The 3-day Gathering and Analysing Qualitative Data course provides qualitative skills to design, collect, analyse and make evidence-informed decisions based on qualitative data or qualitative data integrated with quantitative data (mixed methods). 

The trainers use their extensive experience to provide real world examples of how to apply this method in practice to collect large scale qualitative data and how to understand the results from administrative or survey data by investigating these findings in more depth through qualitative methods.

Using experiential design, the course provides opportunities to practice the skills learnt to undertake interviews, focus groups or visual methods whilst gaining feedback from the ISSR trainers.

Who is this course for: Research and policy officers in government or private sector; researchers; school leaders who gather evidence from their stakeholders; students enrolled for Higher Degree Research and anyone who gathers data through interviews, focus groups, documents, observation, or visual elicitation methods. Researchers developing a survey would find the course useful in the design and testing phase as well as to analyse data from open-ended questions.

Topics covered

  • Designing research using the appropriate qualitative method(s)
  • How qualitative and quantitative methods can complement and enhance our understanding of a research problem
  • Understanding and addressing research bias
  • Enhancing the validity and trustworthiness of qualitative research through best practices measures such as keeping a reflective journal, creating a well-developed coding framework and engaging others in your analysis
  • Developing qualitative research questions
  • Planning research (including budget, ethics, sampling, participant recruitment and logistical arrangements)
  • Developing qualitative instruments (including interview guides, consent forms and participant information sheets)
  • Interviewing with confidence (including interview and facilitation skills, interview and focus group practice and feedback opportunities)
  • Understanding other qualitative methods such as observation, ethnography, cognitive/retrospective interviews, visual elicitation methods and online methods
  • Choosing the appropriate analytical approach for your study (including Grounded Theory Analysis, Thematic and Content Analysis, Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis and Narrative Analysis)
  • Understanding the analytical process (including anonymising, step-by-step guidance through a worked example of coding, practical tips to develop a coding framework and code in ‘real world’ circumstances and developing themes from the codes)
  • Using computer-assisted software in qualitative analysis process (including documentation, file storage processes, transcription and analysis and an introduction to NVivo and Leximancer)
  • Interpreting qualitative data (including how to interpret qualitative results from peer reviewed papers)
  • Writing up results for different audiences (including PhD thesis, peer-reviewed papers, reports, book chapters, participant summaries, policy briefs, podcasts, case studies and vignettes)
  • Visualisation and presentation of qualitative data to maximise impact

Learning objectives

  • Understand the impact of bias in all aspects of the research process
  • Understand the value and purpose of qualitative research and when to use these methods
  • Gain knowledge and skills to understand, design and conduct high quality qualitative research to inform evidence-based decisions
  • Gain knowledge and skills to analyse and synthesise qualitative data
  • Understand the complementarity between qualitative and quantitative methods and, where appropriate, integrate qualitative and quantitative data in mixed methods research
  • Critically review the quality of qualitative findings in reports, policy briefs and published papers
  • Gain knowledge and skills to interpret, write-up and present qualitative findings for a range of audiences

Groups: Course content can be customised and could incorporate your own research questions and/or data and can be held at your own location or at ISSR. (Minimum of 10 participants)

Custom courses: All MFSAS courses can be customised using your own data sets and can be delivered at your premises. (Minimum of 10 participants)

Register now
Follow the links below to register for your preferred date:

2023 intakes:
Monday, 29 May - Wednesday, 31 May 2023 (registration now closed)
Monday, 13 November - Wednesday, 15 November 2023 (registration closes 7 days prior to course commencement, by COB 6 November 2023) 
9am – 5pm (AEST)

2024 intakes:
Shorter sessions across 2 weeks (3.5 hours for 6 days)  
Tuesday to Thursday, 16–18 January and 23–25 January 2024 (registration closes 7 days prior to course commencement, by COB 8 January 2024) 
9am – 12:30pm (AEST; GMT+10)

Online Delivery via Zoom

Courses will only proceed if there is a minimum of 6 participants.

AUD 1,830 - Standard rate
AUD 1,519 - Early Bird (book and pay one month before registration close)
AUD 1,464 - Groups (3 or more, price per person)
​AUD 1,281 - UQ Students
AUD 1,373 - Students (other than UQ)

*(fees include GST and course materials)

Custom & group enquiries


Associate Professor Jenny Povey is a Research Group Leader at the Institute for Social Science Research, and an Associate Investigator in the ARC Centre of Excellence on Families and Children over the Life Course (the Life Course Centre) at The University of Queensland. She is a Psychologist and obtained her BA Honors, MA and PhD from the Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University in South Africa. Before coming to ISSR, Jenny worked as a Chief Researcher at the Human Sciences Research Council in South Africa in the area of Education effectiveness. At ISSR, Jenny's research group focuses on evidenced-based practice, social policy evaluation and research utilisation that impacts policy and practice. Within this broader theme of work, she has a program of work that focusses on education effectiveness, parent engagement, and student well-being. She has extensive experience in mixed methods research using administrative data together with survey and qualitative data. 


Dr Charlotte (Charlie) Young is a Research Fellow at the Institute for Social Science Research. She is a qualitative and interdisciplinary researcher working across public health, health promotion, sociology, and migration studies. Charlotte achieved her PhD at Australian Catholic University and her BSc Honours in Sociology and Social Policy at the University of Bath in the UK. She has developed skills in case study design, conducting interviews, focus groups, observation, document review, and applying critical social theory such as intersectionality. Recently, she has been exploring how the COVID-19 pandemic has impacted migrant and refugee background tertiary students and how young culturally and linguistically diverse social media influencers have been promoting COVID-safe behaviours online. Charlotte also explores immigrant organisations as critical settings to influence health and wellbeing. At ISSR Charlotte is contributing to evaluation research including for state-wide health interventions and a refugee resettlement program.


Ms Elizabeth (Lizzie) Kennedy is a Senior Research Officer at the Institute for Social Science Research. She has worked on both quantitative and qualitative research projects for mainly government departments and universities over the last twenty years. She has extensive experience in survey design and project management. In her previous role at Which? (Choice equivalent in the UK) to influence practical policy solutions, Lizzie worked with agencies to conduct qualitative fieldwork among audiences including children and adults. More recently at ISSR Lizzie has conducted individual interviews and facilitated group interviews. As well as conducting the interviews as part of the recent Try, Test and Learn evaluation, Lizzie was also a key contributor in the analysis of the qualitative data. Currently, she is the managing the fieldwork component of the Community Refugee Integration and Settlement Pilot (CRISP) program evaluation.


Elizabeth HitchesMs Elizabeth Hitches researches inclusive education and student voice at a national and international level, with a particular interest in equity, achievement, and wellbeing for students with disability, chronic health conditions and/or accessibility requirements. She has experience in survey design and drawing on this method to engage with ‘hidden populations’ through anonymous means. She has conducted qualitative analysis of survey and interview data on multiple projects, taking a Grounded Theory or thematic analysis approach, as well employing a priori coding. Elizabeth considers and advocates for how research methods and modes of data collection can support inclusive, accessible and equitable research participation experiences for a diversity of participants. At ISSR, Elizabeth is contributing to research reviewing outcomes of men’s health interventions. She is also a research officer and research assistant in both qualitative and quantitative research at various universities.  

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The emphasis on actually applying some of the theory was brilliant! It's easy to go to a bunch of courses and just learn the theory each time, but it's not until you go to apply it that you realise how important it is to see it in action. I think you have done a great job of this - especially having staff available for the breakouts etc so that things were facilitated well. Some really useful best-practice advice to better construct interview/survey questions and make sure that they are optimised for participants and will help to achieve the research question/outcomes. Also really great to test my analysis skills and see how the experts do it! 

Simon Alperstein, National Acoustic Laboratories