Qualitative Data Analysis I   

Prof. Paré is such a passionate and supportive instructor. Her excellent pedagogical skills and clearly structured presentations made it easy for me to follow in spite of my limited background in qualitative research. — participant from the Philippines

This course provides participants with the key concepts and practical skills to plan, conduct, and report their own qualitative data analyses in a transparent, traceable, and auditable fashion. Participants learn (1) the key design issues that need to be taken into account when planning to analyze qualitative data, (2) different approaches to the coding of qualitative data, (3) strategies to seeking patterns in qualitative datasets, (4) techniques to assess the trustworthiness of qualitative findings, and (5) best and worse practices for the presentation of qualitative findings. These topics are explored in hands-on practice sessions using the computer-assisted qualitative data analysis (CAQDAS) software NVivo.

This course is the first part in a two-course sequence. Part two (cf. Qualitative Data Analysis II) covers more advanced sampling requirements, coding procedures, analytical strategies, and data display conventions for content analysis, thematic analysis, cross-case analysis, and grounded theory.


This one-week, 17.5-hour course runs Monday-Friday, 9:00 am-12:30 pm, July 1-5, 2019.


Marie-Hélène Paré (picture), Open University of Catalonia

Detailed Description

Are you planning to conduct interviews or focus groups, to collect policy papers or social media data from blogs, Facebook, Twitter, etc., or to observe meetings, rallies, or other events for your data collection? If you do any of the above, you will – soon rather than later – have to confront and analyze your compiled data, but will you know how?

This course provides participants with a strategic understanding and applied skills in planning, conducting, and reporting the findings of their analyses. It addresses the central issues of qualitative data analysis, incl. issues often omitted in mainstream qualitative textbooks, such as the criteria that guide the choice between different methods for qualitative analysis, how central the research question is in that choice, the process of coding qualitative data, what to do after the data are coded, and the strategies that exist for transforming qualitative data into findings.

The course follows the logical sequence of a qualitative research project. In turn, it explores the key definitions, strengths, and problems of contemporary qualitative practices, the role of methodology (ontology, epistemology, research question, and data collection) in the choice of a analytic method, different approaches for coding qualitative data, strategies for transforming data into findings, techniques for assessing the trustworthiness of qualitative findings, and best practices to presenting qualitative findings in academic theses, journal articles, policy papers, or government reports.

Blending lectures and hands-on exercise sessions, the course allows participants to put into practice otherwise abstract concepts and to become cognizant of the advantages and pitfalls of qualitative data analysis. It explores the common denominators that all qualitative methods of analysis share and provides the tools required for implementing them in practice. Please note that this is not just a course on how to analyze qualitative data with CAQDAS software. NVivo is only used for demonstration purposes, and the course does not cover the full range of NVivo functionalities.

Upon completion of this course, participants will be able to:

  • Evaluate the influence of methodology on the choice of method for qualitative analysis

  • Describe the concepts underlying qualitative data coding

  • Identify strategies to generate findings from qualitative data

  • Present qualitative findings convincingly and transparently

This course is of interest and can benefit anyone conducting qualitative research as part of a PhD in the social and related sciences, contract work, government study, etc.


While there are no formal prerequisites, it would be beneficial if participants had a basic understanding of qualitative research (cf. Case Study Analysis). No prior knowledge of the NVivo software is required.


Participants are expected to bring a WiFi-enabled laptop computer and should download the 14-day free trial version of NVivo Pro for Windows or Mac in preparation for this course. Due to the restrictions of the free trial version, which cannot be reinstalled on the same computer after the end of the trial period, participants should only install it on the first day of the course. Please ensure that NVivo works well on your laptop, and consult the QSR International website for self-help resources or to submit a support request if you experience installation problems.

Core Readings

Bazeley, Patricia. 2009. Analysing Qualitative Data: More than 'Identifying Themes'. Malaysian Journal of Qualitative Research 2: 6-22.

Bazeley, Patricia. 2013. Qualitative Data Analysis: Practical Strategies. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications.

Blaikie, Norman W. H. 2010. Designing Social Research. 2nd edition. Cambridge: Polity Press.

Coffey, Amanda J., and Paul A. Atkinson. 1996. Making Sense of Qualitative Data. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications.

Miles, Matthew B., and A. Michael Huberman. 1994. Qualitative Data Analysis: An Expanded Sourcebook. 2nd edition. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications.

Ritchie, Jane, Jane Lewis, Carol McNaughton-Nicholls, and Rachel Ormston, eds. 2014. Qualitative Research Practice: A Guide for Social Science Students and Researchers. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications.

Saldaña, Johnny. 2009. The Coding Manual for Qualitative Researchers. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications.

Tesch, Renata. 1990. Qualitative Research: Analysis Types and Software Tools. New York, NY: Routledge.

Suggested Readings

Bernard, H. Russell., Amber Y. Wutrich, and Gery W. Ryan. 2017. Analyzing Qualitative Data: Systemic Approaches. 2nd edition. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications.

Flick, Uwe, ed. 2014. The Sage Handbook of Qualitative Data Analysis. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications.

Gibson, William J., and Andrew Brown. 2009. Working with Qualitative Data. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications.

Grbich, Carol. 2013. Qualitative Data Analysis: An Introduction. 2nd edition. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications.

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