Conducting Ethnographic Research - Online (join a waiting list)

Course Code


Organised by

NCRM, University of Southampton and Durham Research Methods Centre


Dr Alice Stefanelli


14/06/2021 - 15/06/2021


Online run by University of Southampton and University of Durham


View in Google Maps  (SO17 1BJ)


Jacqui Thorp
Training and Capacity Building Co-Ordinator, National Centre for Research Methods, University of Southampton


The aim of this two-day training course is to introduce participants to the practice and ethics of ethnographic research. Through a mix of plenary sessions, group and independent work, participants will learn the basic principles of participant observation and research design, as well as the foundations of ethical ethnographic research. The course will also examine the ways in which other qualitative and creative methods of data collection may be productively integrated in ethnographic research.

The course covers:

  • Research design
  • Qualitative methods in ethnographic research
  • Access and power
  • Research ethics in participant observation

By the end of the course participants will:

  • Understand the epistemological foundations of ethnographic research
  • Have a solid understanding of ethnographic research in action
  • Be able to design and conduct research integrating qualitative and ethnographic research methods
  • Be able to conduct ethical ethnographic research

The course is suitable for any professional researchers interested in learning more about using ethnographic methods – whether within or outside academia (private sector, government researchers, etc.).  It is likewise suitable for postgraduate students in any social science (social anthropology, human geography, sociology, business school, political sciences, area studies, education, etc.) with prior knowledge of any qualitative research methods.


Some prior training in qualitative research methods, broadly defined – regardless of whether that includes ethnographic methods specifically.

Preparatory Reading

Day 1

Forsey, M.G. (2010). Ethnography as participant listening. Ethnography, 11(4): 558–572.

Günel, G., Varma, S. and Watanabe, C. A Manifesto for Patchwork Ethnography

Shah, A. (2017) “Ethnography? Participant observation, a potentially revolutionary praxis”. HAU Journal of Ethnographic Theory 7(1): 45-59.

Day 2

Association of Social Anthropologists (UK) guidelines on ethics:

Olivier De Sardan, J.P. and Tidjani Alou, A. (2015) Epistemology, Fieldwork and Anthropology. London: Palgrave. Chapter 2: The politics of fieldwork.


Day 1

Morning session:

  • 10:00-10:15   Introduction to the course
  • 10:15-11:15   Plenary – The Practice of Ethnography
  • 11:15-11:30   Break
  • 11:30-12:30   Group work (Reliable data in participant observation), followed by class debate

Afternoon session:

  • 1:30-2:30      Plenary - Qualitative methods in ethnographic practice (plenary session)
  • 2:30-2:45      Break
  • 2:45-4:00      Practical exercise (Ethnographic interviews), followed by class debate

Day 2

Morning session:

  • 10:00-11:15   Plenary - Research ethics in ethnography
  • 11:15-11:30   Break
  • 11:30-12:30   Group work (Access, power & ethics in action), followed by class discussion

Afternoon session:

  • 1:30-2:30       Plenary - Ethnography beyond participant observation
  • 2:30-2:45       Break
  • 2:30-3:30       Group discussion (Project design), followed by class discussion
  • 3:30-4:00      Conclusion

*** All sessions are delivered synchronously on Zoom



Intermediate (some prior knowledge)


The fee per teaching day is: • £30 per day for students registered at UK/EU University. • £60 per day for staff at UK/EU academic institutions, UK/EU Research Councils researchers, UK/EU public sector staff and staff at UK/EU registered charity organisations and recognised UK/EU research institutions. • £100 per day for all other participants In the event of cancellation by the delegate a full refund of the course fee is available up to two weeks prior to the course. NO refunds are available after this date. If it is no longer possible to run a course due to circumstances beyond its control, NCRM reserves the right to cancel the course at its sole discretion at any time prior to the event. In this event every effort will be made to reschedule the course. If this is not possible or the new date is inconvenient a full refund of the course fee will be given. NCRM shall not be liable for any costs, losses or expenses that may be incurred as a result of its cancellation of a course, including but not limited to any travel or accommodation costs. The University of Southampton’s Online Store T&Cs also continue to apply.

Website and registration


South East


Ethnography, Ethnographic research , Reflexivity , Research ethics , Power and access , Qualitative methods in ethnographic research

Related publications and presentations


Back to archive...