Analysing interview and focus group data with NVivo



Organised by:

Qualitative Data Analysis Services


Dr Christina Silver and Dr Sarah Bulloch


Entry (no or almost no prior knowledge)


Christina Silver,

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Venue: Online


Develop your skills in analysing interview and focus-group transcripts using NVivo in our one-day workshop


Learning objectives

By the end of the course, participants will be able to:

  • Distinguish between the analytic strategies that drive your project and the software tactics you will employ.
  • Set up an NVivo project with your own textual data and engage in exploratory analytic activities.
  • Carry out coding and organizing of data based on socio-demographics.
  • Be comfortable with the possibilities for interrogation and mapping in the software.
  • Save and back up projects. 


Who is this course for?

This course is designed for postgraduate students and early career researchers in any discipline working on or planning to work with interview or focus group data. 

No prior knowledge of NVivo is required.


Course overview and aims

NVivo can be harnessed to manage, analyse and interpret any qualitative materials. This course focuses on harnessing NVivo when working with primary data generated from conversations with participants through interviews and focus-group discussions. It is framed by the Five-Level QDA® method, which provides an adaptable framework for ensuring the tools you use in NVivo are driven by the methodological needs of your project. 

The course provides a comprehensive overview of NVivo by introducing its core components using sample transcripts and course participants are facilitated in using the software in guided hands-on sessions. We discuss common approaches to analysing interview and focus-group transcripts, open-up thinking about how to appropriately choose between them and provide a framework for planning and documenting your analysis. 



  • Strategies and tactics in qualitative research – the importance of methodology and how research objectives drive the use of software tools
  • Approaches to analysing interview and focus-group transcripts – commonly used analytic approaches for interview and focus-group data and their appropriateness to your objectives
  • Planning an analysis – the purpose and use of Analytic Planning Worksheets
  • Data formatting – transcription protocols that maximise functionality in NVivo
  • Setting up a project – structuring the NVivo workspace in line with your objectives
  • Exploring data – in-depth annotation and initial high-level explorations
  • Conceptualising data – interpretive and inductive coding compared with automated coding options
  • Organising data – attaching socio-demographics or other meta-data to the units in your analysis
  • Interrogating and visualising data – uncovering relationships and mapping ideas


Format and documentation

All our workshops are hands-on, delivered through a blend of demonstration, discussion and practical exercises, rather than providing simplistic, mechanical instruction. 

To deliver as tailored an experience as possible, we contact you on enrolment in order to understand your research goals and analytical strategies. Additionally, our participant numbers are capped to a small group size and we run our courses with two facilitators, allowing us to cover the core topics, as well as specialist needs arising out of individual projects. 

Participants are provided with slide decks, reading lists and a range of resources to accompany the course and to support consolidation of the topics covered. 

Participants must have access to NVivo on either a Windows or Mac machine. The course will be taught on NVivo R1, however, participants running NVivo 12 are also able to follow the course. A two week trial version of the software is available free of charge from the NVivo website



Christina Silver, PhD is the director of Qualitative Data Analysis Services and manager of the CAQDAS Networking Project at the University of Surrey, UK. Christina’s interests relate to the relationship between technology and methodology and the effective teaching of qualitative methods and digital tools. She is co-author of Using Software in Qualitative Research: A Step-by-Step Guide (Sage publications, 2007, 2014) and Qualitative Analysis using ATLAS.ti/MAXQDA/NVivo: The Five-Level QDA® Method (Routledge 2018). Christina has trained more than 11,000 researchers around the world in qualitative methods and the use of digital tools for analysis, since 1998, and is a Fellow of the UK Academy of Social Sciences.

Sarah L Bulloch, PhD is a senior associate of Qualitative Data Analysis Services and teaching fellow at the CAQDAS Networking Project at the University of Surrey, UK. Sarah has expertise in both qualitative and quantitative analysis techniques and has applied them in academic, public sector, private and third sector contexts. Her current work and research centres around enabling others to apply research methods, and the digital tools to support them, in a meaningful, robust and flexible way. Sarah first used CAQDAS packages in 2006 and started teaching them in 2010. 


About Qualitative Data Analysis Services

QDA Services provide tailored and flexible training, consultancy, coaching and analysis for qualitative and mixed-methods researchers. We specialise in facilitating high-quality analysis through the powerful use of digital tools. Our website provides information about our work, including our pedagogy - the Five-Level QDA method, which underpins the way we think about, undertake and teach methods and tools.



£130 Students, £160 General

Website and registration:




Qualitative Data Handling and Data Analysis, Mixed Methods Data Handling and Data Analysis, ICT and Software, NVivo

Related publications and presentations:

Qualitative Data Handling and Data Analysis
Mixed Methods Data Handling and Data Analysis
ICT and Software

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