What is a case study?

Case studies are descriptive stories that are common in social research and used for capturing information and stories on a particular subject.

They are used to explain the features, characteristics, benefits and values of a subject, usually over a period of time. Subjects can be an individual, an event, an organisation (eg a club), a partnership (eg a joint facility operation between a school and a council), or programme (eg a learn to swim programme or a club initiative that’s increased membership).

Case studies often use qualitative approaches (taking an in-depth view and focusing on the why and how); however, they can also include quantitative approaches (numerical and focusing on the what and how many).

In telling the story of the subject(s) they can be conducted and presented in many different ways from a relatively simple photo/video story to a comprehensive values report. The purpose of these case studies is to understand the value of sport and recreation.