An introduction to Qualitative Research Methods

This summer course will introduce you to qualitative research methods. We will discuss the philosophical foundations of qualitative research and indicate how to assess its quality.

This course is closed and you can't apply anymore. Please check our other courses.


Course Level
Advanced Master
ECTS credits
1.5 ECTS
Course location(s)
Utrecht, The Netherlands


This course (and waiting list) is fully booked, so we are unable to accept any new applications.

You will receive an interview training, conduct field observations to collect data, and write a vignette – a form of writing common to ethnography. We will provide an overview of data analysis methods and you will practice with inductive coding, following a Grounded Theory approach.

Grounded theory involves refining theoretical lenses during the research process and building theory from the data. Grounded theory about a process, action, or interaction is generated by exploring the views of the participants and interpreting what such views mean in relation to the original research questions. Usually, data on these views are collected via interviews, focus group sessions and observations; methods that are common to ethnographic research. Ethnography is dedicated to exploring and understanding how people perceive and give meaning to the world from their particular position in a society, organization or setting. One of the main goals of ethnography is to understand why and how people act in a particular manner within a specific socio-cultural context.

In this course you will discuss the entire qualitative research process, including data selection, data collection, and data analysis. Bearing in mind the flexibility of qualitative research, with different stages, steps, and decision points for various formulations and types, we will discuss the core principles of this process.

The course will cover the main methods of data collection in qualitative research: interviews, focus groups, observation and documents as data. You will practice with doing semi-structured interviews and field observation. The course will also cover the quality of qualitative research, such as rigor and trustworthiness, ethics, positionality and different frequently used quality criteria. Also, different methods for data analysis will be discussed, with a focus on inductive coding, fitting the goals of the grounded theory approach. You will practice with the different stages in inductive coding of interview data.

The course is organized in a way that allows students to learn by doing. Therefore, the students will perform various practical exercises which will give them a hands-on experience on how to do qualitative research.

Participants are requested to bring their own laptop computer. Software will be available online.

Day to Day Documents

S67 Day to day program 2024.pdf


Dr. Gijs Cremers, Prof.dr. Martijn Oosterbaan, Drs. Marieke den Otter.

Target audience

This course introduces students to qualitative research methods. A preliminary understanding of general qualitative research is preferable (although not mandatory).

For an overview of all our summer courses offered by the Department of Methodology and Statistics please click here.

Aim of the course

The course aims to provide students with the fundamentals of qualitative research methods. By the end of the course the students will be familiar with the following aspects:

  • Data selection
  • Data collection
  • Data analysis
  • Presentation of results
  • Rigor/ trustworthiness
  • Ethics
  • Quality

Study load

Five full days with breaks for coffee & tea, lunch, and sodas.

On an average day of the course, the students will be in class for eight hours. These eight hours will include lectures and practical exercises. There are breaks for coffee & tea, lunch, and sodas. Students are expected to spend an average of two hours per day on self-study after class.

You will receive a certificate upon course completion. Please be aware that this course does not include graded activities, and therefore we cannot provide a transcript of grades.


  • Course fee: €850.00
  • Included: Course + course materials + lunch


PhD students from the Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences at Utrecht University have the opportunity to attend three Winter/Summer School courses funded by the Graduate School of Social and Behavioural Sciences. Additionally, they may choose to take as many courses as they wish at their own expense from their personal budget.

There are no scholarships available for this course.

We also offer tailor-made M&S courses and in-house M&S training. If you want to check out the possibilities, please contact us at ms.summerschool@uu.nl

Additional information

The housing costs do not include a Utrecht Summer School sleeping bag. This is a separate product on the invoice. If you wish to bring your own bedding, please deselect or remove the sleeping bag from your order. 


For this course you are required to upload the following documents when applying:

  • Motivation Letter
  • C.V.