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Introduction to Qualitative Data Analysis

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Introduction to Qualitative Data Analysis

This course provides an introduction to the theory and practice of analysing qualitative data. The training will focus mainly on the analysis of transcripts from in-depth interviews, however the approaches discussed can be applied to other types of qualitative data including focus groups. The course is primarily designed for researchers with little or no experience of qualitative analysis. It will also be useful for more experienced researchers who have had little formal training or who wish to reflect on their practice. The course leader is an experienced social researcher who will draw on her own research as well as established practice within the social sciences.



Students £255

Education and charitable sector applicants £310

Government and commercial sector applicants £435

Course Code

Intro to Qualitative Data Analysis 22

Course Leader

Dr Sarah Earthy
Course Description

The day includes sessions on different approaches to analysing qualitative data, the principles of ‘grounded theory’ and the constant comparison method, the process of coding data and identifying key themes, and the development of more conceptual ideas through analysis. These sessions will be interspersed with practical exercises relating to different stages of the analytical process. Other issues such as validity and generalisability in the context of qualitative analysis and the presentation of qualitative research findings will be discussed during the day.  The course leader will be happy to address specific queries raised by course participants either during the sessions or in the breaks.

Please note: this course does not cover the use of computer software programmes to assist qualitative data analysis. See events run by the CAQDAS networking project at the University of Surrey for training on specific CAQDAS packages.

Learning outcomes

  • To understand the nature of qualitative data and different approaches to qualitative analysis.
  • To be able to develop and apply a coding system to data, both to produce an index and to support analytical development.
  • To be able to reflect on what constitutes good practice and validity/trust-worthiness in qualitative data analysis.
  • To be able to apply the principles discussed in the sessions to the practical analysis of provided examples of qualitative data.
  • To understand ethical aspects of qualitative data analysis.

Course content

  • The nature of qualitative data
  • Different approaches to analysing qualitative data
  • Applying the principles of grounded theory
  • Developing codes and moving between levels of code
  • Working with coded segments of data to develop analysis
  • Practical exercises in pairs and small groups
  • Framework analysis and ‘validity’ in qualitative analysis
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