The methods and tools listed here highlight just some of the research approaches used and taught within HASS. Within each summary, you can find information about the method or methodology itself, resources to help you master the approach and links to reseachers who use these methods.

Archival research methods utilise unique primary source documents from archives and special collections.

Book history emphasises the importance of authorship, reading and publishing in the study of texts.

Close reading is the considered, sustained analysis of a section of text.

Content analysis has developed into one of the most commonly applied qualitative research methods to analyse textual data and communication artefacts.

Diary methods are qualitative research tools which ask participants to provide written, oral or video accounts of their everyday life experiences or observations.

Digital methods
is the umbrella methodology for using online and digital technologies to generate, collect, and analyse qualitative and quantitative data to investigate a phenomenon.

Discourse analysis is the analysis of both written and spoken language in relation to its social context and refers to the way that different types of language construct meaning.

Ethnography seeks to understand social phenomena and cultural practices from an ‘insider’ perspective through observation, note-taking, conversations, interviews, and participation.

Focus groups are a qualitative research method which involve gathering a group of participants, typically ranging from around 5-8 people in size, to generate discussion and garner their perspectives on a specific issue.

Interviews are often used in an exploratory manner to capture participants’ lived experience and their choices, opinions, attitudes, feelings, and perceptions about a social phenomenon.

Life story interviews are open interviews which ask the participant to share their life story with the interviewer, leading them through their life events as they see fit.

Mixed methods research is a methodology for collecting, analysing, and integrating both quantitative and qualitative data within a single study.

Mobile methods is an umbrella term for engaging with participants ‘on the move’ and is traditionally used within studies on mobility and place.

Observational research methods are the deliberate, organised, and systematic observation and description of a phenomenon.

Participatory action research is a research paradigm centred around involving participants as collaborators in research to enact social change.

Participatory design is characterised by a commitment to involving non-designers in the design process through a range of activities and consultation.

Participant observation is the study of individuals, communities or groups in ‘the field’ to gain an understanding of their lived experience.

Performance studies is a discipline concerned with the various ways performance features in society and culture.

Photo methods generally provide participants with the tools to create photographic data in accordance with research themes, or pertinent local social issues that participants and project leaders are looking to change. 

Practice related research refers to an umbrella of approaches typically employed within the arts which utilise creative methods such as performance, film, painting, sculpture, photography and sound to generate new knowledge and creative outputs.

Scholarly editing is the process of producing high-quality editions of texts that can be used by scholars for further study.

Social media methods is research that uses social media platforms and uses a diverse range of quantitative, qualitative and mixed-methods approaches.

Surveys are systematic ways of gathering information, operate in an interdisciplinary way, and are employed within various settings and across disciplines.

Timelining is a visual, arts-based data collection method that generally depict participant’s life events

Translation is the communication of meaning from a source text into a target text.

Visual methods are a collection of methods which use images as part of the process of generating data.