An introduction to Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis (IPA) as a research method for psychologists.

The day will comprise of an introduction to IPA including the theoretical underpinnings (phenomenology, hermeneutics and idiography), IPA in relation to other methods of qualitative analysis, and the type of research question that might be answered using IPA. The workshop will also cover all stages in designing and conducting an IPA, including: appropriate data collection methods, the analytic process, and how to produce a good quality written report from your findings. The day will incorporate a mixture of structured presentations, small group work and discussion.


09:30 Registration/Tea and Coffee
10:00 Workshop starts (there will be a 30min break for lunch)
16:30 Workshop ends


The session content will comprise of a mixture of theory/instruction, group discussion and hands on practical activities that will support attendees learning. Some examples of small group practical exercises include:
Matching correct and incorrect research question formulations
10 minute interview technique exercise
Analysis of actual data examples (individual and in small groups)
Identifying good quality IPA

Over the past decade there has been a rising interest in qualitative research methods among some applied areas of psychology such as counselling, clinical, health and occupational. In particular, IPA is proving to be a very popular choice of methodology, most likely as its focus on subjective lived experience is something that intuitively appeals to the applied areas listed above. Given this rise in popularity, the workshop intends to comprehensively introduce IPA to applied psychologists who have an interest in conducting research using this particular methodology.

This workshop is intended for individuals new to qualitative research, in particular IPA. It would be suitable for qualified psychologists working in a variety of settings, including practitioners, who would like to know more about using IPA as a research methodology. The course would also be suitable for students who are conducting postgraduate research using IPA. This is an introductory course, and an advanced option may be made available in the future.

Learning outcomes and objectives 

The course aims to develop the understanding, skills and critical awareness necessary for conducting original IPA research at a postgraduate level. Learning outcomes include:

  • To develop a preliminary understanding of the historical and theoretical background of IPA
  • To produce appropriate research questions for IPA research
  • To develop a preliminary understanding of IPA appropriate data collection methods and analysis using IPA
  • To conduct a small example analysis and reflect on the experience
  • To understand how to write up an IPA and issues of quality in IPA

Facilitators: Dr Elena Gil-Rodriguez CPsychol & Dr Kate Hefferon

Dr Elena Gil-Rodriguez is a Chartered Psychologist who is also an HPC Registered Counselling Psychologist. Elena works in private practice and also lectures on the Counselling Psychology Doctoral programme at Roehampton University. In addition to this Elena co-facilitates the London Regional IPA Group with her colleague Dr Kate Hefferon. The London IPA group is a research group that meets regularly to support students and researchers who are using IPA at many different levels and from many different fields of applied psychology and other disciplines. Elena has considerable experience in conducting research using IPA, teaching, supervising and examining masters and doctoral level research using IPA.

Dr Kate Hefferon is a Senior Lecturer at the University of East London and Programme Leader for the Msc in Applied Positive Psychology. She co-founded the Scottish IPA research group and has been co-facilitating the London IPA group with Elena for the past two and a half years. Her research interests lie within the area of health and well being using IPA.

Booking information


  • Concessions: £90 + VAT
  • DCoP Members: £105 + VAT
  • Society members: £130 + VAT
  • Society non-members: £195 + VAT

Persons eligible for concessionary rates are student members of the Society, graduate members registered under Rule 15.ii, Rule 21 members, and members who are unemployed. For evidence of unemployment, we will require a copy of your job seekers allowance book.

How to book:

This event is fully booked.

Thu, 05/07/2012 (All day)
Contact Information: 

BPS Learning Centre

Tel: +44 (0)116 2529925

Division of Counselling Psychology & BPS Learning Centre