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Advances in Diary Method for Qualitative Researchers

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Advances in Diary Method for Qualitative Researchers

This advanced training event will help you to use solicited diary method to gather qualitative information. You will learn about gathering, handling, analysing and reporting data sourced through solicited diary method, through real-life diary data, small group work, and mini lectures.

The event will cover the practicalities, as well as the methodological and ethical decisions involved in using solicited diary method, such as getting diaries back, providing financial incentives, protecting the well-being and privacy of diarists and their diaries during the data collection phase, and techniques for analyzing diary data, including visual diaries.  In particular, we will consider how diary method is used and modified with participants who may lack the capacity to write, remember events, or think clearly and logically, including for example young children, adults with learning disabilities, people with dementia, and people living in low income countries. 

Course Code


Course Date

1st December 2017

Places Available

Course Leader

Dr Ruth Bartlett
Course Description

The course covers:

 the earliest use of diary method in social science research, and how it has advanced in the past decade with the advancement of digital technologies

  • paper based and digital forms of diary keeping, including written, audio, photo, video and email diaries
  • the handling, analysis, and reporting of qualitative data sourced through solicited diary method
  • using diary method with so called ‘vulnerable’ groups, e.g. children, and people with disabilities.
  • ethical, methodological, and practical decisions involved in using this method

By the end of the course participants will:

  •  be more informed about the use of diary method in social and health science research
  •  have a clear understanding of the strengths and limitations of using solicited diary method and be able to identify a range of strategies for overcoming them

feel more confident in using solicited diary method to generate qualitative data


Learners will be asked to keep a diary for 5 days on a subject of their choice immediately prior to coming on the course.

 Learners are expected to have prior knowledge of qualitative research approaches


The course is being run at

University of Cardiff

School of Social Sciences
Glamorgan Building
King Edward VII Avenue
CF10 3WT

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