Elite Interviewing (587X8)

Level 7 (Masters)

Summer teaching

This workshop is concerned with the technique of elite interviewing and explores the variety of issues researchers encounter with this method.

Elite interviewing has become an increasingly useful tool for researchers across the social sciences, but it is a method which political scientists in particular favour.

Most political decisions are taken by a small group of highly qualified and knowledgeable individuals, where the black box of policymaking is often concealed, and therefore elite interviewing is often the only way of researching such processes.

The shared assumptions and meanings that inform these policy communities also require exploration and elite interviewing is the most appropriate technique for such exploration.

The workshop explains what is distinctive about this technique and examines the methodological issues and problems associated with its use, such as the balance of power, positionality, access issues, ethics and analysis of results.

Researchers who are employing this technique need to decide who they are going to interview, how they are going to access their interviewees, the best way to conduct the interview and how they should utilize and analyse their results.

You are suited to this workshop if you intend to employ this method and want to strategise and plan for the next steps in conducting such research.


100%: Practical (Workshop)


100%: Written assessment (Essay)

We regularly review our modules to incorporate student feedback, staff expertise, as well as the latest research and teaching methodology. We’re planning to run these modules in the academic year 2024/25. However, there may be changes to these modules in response to feedback, staff availability, student demand or updates to our curriculum. We’ll make sure to let you know of any material changes to modules at the earliest opportunity.