benefits and challenges of conducting qualitative longitudinal research within the framework of quantitative panel studies? This symposium explores that question through the experiences of qualitative researchers who work with the Centre for Longitudinal Studies’ British birth cohort studies, the Australian Longitudinal Study on Women’s Health, and the multinational Young Lives study. The multidisciplinary panel members share recent empirical findings and discuss the methodological affordances and complexities of conducting qualitative research within primarily quantitative contexts.


  • Jane Elliott, University of Exeter (UK birth cohort studies)
  • Chris Jeppeson, University of Cambridge (UK birth cohort studies)
  • Deb Loxton, University of Newcastle, Australia (Australian Longitudinal Study on Women’s Health)
  • Presenter TBC, University of Oxford (Young Lives)
  • JD Carpentieri (Chair), UCL (UK birth cohort studies)

7th September 2022


Professor Ann Oakley, Professor Graham Crow, Professor John Goodwin

Graham Crow will reflect on using Ann Oakley’s published work from the last five decades to write a book about her career. His presentation will consider how different formats (autobiographical writing, biographical writing about her father and other relatives, poetry, novel-writing, published interviews, website resources) work in different ways to convey the character of a life in and beyond academia.’


‘Getting Personal With Existing Data: Methods of Qualitative Secondary Analysis’

Kahryn Hughes and Anna Tarrant

This three-hour workshop will develop your knowledge and skills in reusing and analysing archived qualitative data. Methods of Qualitative Secondary Analysis (QSA) enable qualitative researchers to engage analytically with questions of data reuse for the purposes of building new research directions, questions and analyses, in the endeavour of rigorous qualitative research. Such questions include how data may be put to new uses and how they are rendered as particular kinds of evidence in relation to specific analytic foci and substantive concerns.

Over the three hours, guided data analysis will be structured by short presentations that focus on introducing methods of qualitative secondary data analysis, covering key methodological debates in the field. Group and paired work will involve using existing qualitative data to explore the possibilities, limitations and challenges of ‘depth-to-breadth’ methods of QSA.

9th September 2022

Everyday Childhoods Using the Mass Observations Archive, Professor Rachel Thomson, Dr Liam Berriman,

Introducing The Mass Observations Archive: Fiona Courage and Kirsty Patrick, Mass Observations Archive

The Mass Observation Archive has been an inspiration to many sociologist – through its focus on the everyday, pioneering of citizen researchers and the creation of longitudinal data sets for sharing and reusing over time. University of Sussex sociologists Rachel Thomson and Liam Berriman worked with the MOA to imagine and co-create a collection exploring everyday childhoods. The project was a methodological experiment – testing the capacity of MO to work with digital data and children and their families as depositors, and testing the potentialities of digital methods for capturing the lived temporalities of children’s lives from the changing rhythms of a single day through to changing crazes for toys, technologies and fashions. The collaboration resulted in the Everyday Childhoods Archive and an open access book – Researching Everyday Childhoods.

12th September 2022: Exploring Causal Complexity through Qualitative Longitudinal Research:

An international Symposium, Chaired by Professor Bren Neale 

This symposium will explore the complexities of causal processes from a variety of disciplinary perspectives, including organisation studies, urban development, health, social welfare, and housing research. Delegates will be invited to engage in debate and discussion about the usefulness of the concept of causality; the complex nature of dynamic understandings; how these complexities may be discerned through research design and practice; and the implications for engaging with and shaping real-world processes in varied policy contexts.

Further programme details for the Timescapes 10 Festival will appear here.



The Methods Matter Podcast – from Dementia Researcher & the National Centre for Research Methods. A podcast for people who don’t know much about methods…those who do, and those who just want to find news and clever ways to use them in their research.

These podcasts bring together leading experts in research methodology, and dementia researchers that use them, to provide a fun introduction to five qualitative research methods in a safe space where there are no such things as dumb questions!

In three episodes of the first series, Dr Kahryn Hughes is interviewed as the methods expert by PhD Student Leah Fullegar from the University of Southampton, on Qualitative Interviews, Qualitative Longitudinal and Qualitative Secondary Analysis. You’ll find them here:

Wednesday 23 – Thursday 24 June, 2021: Making a Difference with Qualitative Longitudinal Research: Fluid Enquiry, Complex Causality, Policy Processes

Professor Bren Neale

Thursday 13 – Thursday 20 May, 2021: Working with time, intersubjectivity, and the vernacular imaginary: perspectives and practices from history and sociology

Professor Jon Lawrence and Dr Dawn Lyon

Monday 10 – Wednesday 12 May, 2021: Getting personal with existing qualitative data: the fundamentals of data re-use and qualitative secondary analysis

Dr Anna Tarrant and Dr Kahryn Hughes

1st-3rd December 2020: Working with large amounts of secondary or primary qualitative data: Breadth-and-Depth Method

Dr. Emma Davidson, Dr. Susie Weller, Professor Lynn Jamieson and Professor Rosalind Edwards

If you have any queries about these events, please contact Dr Kahryn Hughes,