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.

Description
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. In the first part of the course, we open with a discussion on the philosophy of science and different ontologies, epistemologies and methodologies. We review a number of key qualitative methodologies, discuss the different ways knowledge is produced and outline the best — and least — known methods for analysing qualitative data. Taking the four methods in turn, we look at their historical context, the type of research questions they best answer, their sampling requirements, their coding and analytical procedures and their display conventions. 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 useful heuristic device that connects different methods of qualitative analysis with the level of abstraction achieved in a study. We see the different outcomes of the four methods and assess how much each requires in terms of researcher time, effort and resources. In the second part of the course, participants have the opportunity to assess the quality of published studies based on the four methods, using benchmark papers as best practice examples.

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

Schedule
Half-day from 9:00 to 13:00 or full-day from 9:00 to 17:00.

Location
This course is taught by invitation only in universities, research centres or institutions.

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

Fee
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 and I consult for humanitarian aid agencies worldwide.

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