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About us

The Qualitative Expertise at Southampton group, known as QUEST, serves as a focal point and forum for academics and researchers across the University with expertise in the development and application of qualitative research methods.  It was established in 2012 by members of staff to:

  • showcase the depth and breadth of qualitative method expertise at the University of Southampton;
  • highlight the role play by qualitative methods in the University’s excellent international reputation in research methods, and
  • facilitate the development and application of qualitative methods excellence in research and teaching.

QUEST members develop and apply methods, including:

  • biographical and narrative methods
  • ethnography and observation
  • qualitative longitudinal methods
  • secondary analysis
  • visual and sound methods

They also mix qualitative methods with other approaches in their research. 

Members of QUEST are drawn from a range of disciplines including Education, Geography, Health, History, Management, Medicine, Modern Languages, Psychology and Sociology.  What all members of QUEST have in common is that they are all involved in writing about or developing qualitative methods.  QUEST members edit some of the key methodological journals in UK social science, such as The International Journal of Social Research Methodology and International Journal of Research and Method in Education.

QUEST members are also involved in several of the University's centres, including ESRC National Centre for Research Methods, ESRC Centre for Population Change, the Work Futures Research Centre and the Ageing and Lifelong Health Research Group.