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Qualitative Data Analysis

Marie-Hélène Paré

Universitat Oberta de Catalunya

Marie-Hélène Paré teaches qualitative research methods at the Open University of Catalonia (UOC) and is a freelance methodologist in qualitative data analysis.

She was educated in Quebec, Beirut and Oxford where she read social work. A clinician by training, she worked as a mental health officer in humanitarian missions for MSF, MDM and UNWRA in psychosocial aid programs for survivors of war trauma in East Africa and the Middle East. Her clinical work led her to research the harm that INGOs can do in the name of doing good when imposing Western paradigms in culturally and politically different contexts.

She is an NVivo Certified Platinum Trainer and is part of the NVivo Academy training team for the NVivo online courses. Marie-Hélène is a sought-after methodologist, having taught qualitative data analysis in more than fifty universities and research centres worldwide, including universities in Qatar and Iran.

Since 2009, she has taught the introductory and advanced courses in qualitative data analysis at this Methods School, and she teaches similar courses the IPSA-NUS Summer School in Singapore. Her methodological interests range from advances in qualitative data analysis to qualitative systematic reviews, postcolonial epistemology and participatory methodologies. Read more about Marie-Hélène here.


Course Dates and Times

Monday 9 ꟷ Friday 13 August 2021
2 hours of live teaching per day
08:30 ꟷ 10:30 CET

Prerequisite Knowledge

This course assumes no previous knowledge of qualitative data analysis or NVivo, but requires basic understanding of qualitative research. Only the basic features of NVivo will be taught.
You can download the 14-day free trial of NVivo for Mac or Windows here.

Short Outline

This seminar-type course provides a highly interactive online teaching and learning environment, using state of the art online pedagogical tools. It is designed specifically for a demanding audience (researchers, professional analysts, advanced students) and is capped at a maximum of 12 participants so that the Instructor can cater to the specific needs of each individual.

Purpose of the course

This course gives you a solid foundation and applied skills in qualitative data analysis.

You will learn the conceptual basis of a strong qualitative research design, different approaches to code qualitative data, techniques to seek patterns across themes and cases, strategies to present qualitative findings convincingly and tips to create a transparent audit trail of your analysis process.

The course blends theory and practice, and uses NVivo software for the hands-on exercises. You can take course on its own, or in preparation for Advanced Qualitative Data Analysis in week three.

ECTS Credits

3 credits Engage fully with class activities 
4 credits Complete a post-class assignment

Long Course Outline

Key topics covered

Are you planning to conduct interviews or focus groups for your data collection, or perhaps collect policy papers or social media data from blogs, Facebook or Twitter? After you complete your data collection, you will sooner or later have to confront the mass of data you gathered and analyse your material.

But will you know how?

This course provides strategic understanding of, and applied skills in, planning, conducting and reporting qualitative data analysis in one’s research. You will learn the key concepts that underlie the process of qualitative analysis, which often go missing in qualitative research seminars, and are rarely discussed in mainstream qualitative methods textbooks, such as:

  • What influence does my ontological stance and epistemological position have on the method of qualitative analysis I will use in my study?
  • Can induction, deduction and abduction be combined when analysing qualitative data, or are they mutually exclusive?
  • What steps are involved in qualitative analysis?
  • After coding my data and sorting them into themes, how should I seek patterns and identify relationships in the data?
  • Should I use quotes or visualisations to present my findings?
  • What techniques should I use to establish the trustworthiness of my findings, so that they are seen as valid, reliable and objective?

The course, which uses NVivo software for qualitative analysis, explores these topics and more and puts them into practice during hands-on sessions. You will be able to work on your own data, discuss your research design, and troubleshoot problems with regard to your analysis with the teaching assistant, and present your analysis plan at the Master Class. 

How the course will work online

The course combines asynchronous pre-class assignments, such as readings and watching pre-recorded videos, as well as daily two-hour live sessions with Zoom. To prevent Zoom fatigue and boredom, the course pedagogy includes small-group work, short focused tasks and troubleshooting exercises using a range of online apps that support collective work and participant engagement with the course content.

Additional Information


This course description may be subject to subsequent adaptations (e.g. taking into account new developments in the field, participant demands, group size, etc). Registered participants will be informed at the time of change.

By registering for this course, you confirm that you possess the knowledge required to follow it. The instructor will not teach these prerequisite items. If in doubt, please contact us before registering.