Mixed Methods


Meet Helen Burns, who uses mixed methods to understand how arts education and thinking skills could support the development of transferable thinking skills

Meet Dr Kate Gibson, who is working on a big mixed methods project evaluating a complex social prescribing health intervention.

Meet Professor Rachel Franklin, who is interested in the spatial distribution of population and demographic change, and who primarily uses quantitative analysis'

Guided by philosophical underpinning of pragmatism, mixed methods research is a methodology for collecting, analysing, and integrating both quantitative and qualitative data within a single study. The purpose of this methodological pluralism is to generate a more comprehensive understanding of research problems and complex phenomena than possible through a monomethod approach alone. Currently, mixed method research tends to be predominantly used in the fields of sociology, education, and health sciences, while they remain a novelty in many other fields including business and management studies.  

Quantitative and qualitative data collection in mixed-methods research occurs either concurrently, sequentially, or in a combination of those two, depending on the purpose of the study. Importantly, different strands of data must be effectively integrated and mixed at different stages of the research process to mutually inform each other. Within the different phases of the research, researchers can use a variety of methods ranging from surveys within the quantitative strand, to observations, interviews, timelining, or focus groups within the qualitative strand. 

While mixed method research can enrich findings, researchers need to consider the increased demands on time and finances to implement both strands of the study, and the need to possess both quantitative and qualitative methods skills.



Karen, D. (2014) Exploring perspectives of ageing well: a mixed methods study of community dwelling adults aged 85 years and older. PhD Thesis. http://hdl.handle.net/10443/2344 

  • A convergent parallel mixed methods study containing two theoretical strands of data bringing a detailed understanding of the influences contributing to ‘ageing well’. 

Kelly, T.A. (2015) Optimising baby to breast attachment (OBBA) : a mixed methods study. PhD Thesis. http://theses.ncl.ac.uk/jspui/handle/10443/4385  

  • The research was designed in three phases to collect both qualitative and quantitative data. 

Mills, S. (2017) A mixed methods programme of study on the determinants and health outcomes of home food preparation. PhD Thesis. http://hdl.handle.net/10443/3950  

  • This sequential mixed methods thesis studied the determinants and outcomes of home food preparation. 

 Laine, H., Araújo-Soares, V., Haukkala, A., & Hankonen, N. (2017). Acceptability of Strategies to Reduce Student Sitting: A Mixed-Methods Study with College Teachers. Health Promotion Practice, 18(1), 44–53. https://doi.org/10.1177/1524839916677209 

  • Mixed methods design with college teachers using an online cross-sectional survey and focus group interviews. 

Hackett, K.L., et al., (2018) Mixed‐Methods Study Identifying Key Intervention Targets to Improve Participation in Daily Living Activities in Primary Sjögren's Syndrome Patients. Arthritis Care & Research, 70(7) pp. 1064-1073. https://doi.org/10.1002/acr.23536  

  • To identify the key barriers and priorities to participation in daily living activities this study applied a mixed‐methods participatory approach.  


  • Creswell & Plano Clark (2017) Designing and Conducting Mixed Methods Research (3rd ed). Thousand Oaks, CA:  SAGE Publications, Inc. 
  • Creswell (2014) A Concise Introduction to Mixed Methods Research. Thousand Oaks, CA: SAGE Publications Inc. 
  • Onwuegbuzie, A. J., & Collins, K. M. (2007). A Typology of Mixed Methods Sampling Designs in Social Science Research. The Qualitative Report, 12(2), 281-316