autumn 2020
HEL-8043 Analytical strategies in qualitative data analysis - 5 ECTS

Last changed 11.08.2021

Application deadline

Applicants from Nordic countries: 1 June

Exchange students and Fulbright students: 15 April

Type of course

The course is part of the PhD-program of the Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Tromsø - the Arctic University of Norway. The course will be held every second year from 2020 It is available as a singular course.

Admission requirements

The course is available as a singular course.

Participants must be enrolled in a PhD program or a Student Research Program at UiT or another Norwegian/Nordic university. PhD students from other universities may also apply.

Participants are assumed to have basic skills in qualitative methodology; theory of science, research design and research ethics. We recommend students to start with or fulfil HEL-8040 (or an equivalent course) before taking this course.

The course will be held only with a minimum of 6 participants.

Application code: 9301

Course overlap

Du vil få en reduksjon i antall studiepoeng (som oppgitt under), dersom du avlegger eksamen i dette emnet og har bestått følgende emne(r) fra før av:

HEL-8028 Analysing Qualitative Data 2 stp

Course content

The course will provide in-depth knowledge of various approaches to qualitative data analysis and their connection to theoretical perspectives and methodology. It is a specialised and advanced course relevant for students in medicine, health sciences and social sciences. The course is relevant for those who work with qualitative or mixed methods, and others who want to obtain these qualifications.

The course is about how to perform data analysis in qualitative research. Students will obtain knowledge, skills and competence that enable them to judge, select, design and perform qualitative analyses of a wide range of qualitative data based on sound and consistent methodologies. Methodologies include epistemological perspectives, theoretical framing, analytical strategies and modes of interpretation. The phase of data-analysis is the main component, but the course also entails training in critically evaluating qualitative research, how to write up results, and how to write for international journals.

We will also cover how to carry out qualitative data analysis with computer software for qualitative research involving text-based or multimedia data (ie. NVivo).

Recommended prerequisites

HEL-8040 Theory of science, research ethics and research design

Objectives of the course


  • Differentiate and judge different analytical strategies for analysing qualitative data with qualitative methodologies
  • Reflect on the role of theory in qualitative research
  • Reflect on the epistemological foundation of different analytical methodologies, and what kind of knowledge qualitative data does and does not provide
  • Reflect on how the context of data collection might have influenced the results

Skills: After the course, the student is expected to be able to

  • select the most appropriate methodology for analysing qualitative data through qualitative interpretation
  • judge the validity and reliability of different analytical strategies to different kinds of empirical data sources
  • interpret qualitative data based on a sound and coherent qualitative methodology and sound arguments
  • create a robust framework of concepts, theories and perspectives for qualitative research
  • integrate theoretical reflections while analysing empirical data
  • generate theory from empirical data through qualitative analysis
  • design an effective workflow and carry out a software-assisted qualitative and quantitative analysis of qualitative data
  • critically judge research based on qualitative data and methods
  • carry out a theory-based qualitative analysis of qualitative data to present the research results, and integrate the findings in a theoretical framework and
  • to integrate micro, meso and macro - perspectives in theoretically informed analysis
  • to perform a qualitative data analysis based on sound analytical skills, scientific strength, academic maturity and critical thinking

Competence: After the course, the student is expected to be able to

  • judge the appropriateness of different interpretive methodologies for different research questions
  • determine the relevance of qualitative analysis methods, and judge the scientific quality of data material and research question
  • deconstruct one’s biases, and reflect on how they may influence the analysis
  • identify and reflect on ethical significant issues concerning analysis and dissemination of qualitative data

Language of instruction and examination


Teaching methods

The course will run through six days, divided into two workshops during one semester. Both workshops contain didactic teaching through lectures, group-working sessions, and interactive discussion and feedback. Individual reading toward knowledge assimilation is a requirement. It includes pree-course work in the form of reading the literature connected to the course.

There will be a mixture of teacher-led and student-led activities throughout each day of the course. Students will be expected to take an active and dynamic part of all coursework. We encourage students to put their knowledge into practice through group sessions that aim to improve practical skills and general competence.

Lectures and group-sessions will cover interpretations of various kinds of qualitative data sources, such as interview data collected solo or in groups; experiential autobiographical texts and images; observational data and dialogical conversation-data from naturally occurring situations. We cover theories, perspectives and methods from a wide range of research traditions.


Mandatory work requirements:

  • Compulsory attendance, minimum 80 % documented attendance and active participation during the seminars.
  • Between the two seminars, each student has to deliver a written home assignment on a given topic. The home assignment must be approved before the second seminar in order to take the exam.


An individually written home exam over two weeks on a given topic, length 2000 - 3000 words (written in English). Graded as pass or fail.

A re-sit exam will be arranged for this course

  • About the course
  • Campus: Ukjent |
  • ECTS: 5
  • Course code: HEL-8043
  • Earlier years and semesters for this topic