This course is concerned with central questions, methodological approaches, and themes related to conducting qualitative research.

With this course, we aim to foster PhD students’ 1) informed understanding about designing and carrying out qualitative research; 2) developing skills related to data collection and analysis in qualitative in qualitative research and 3) the enactment of 1 and 2 in PhD students’ own research projects.

Course coordinator: dr. Larike Bronkhorst

Course objectives

More specifically, by the end of the course students will know:

  • A variety of paradigms, traditions and approaches to qualitative research
  • Their own positionality and situate themselves as insiders/outsiders in their current research projects
  • How to optimize their data collection (most explicitly interviews)
  • The possibilities of data-analysis
  • How to establish trustworthiness in their own research projects
  • How to write and publish qualitative research


The course consists of four digital meetings of one day each that students have prepared in advance. (Guest) lectures are alternated with individual and group assignments, demonstrations, and discussions. Students share their own experiences with their peers and with the instructors. The rationale of this student-centered approach is that students and instructors can learn from each other and ‘make the course together’.

In the first meeting, we pay attention to different paradigms and philosophical issues related to qualitative research, positionality as well as issues related to quality.

In the second meeting, the main focus will be on data collection and analyses, using interviews as an example.

The third meeting continues with other not as widely known qualitative designs and analyses.

During the fourth meeting, the participants will engage in an interactive lecture about what constitutes good writing in qualitative research, including tips and tricks for getting published based on the lecturer’s experiences as journal editors.

A main thread underlying the course is the assignment in which students reflect on their own research project.

Requirements: It is highly recommended that students let the lecturer know in advance if they have specific questions. The lecturer prefers to work with “real” examples from the PhD students’ own study (ie. data collection instruments, transcripts, (ethical) dilemma’s, quality concerns).


Day 1 & 2 Wednesday September 30, Thursday October 1

Day 3 & 4: Wednesday October 7, Thursday October 8

Location: MS Teams

Participants prepare individually for each course day through readings. The content of the readings is not repeated in lectures during course days; instead it serves as the basis for the lectures and the practical assignments. During the last 30 minutes of each meeting, participants work on their assignment

Maximum number of participants: 24


The student completes the course when s/he demonstrates evidence of having read the articles, and having done (& posted online) the preparatory work, is present during the course, actively engages in exchanging and discussing ideas in the workshops.