Qualitative Diary Methods - Online



Organised by:

University of Liverpool


Dr Laura Ratcliffe and Dr Leighann Spencer


Entry (no or almost no prior knowledge)


Dr Billie-Gina Thomason

video conference logo

Venue: Online


Qualitative Diary Methods (QDMs) are increasingly recognised as a valuable and important method in social science research, due to concern across disciplines with an overreliance on cross-sectional research, a lack of focus on temporality, and the need to capture evolving processes and the daily dynamics of phenomena.

QDMs offer a range of innovative approaches and tools for social science researchers that enable us to capture and subsequently begin to understand, how phenomena are experienced in the moment, as well as how they evolve over time. However, they remain a methodological blindspot in much postgraduate research training.

This workshop will provide researchers with a new range of methods to add to their methodological toolkit, as well as support and guidance in managing some of the challenges associated with these methods, including insights into qualitative diary (longitudinal) analysis approaches.

By the end of the course participants will:

  1. Have a comprehensive understanding of the benefits and challenges of QDMs, and how to manage these challenges
  2. Be able to evaluate when different QDMs should be used and why
  3. Be able to design appropriate QDM research projects to address particular research questions
  4. Have a critical awareness of particular ethical issues associated with the use of QDMs
  5. Have a comprehensive understanding of analytical approaches suited to data gathered using QDMs

Please note that this course will be facilitated online.

Programme Outline:

Welcome & Introductions 10:30 am

Session 1: 10:45 – 12:45

  • An introduction to diary methods
  • When and why to use different qualitative diary methods
  • Collecting qualitative diary data: challenges and practical considerations
  • Ethical considerations and participant reflexivity
  • Sampling approaches for qualitative diary studies
  • Pre- and post-diary interviews
  • Audience Q&A and Task: Design a diary for your own research project/ interest – Justify design choices in line with sample, data needs and research questions.

Lunch Break 12:45 – 1:45

  • Opportunity for informal discussions and networking

Session 2: 2:00 – 4:30

  • Designing pen and paper diaries: Tips & Examples
  • Designing audio and video diaries: Tips & Examples
  • Designing photo-elicitation diaries: Tips & Examples
  • Designing qualitative ‘App’ diaries: Some Examples
  • Analysing data from qualitative (longitudinal) diary projects: Moving beyond thematic analysis - Thematic Trajectory Analysis (TTA)
  • Audience Q&A & Group Task; Group discussions around proposed diary projects, including analytical approaches. Feedback from participants and presenters.

4:30 pm Conclusion & Finish

The event runs from 10:30am-4:30pm


• £30 per day for students • £60 per day for staff working for academic institutions, Research Councils and other recognised research institutions, registered charity organisations and the public sector • £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.

Website and registration:


North West


Diary Methods, Visual Data Analysis, Qualitative Approaches (other), Creative Visual Digital Qualitative Diary Methods

Related publications and presentations:

Diary Methods
Visual Data Analysis
Qualitative Approaches (other)

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