Thematic Analysis using MAXQDA



Organised by:

Qualitative Data Analysis Services


Dr Christina Silver


Entry (no or almost no prior knowledge)


Christina Silver,

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Venue: Online


Course overview and aims

MAXQDA can be harnessed to undertake qualitative and mixed-methods analysis drawing on a range of different analytic methods. Thematic analysis is a common approach which has become increasingly popular in recent years – amongst students working on qualitative dissertations and amongst researchers working throughout academic and applied research sectors (e.g. government, policy, charity, market-research etc.).

This course focuses on how the techniques involved in the phases of work in a thematic analysis can be accomplished using the software tools provided by MAXQDA. Using Braun & Clarke’s (2021) six phases of Reflexive Thematic Analysis as an example framework, we set up a thematic analysis in MAXQDA and experiment with a range of tools that can be used to familiarise with data, code data, generate, develop, review and refine themes, capture analytic reflections throughout the process, and share findings and process. We discuss the appropriateness of tools for different analytic tasks, and the benefits of using MAXQDA for thematic analysis in comparison to manual methods.

This course teaches the latest version of MAXQDA – currently 2022. Participants do not need to purchase a license to follow the course, as an extended trial version will be made available as part of the course registration.


Learning objectives

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

  • Understand the range of MAXQDA tools than can be harnessed throughout common phases of thematic analysis
  • Set up a MAXQDA project and plan its use for thematic analysis
  • Use MAXQDA tools for data familiarisation, coding, theme development and refinement, and continual reflection
  • Organise qualitative data based on factual characteristics (e.g. participant socio-demographics).
  • Be comfortable with the possibilities for interrogation and mapping in the software to identify and explore thematic patterns
  • Save and back up projects, share findings in different forms



  • Strategies and tactics in thematic analysis – the importance of methodology and how research objectives drive the use of software tools
  • Approaches to thematic analysis – similarities and differences in thematic analysis approaches
  • Planning an analysis – the purpose and use of Analytic Planning Worksheets for planning the tasks involved in the phases of thematic analysis
  • Data formatting – transcription protocols that maximise functionality in MAXQDA
  • Setting up a project – structuring the MAXQDA workspace in line with your objectives
  • Familiarising with data – in-depth annotation and initial high-level explorations
  • Conceptualising data – interpretive and inductive coding compared with automated coding options and their role in thematic analysis
  • Identifying, developing and refining themes – using MAXQDA tools to construct, work with and explore themes as you develop them
  • Organising data – attaching socio-demographics or other meta-data to the units in your analysis
  • Interrogating and visualising data – uncovering relationships and mapping ideas, sharing findings in a variety of ways


Who is this course for?

This course is designed for anyone interested in using MAXQDA to undertake thematic analysis of qualitative materials including transcripts from interviews, group discussions, observations etc.

No prior knowledge of MAXQDA is required.


Format and documentation

This course is delivered in a series of live online sessions during the day that combine discussion, demonstration and hands-on exercises.

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 have the opportunity to discuss their qualitative projects with each other, and with the facilitators.

Participants are provided with slide decks, reading lists and resources to further knowledge about the topics covered during the day.



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.


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:




Thematic Analysis, ICT and Software, MAXQDA

Related publications and presentations:

Thematic Analysis
ICT and Software

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