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Use of Focus Group and a Group Interview in PhD Dissertation

PhD Dissertation
Writing a dissertation is not an easy task. This is because it will be even more difficult for you to collect the data. It is important to note that collecting the data will depend upon your research type, and topic. You will either consider qualitative, or quantitative research method in the end.

There is a different technique for collecting the data for both research types. Focus group and group interview are considered the key techniques for qualitative research. Focus group is a group of people who share the same characteristics. A researcher will consider them because of the research topic. He can also consider them because of their characteristics, such as age and gender. Whereas group interview is another technique that he can use. In this aspect, two or more people will participate in the research.

It is a key criterion regarding data collection for a PhD dissertation. It will also help the researcher in getting his hands on primary data for the research. This article aims to discuss the usage of focus groups and a group interview in PhD dissertation. It will also discuss how you can work on this technique. So let’s discuss these aspects in detail;

Different Stages of Focus Group and Group Interview:

There are different stages of this technique. These stages are discussed in detail as follows;


The very first step in this technique is that of planning. As a researcher, you should consider several things at this initial stage. You should be clear about the objective of this technique. You should also contact the participants prior to the interview. Apart from this, you will tell them the objective of this study. You must select suitable people for this activity as well. Because these are the people who’ll be providing you with the desired information.

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Group Composition:

The next step of focus group interviews is group composition. In this step, you will ensure the selection of people based on some common characteristics. It will help them in interacting with each other, and releasing their pressure. It will also minimise the chances of withdrawal. You can select homogeneous, or heterogeneous groups for your research. But you have to make sure that whatever you choose serves the purpose of research. You can also divide the participants into different groups. This division can be based on the domains of age, gender, and socio-economic backgrounds. This way they’ll be providing you with valuable information for your PhD dissertation.

Conducting the Focus Group:

You must start this phase with the utmost consideration. This is because you have to start the discussion after serving refreshments. Apart from this, you can ask the participants to introduce themselves. This small interaction will put them at ease, and they will feel relaxed. Later on, you can brief them in detail about this gathering. You should also ensure confidentiality since this is a core aspect. This way, you’ll be able to ensure that you’re not forcing anyone to take part in your PhD dissertation work.

Recording Responses:

This step relates to recording the responses of participants. You must ensure the recording of these responses with the utmost care, and accuracy. You can record the participants’ responses in two different ways. Those two ways include taking notes, or tape recording. You can consider an assistant for recording these responses as well. You should ensure that you’re influencing their responses. Because it will help you in avoiding bias opinions within your PhD dissertation. You should consider the tape recording method for recording the responses. It will also help you to avoid missing any important information.

Also Read This: Managing Expectations of International Students

Data Analysis and Reporting of the Findings:

It is the final stage of the focus group interview. These recorded responses will help you in data analysis. You should analyse the data as soon as possible. There are several things you should especially consider in the aspect of data analysis. You should look for big ideas first, and then make a list of those ideas. You can also consider the strength of your reactions and words. It will help you in creating a balance between details and conciseness. After analysis, reporting the findings is another important step. There are two different ways through which you can report your PhD dissertation findings. The most important way is reporting the findings as a summary of your ideas.

This article discussed the usage of focus groups within your PhD dissertation. There are different stages of this process that this article discussed in detail. Apart from this, you can consider PhD dissertation help in UK for your research as well.

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