Methods of Qualitative Analysis

Key points

  • This course provides an overview of four qualitative data analysis methods widely used in the social sciences
  • You will learn the aims and procedures of each method and appraise the quality of published studies that use the four methods
  • This course can be taken as a standalone unit or combined with another methodological seminar, any of the method courses or an NVivo course.

This course provides a comprehensive overview of four methods widely used in the social sciences to analyse qualitative data; namely, qualitative content analysis, thematic analysis, cross-case analysis and grounded theory. The course opens with a discussion about the historical context of each method with a particular emphasis on the ontological and epistemological underpinnings of each, the type of research questions they answer, their sampling requirements, their coding and analytical procedures and the visualisations that best present their findings. Moving from theory to practice, using sample data, we look at how each method is implemented in NVivo. We conclude with the ladder of abstraction, a heuristic device where each method corresponds to a level of abstraction in qualitative research. In turn, we review each level of abstraction and assess how much each requires in terms of researcher time, effort and resources. In the second part of the course, participants assess the quality of published studies based on the four methods, using benchmark papers as best practice examples.

Although no previous knowledge of any of the four methods of qualitative data analysis is required, participants should have some familiarity with qualitative research.

Half-day from 9:00 to 12:00 or full-day from 9:00 to 16:00.

This course is taught online in Zoom as well as onsite on a request basis.

Teaching methods
Lectures, demos with NVivo and hands-on exercises.

Please email me for information on fees.

Combining courses
This course is part of a five-course series on methods of qualitative analysis that includes Qualitative Content Analysis, Thematic Analysis, Cross-case Analysis and Grounded Theory. It can be taken alone or in conjunction with the other related courses. It can also be taught before, after or simultaneously with the Introduction to NVivo or Qualitative Data Analysis with NVivo courses.

This course was taught at

As a freelance methodologist, I train social scientists and humanitarian practitioners in qualitative analysis, decolonising research and participatory methodologies. I coach research teams, teach doctoral-level courses in method schools and I consult for humanitarian aid agencies worldwide.

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