Jump to page content

Background and rationale for the course

In a simple way, qualitative research can be understood as the collection and systematic analysis of non-quantitative data, and qualitative researchers try to gain a deeper understanding of people’s experiences, perceptions, behaviours and processes, and the meanings they attach to them. However, qualitative and quantitative areas of research cannot be defined and separated as simply as that. In some research areas or for some specific research questions, like in health research, quantitative methods are often not sufficient to provide definitive answers to research questions and must be complemented by qualitative ones. Specifically, in public health and biomedical sciences, qualitative methods can help explain how individuals and communities understand health and disease, shed light on interactions relevant to a health issue, show how people overcome difficult situations, and offer solutions. Furthermore, when using previous quantitative results, or when conducted in conjunction with quantitative surveys, the qualitative paradigm can help explain unexpected findings that quantitative methods alone cannot explain, and might be used to generate hypotheses for follow-up studies. Therefore, the use of qualitative methods in health research contributes to developing an understanding of the phenomenon by examining how participants experience, perceive and make sense of their lives. It goes beyond the surface of the topic to reveal deeper meanings and contexts. Its findings are not quantitative, but descriptive, and frequently raise questions for future research.

Description of the course

This course is aimed primordially at biomedical researchers, including Ph.D. students, post-docs, and other professionals, who are interested in using qualitative research for exploring the experiences and perceptions of patients, relatives, healthcare workers, or other stakeholders, for a variety of research questions. The content is intended to facilitate an understanding of the fundamentals and common essential elements of qualitative research methodologies in general, and to provide a wide range of practical cues and skills for conducting qualitative research in the field of biomedical-related research in particular.

During the course, we will provide step-by-step guidance to examine and apply current qualitative methodologies to generate, manage and analyse qualitative data. We will also address further important aspects of qualitative research, like ethical considerations and trustworthiness. The learning activities in the course are a mix of lectures, individual and group discussions, interviews, and individual presentations.

The complete course will be offered in three modules: Basic, Intermediate, and Advanced.

3 modules


For each module, attendees will get a certificate. Additionally, PhD and other students may get 1.0 ECTS points; please address us.


Professor Hamidreza Khankeh is the Vice-Chancellor of Research and Technology at the University of Social Welfare and Rehabilitation Sciences in Tehran, Iran, as well as an affiliated professor at the Department of Clinical Science and Education at the Karolinska Institute in Sweden. He has more than 20 years of experience working in qualitative research and mixed-method studies. He has also designed and conducted university courses in qualitative methodology for Ph.D. and Postdoc researchers in Iran, Sweden, Poland, and Germany. He will offer the course as an invited guest at the BIH QUEST Center.

Dr. Juliet Roudini is currently working as a research fellow on a project within the Cluster of Excellence NeuroCure, in the area of Patient & Stakeholder Engagement at the BIH QUEST Center. Before joining the QUEST Center, she worked for several years as a teaching assistant for qualitative research at Leipzig University and in the Clinical Science and Education Departments at the Karolinska Institute in Sweden. She will assist Professor Khankeh during the realisation of this course.

Important Information

  • Basic module: April 24-25, 2023
  • Intermediate module: September 6-7, 2023
  • Advanced module: November 27-28, 2023

Time: 9:00 am – 4:00 pm

Course language: English

Venue: Berlin Institute of Health (BIH), Seminar room Atrium Address: Anna-Louisa-Karsch-Str. 2, 10178 Berlin

Format: In presence

Registration: The registration is open for the Intermediate module. Please register here.

Further information: Dr. Juliet Roudini

[Translate to englisch:]

Dr. Juliet Roudini

Research fellow – Patient & Stakeholder Engagement, Cluster of Excellence NeuroCure

Contact information