School of Population Health

Useful Readings for Qualitative Research

If you are a student at UNSW, you’re entitled to visit the Library for one-on-one research consultations in conducting literature searches. This is highly recommended, in learning how best to use digital resources and conduct comprehensive searches across databases. Click here for more information.

These websites also provide a range of blogs and other resources on how to do good qualitative research, and tools that are available in field work:

The books listed below are based on a range of suggestions and is meant to offer a springboard for finding rigorous texts in qualitative research.


General Texts, How-Tos, and Orienting to Qualitative Research

  • Braun, V. & Clarke, V. (2013). Successful qualitative research: A practical guide for beginners. London: SAGE.
  • Braun, V., Clarke, V., & Gray, D. (Eds.). (2017). Collecting qualitative data: A practical guide to textual, media and virtual techniques. Cambridge University Press.
  • Ezzy, D. (2002). Qualitative analysis: Practice and innovation. London: Routledge.
  • Denzin, N. K. & Lincoln, Y. S. (2008). Collecting and interpreting qualitative materials. SAGE.
  • Denzin, N. K. & Lincoln, Y. S. (2017). The SAGE handbook of qualitative research. SAGE.
  • Green, J., & Thorogood, N. (2013). Qualitative methods for health research. London: SAGE.
  • Liamputtong, P. (2012). Qualitative research methods. Melbourne: Oxford University.
  • Patton, M. Q. (2015). Qualitative research & evaluation methods: Integrating theory and practice. Thousand Oaks: SAGE.
  • Perecman, E., & Curran, S. R. (2006). A Handbook for social science field research: Essays & bibliographic sources on research design and methods. SAGE.
  • O'Reilly, M., Kiyimba, N., & Parker, N. (2015). Advanced qualitative research: A guide to using theory. London: SAGE.
  • Seale, C., Gobo, G., Gubrium, J. F., & Silverman, D. (2013). Qualitative research practice. London: SAGE.
  • Silverman, D. (2013). Doing qualitative research. London: SAGE.
  • Willig, C. & Stainton-Rogers, W. (2008). The SAGE handbook of qualitative research in psychology. London: SAGE.


Data Collection Methods

Action Research:

  • Efron, S. E., & Ravid, R. (2014). Action research in education: A practical guide. Guilford.
  • Kemmis, S., McTaggart, R., & Nixon, R. (2014). The action research planner: Doing critical participatory action research. Singapore: Springer.
  • Reason, P., & Bradbury, H. (2013).The SAGE handbook of action research: Participative inquiry and practice. London: SAGE.

Case Study Research:

  • Gerring, J. (2007). Case study research. Cambridge: Cambridge University. [2 copies]

Digital/Online Methods:

  • Braun, V., Clarke, V., & Gray, D. (Eds.). (2017). Collecting qualitative data: A practical guide to textual, media and virtual techniques. Cambridge University Press.
  • Fielding, N., & Lee, R. M. (2008). The SAGE handbook of online research methods. Los Angeles: SAGE.
  • Hughes, J. (2012).SAGE internet research methods. London: SAGE.
  • Reavey, P. (2011). Visual methods in psychology: Using and interpreting images in qualitative research. East Sussex: Psychology Press.

Focus Groups:

  • Krueger, R. A. (2009a). Focus groups: A practical guide for applied research. SAGE.
  • Stewart, D. W., Shamdasani, P. N., & Rook, D. W. (2007). Focus Groups: Theory and Practice. SAGE.


  • Gubrium, J. F., & Holstein, J. A. (2001). Handbook of interview research. London: SAGE.
  • Gubrium, J. F., Holstein, J. A., Marvasti, A. B., & McKinney, K. D. (2012). The SAGE handbook of interview research: The complexity of the craft. London: SAGE.
  • King, N., & Horrocks, C. (2010). Interviews in qualitative research. London: SAGE.
  • Kvale, S. (2007). Qualitative research kit: Doing interviews. London: SAGE.
  • Seidman, I. (2006). Interviewing as qualitative research: A guide for researchers in education and the social sciences. New York: Teachers College.

Mixed Methods Research:

  • Tashakkori, A. & Teddlie, C. (2010). SAGE handbook of mixed methods in social & behavioral research. Thousand Oaks: SAGE.


Qualitative Analysis

Conversation Analysis:

  • McHoul, A., & Rapley, M. (2001). How to analyze talk in institutional settings: A casebook of methods. Continuum International Publishing Group. 

Discursive Analysis:

  • Wodak, R., & Krzyzanowski, M. (2008). Qualitative discourse analysis in the social sciences. Palgrave Macmillan. 

Thematic Analysis:

Using NVivo/Computer Software for Data Management:

  • Bazeley, P., & Jackson, K. (2013). Qualitative data analysis with NVivo. London: SAGE.

Methodological Issues and Considerations:

  • Gilbert, K. (2010). The Emotional nature of qualitative research. CRC Press. 
  • Hall, P. A. (2003). Aligning ontology and methodology in comparative research. In Rueschemeyer, D. & Mahoney, J. (Eds.), Comparative historical analysis in the social sciences (pp. 373-406). New York: Cambridge University.
  • Winter, A. (2014). Reflexivity in criminological research: Experiences with the powerful and the powerless. Palgrave Macmillan.