This editorial is timely on the one hand, while overdue on the other. Either way it is welcome. Debates about whether qualitative studies are valid 'science' are moot (Koch, 1998; Raphael, 2000); this style of enquiry is here and is likely to remain. Furthermore, it has something to say about the social elements of experiences that traditional approaches have done little to resolve (Barritt, 1986). Finally, our students like doing qualitative research and, as educators, we must ensure that their work is set at a high standard.