Qualitative Health Research (AMC PhD Program)

Information about the course Qualitative Health Research.

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The aim of this course is to understand the central elements of qualitative research in health and healthcare, both theoretically and practically. Course members will be introduced to qualitative research goals and questions, learn about different types of qualitative data gathering (interviews, observations, focus groups), about data analysis and writing strategies. Course assignments will always be linked to the participants own current research. At the end of the course, participants will be able to write the methods section of their article and, in the discussion section, to reflect on the strengths and weaknesses of their own qualitative research project.


    The course runs once a year and consists of four full-day sessions on consecutive Tuesdays plus a fifth day scheduled in the next month. Each session consists of the introduction to theoretical aspects, followed by a practical, interactive workshop on the topic. Between sessions, participants need to spend some time reading the literature and on making the course assignments. Participants practice with their own research material, as well as with other research data.

      Scheduled dates:

      • March 18, 25, April 1, 8 and May 6, 2020. (no availability until further notice)


      The instructors are members of the AMC Qualitative Research Network. The following topics are covered:

      1. Research design: how to set up qualitative research consistent with the research question.
      2. Data- gathering: Interviewing, Observation, Focus groups: collecting qualitative data relevant to the research question; skills training.
      3. Analysis of qualitative data: how to interpret data in a meaningful way, with an eye on the research question; skills training.
      4. Writing: how to learn to write about qualitative data in a recognizable and valid way.
      5. Quality of qualitative data: how to produce reliable and valid research results in a paper suitable for publication.

      Target Audience:

      AMC PhD candidates involved in a qualitative research project, as the participants’ own material is used as essential input for the course. The project does not need to be finalized at the time of the course, although the methods section for the course assignment can be written only partly if empirical data still need to be collected and analyzed. No prior knowledge of or experience in qualitative health research is needed.


      The course is given in Dutch or English.


      To qualify for the certificate, a participant must attend all lectures and complete all assignments satisfactorily. Attendance is registered.

      Study load:

      54 hours, which is comparable to 1.9 ECTS points.

      Number of participants:

      Maximum 15 per course.


      No charge for registered AMC PhD candidates. Employees of the AMC or AMC Medical Research BV can participate provided slots are available. All other participants are charged a fee of 1,250 euro.

      Course Coordinator:

      Prof. D.L. Willems / Department of General Practice / d.l.willems@amc.uva.nl / tel. +31 (0)20 - 566 7658.

      More information:

      From the course coordinator or AMC Graduate School / graduateschool@amc.uva.nl / room E2-172 / tel. +31 (0)20 - 566 4618.


      AMC Graduate School
      E-mail: graduateschool@amc.nl
      Tel: +31 (0)20 - 566 3108