Grounded Theory

Organised by

Social Research Association


Professor Karen O'Reilly




Online using Zoom


Lindsay Adams
E: (preferred method of contact)
T: 0207 255 0695


This live, online course is designed for those wanting to understand and to apply the grounded theory approach to the collection and analysis of qualitative data. (Foundation)  It runs in one day and uses Zoom software 


The course is designed for those wanting to understand and to apply the grounded theory approach to the collection and analysis of qualitative data. It will provide a step-by-step guide to those new to the field. We will be using the approach developed by Strauss and Corbin and, more recently, by Kathy Charmaz, known as Constructivist Grounded Theory. The course will draw on examples from the fields of social science. It is an interactive and practical course with many workshops. Participants will work in groups, and employ techniques of initial open, focused, and theoretical coding; memo writing; and the development of themes.


Grounded theory consists of systematic yet flexible guidelines for the collection and analysis of data to construct theory grounded in those data. By the end of the course participants should:

  • be able to recognise and describe an applied grounded theory approach
  • distinguish its objectivist and constructivist developments;
  • be enabled to carry out rich data collection and analysis in line with grounded theory approaches;
  • have experience in coding, memo writing, and grounded theory construction.
  • be confident to proceed to independent analysis of data using grounded theory techniques
  • be equipped to critically analyse grounded theory approaches in published work


  • The theoretical approaches inherent in Grounded Theory methodology
  • Glaser and Strauss, and later developments
  • Gathering good quality data and saturation
  • Initial and Focused Coding
  • Writing Basic and Advanced Memos
  • Theoretical Sampling: Sampling, iterations, saturation and bringing it all together
  • Theory and Writing: What is a grounded theory; a note on the literature review

Who will benefit?

Because grounded theory is essentially an inductive approach the course is most suitable for those who have not yet begun, or are in the early stages of, data collection. However, those with previously-collected data will also find the course useful for application at the analysis stage as well as for future projects. It is suitable for participants with very little or no experience but some knowledge of qualitative research or attendance on the Foundations of Qualitative Research course is advisable.

Course Tutor

Karen O'Reilly is Emeritus Professor of Sociology at Loughborough University and a Freelance Researcher. She has taught ethnographic and qualitative methods for over 25 years, including the Essex Summer School in Social Science Data Collection and Analysis, the Swiss Summer School in Social Science Methods, in Lugano; at the Universities of Aberdeen, Essex, Loughborough and Oxford; and in Germany, Norway and Hong Kong. Her experience also includes being a Member of the Advisory Board of the NCRM biannual Research Methods Festival 2011-2012; and a member of the ESRC Peer Review College 2012 – 2016.

Karen is a highly experienced ethnographer whose many publications include two widely cited books on ethnography: Ethnographic Methods (Routledge, 2nd ed. 2012) and Key Concepts in Ethnography (Sage, 2009). She has also been instrumental in the design and evaluation of Masters level Research Methods courses and programmes in a number of universities. Karen provides short courses for the SRA on a regular basis.




Entry (no or almost no prior knowledge)


£220.00 SRA members pay £165.00

Website and registration




Grounded Theory

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Grounded Theory

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