Qualitative Data Analysis: Approaches and Techniques


One day, Foundation level. Nottingham. Price for SRA members: £195

*This course has been relocated from Manchester*

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Qualitative research generates a phenomenal amount of data and it can be overwhelming at times knowing how to deal with it. Data analysis approaches are diverse, sometimes confusing and overlapping, and are not always clearly defined in terms of the steps required to achieve rigorous and reliable results. This course aims to provide a path through all this confusion. First we introduce participants to a number of approaches to qualitative data analysis and discuss how they compare and contrast, and their relationship to wider paradigms.  We then move on to specific practical procedures, that are common to most approaches, for the management and processing of qualitative data. Through a combination of lectures, discussions, and practical sessions, the course covers the logic of qualitative research, a variety of analysis styles, the practicalities of managing and coding data, and the preparation of clear results for specific audiences. The course does not cover writing up. The overall emphasis will be on the interpretive and thematic analysis of qualitative data, as a generic form of analysis.


By the end of the workshop, participants will have

  • ● Knowledge and critical awareness of diverse types of qualitative data analysis
  • ● A critical appreciation of what thematic analysis is and how it fits as an approach to analyzing qualitative data
  • ● Practical knowledge of the process of thematic analysis
  • ● Discursive knowledge of the role of thematic analysis in generating rigorous and valid reports
  • ● Practical knowledge of (some of) the steps in data management, coding and preparation


  • ● The iterative-inductive nature of qualitative analysis
  • ● A quick overview of different types of qualitative data analysis: thematic, discourse, content, grounded theory, narrative and ethnographic analysis
  • ● Data management and storage (including, briefly, computer software)
  • ● Coding: open, inductive, deductive and focused coding
  • ● The role of theory in coding and analysis
  • ● Memo-writing or diagramming
  • ● Identifying themes and categories (processes, actions, stories, personas, or typologies)

Who will benefit?

This course is suitable for those new to qualitative data analysis, but it is expected participants will have prior experience of qualitative research, or will have received at least introductory training in qualitative methods. Participants at the early, middle or final stages of a qualitative research project who need some help achieving rigorous and careful analysis will benefit. However, it is far better to think about qualitative analysis before you start a project if possible. The course is appropriate for those whose data are (or will be) in the form of transcripts, field notes, documents, images, internet pages, and/or audio or video recordings.

Course tutor

Karen O'Reilly is Emeritus Professor of Sociology at Loughborough University, and an affiliate of the School of Anthropology and Museum Ethnography, University of Oxford. She has taught ethnographic and qualitative methods for over 20 years, including the Essex Summer School in Social Science Data Collection and Analysis, the Swiss Summer School in Social Science Methods, in Lugano; at the Universities of Aberdeen, Essex, Loughborough and Oxford; and at universities in Germany, Norway and Hong Kong. Her experience also includes being a Member of the Advisory Board of the NCRM biannual Research Methods Festival 2011-2012; and a member of the ESRC Peer Review College 2012 – 2016.

Karen is a highly experienced ethnographer whose many publications include two widely cited books on ethnography: Ethnographic Methods(Routledge, 2nd ed. 2012) and Key Concepts in Ethnography(Sage, 2009). She has also been instrumental in the design and evaluation of Masters level Research Methods courses and programmes in a number of universities. Karen provides short courses for the SRA on a regular basis.

mrs cpd logo This course contributes 6 hours to the MRS CPD programme

Price for SRA members: £195. Use the discount code emailed to you.

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If you are unsure of your code, or haven't received one, please contact us.

Want to book 2+ people at the same time? Get in touch: admin[at]the-sra[dot]gov.uk

Registration on the day is from 9.00 - 9.30 am.


Cancellation policy: Full refund if cancelled 21 days or more from the course date.  No refund if cancelled 20 days or fewer from the course date.

Registrations for this course will not be accepted after 1 March 2018 at noon.

We are sorry but registration for this event is now closed.

Please contact us if you would like to know if spaces are still available.