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Taking Deliberative Research Online - online

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Deliberative research is emerging as a critical method for exploring public attitudes particularly on social and policy problems that are contested, complex or uncertain.  More broadly deliberation - through methods such as Citizens assemblies and juries - is used in society as a way to engage citizens in policy decisions.

This live online course explores the principles, benefits and limitations of deliberative approaches to social research and engagement, with a particular focus on the challenges and opportunities of delivering these online. We cover a combination of theory and practical examples to consider both doing deliberative research and being a deliberative researcher.

It is suitable for those with existing experience of the theory and practice of qualitative research and aimed at those who have responsibility for designing, commissioning and overseeing the delivery of research projects. 

This course will be useful to you if:

  • You want to expand the range of participative qualitative methods you use for research
  • You want to learn more about the use of online approaches to social research
  • You have used deliberative research approaches in face to face studies and want to consider how to bring it online
  • You want to know more about deliberation in general and how to deliver deliberative processes


Course Code


Course Leader

Duncan Grimes
Course Description


Delivered across two half days, this introductory course invites participants to engage with the competencies and ethics of being a deliberative researcher. We provide you with an overview of the theoretical principles of deliberation and how these are more recently being used in answering social research questions and involve the public in policy decisions. We will also explore the uses, benefits and limitations of these methods in both on and off-line contexts. We also look at how to design, conduct and facilitate a synchronous online deliberative workshop using video technology and cover specific guidance on the role of the moderator in events including strategies for participation.

The sessions will be participative and we will also be making use of an online Jamboard or similar to support this. Full details will be provided in participant packs.

The sessions will run from 10am - 1pm on both days.

Learning Objectives

By the end of the course participants will be able to:

  • Differentiate between deliberative research and other analogous methods (e.g. focus groups) and understand when it is appropriate to use deliberative approaches
  • Design and conduct an online deliberative workshop
  • Understand the role and key skills required of moderators
  • Identify the ethical considerations and frameworks useful to deliberative research


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