Austria, Vienna

Focus Groups – From Qualitative Data Generation to Analysis

when 17 February 2013 - 22 February 2013
duration 1 week
credits 2 ECTS

Focus groups have become quite fashionable in political science, over the last decade, notably because of the richness of discourse and interactions that they give access to. But the method is more demanding than usually expected. Using focus groups not only requires more resources than other qualitative method; it also implies to make a large series of decisions concerning the
different technical aspects involved from design and organisation to analysis. These many decisions suppose to be very clear about one‟s research objectives.
The course will introduce students to the variety of focus groups‟ uses, in terms of epistemology and research topics. Then the complete process of focus group‟s organisation will be discussed in details – including classical problems like sampling, designing questions and moderation, but also more “down to earth” questions like setting the room, recording, contacting, selecting and rewarding participants etc. Lastly, an important part of the course will be devoted to the analysis: focus group discussions are more complex to analyse than standard face-to-face interviews. A mix of several methods (interpretation, codification and automatic textual analysis) will be suggested

Course leader

Virginie Van Ingelgom
Université catholique de Louvain

Target group

advanced students and junior researchers in political science and adjacent disciplines

Course aim

as above

Credits info

Participants have the opportunity to gain 2 ECTS credits from the University of Vienna for attending an Introductory or Advanced Courses (15 hours). Participants must successfully complete their course, and successfully complete their project assignment in order to obtain 2 ECTS credits – Transcripts will be sent to the participants by The University of Vienna.

For all courses being attended (Introductory, Advanced and/or Software Training Courses), participants also receive a certificate of attendance.

Certificates of accreditation (if applicable) as well as certificates of attendance are sent to the participants after the Winter School has ended, by the University of Vienna

Fee info

EUR 0: ECPR Member – €495
Non-ECPR Member – €690
ECPR Member who has attended the ECPR SSMT 2012* – €445
Non-ECPR Member who has attended the ECPR SSMT 2012* – €640
*There is a €50 loyalty discount deducted from all Introductory and Advanced Courses to participants who attended the 2012
Summer School in Methods and Techniques (SSMT) in Ljubljana (this discount does not apply to Software Training Courses).


Self funded students from ECPR member institutions will be able to apply for funding in the form of scholarship funds and travel and accommodation grants. Please use the following link for further information: