Research Methods: Developing your research design

Eira Patterson | View as single page | Feedback/Impact

Case studies

Case studies are used widely in educational research and are characterised by the fact that they focus on a small number (often just one) context / example of the research issue being studied. As a consequence of this narrow focus, it is possible to generate in-depth data that facilitates exploration of a range of inter-related factors, such as relationships and processes, which are interacting and influencing the research focus. Another strength of case studies is that they facilitate research being carried out in natural settings. Case studies lend themselves to the use of a range of methods for data collection such as observation, interview, document analysis etc.

Sources of further information:

Hamilton (2011) Case studies in educational research

Strengths and limitations of case study research