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Working with large amounts of secondary or primary qualitative data: Breadth-and-Depth Method

Tuesday 1 - Thursday 3 December, 2020

Dr. Emma Davidson, University of Edinburgh
Dr. Susie Weller, University of Southampton
Professor Lynn Jamieson, University of Edinburgh
Professor Rosalind Edwards, University of Southampton

Join us for an exciting and flexible online course that will develop your knowledge and skills for working with qualitative data at scale: ‘big qual’. Discover cutting-edge analytic methods with applications across archival research, social media research, secondary analytic practice and other research arenas in which large amounts of diverse qualitative data, including longitudinal, are brought together and analysed.

This course amounts to around 7 hours study over a 3-day period. It is tailored so that you can dip-in-and-out of resources and activities, self-directing your study to fit in with your work and life commitments. You will be able to access online guidance from the course tutors as you go, culminating in a live online discussion session on the afternoon of the third day.

Gain guided experience of the unique four-step Breadth and Depth Method to enable you to combine extensive coverage with intensive illumination, moving between the span of big qual analysis and the detail of qualitative engagement.

In this course you will:

  • gain hands-on experience of accessing, searching, obtaining and organising large amounts of qualitative data;
  • practice identifying and exploring datasets using contextual metadata;
  • learn how to undertake preliminary exploration across the breadth of big qual using basic text analysis software;
  • acquire an understanding of using analytic software to identify points of interest and select cases to follow up;
  • learn about and undertake in-depth analysis of selected cases to deal with context, complexity and detail; and
  • understand the iterative relationship between extensive and intensive explorations enabled by the Breadth-and-Depth Method.

The course is suitable for early career as well as more experienced researchers. You will need to be familiar with the purpose of qualitative research and qualitative methods of data collection and analysis.

To register, please go to:

If you have any queries about these events, please contact Dr Kahryn Hughes,