Login for PhD students at UCPH      Login for others
Why, when and how: Theory in Qualitative Empirical Studies
Provider: Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences

Activity no.: 3930-22-00-00There are 13 available seats 
Enrollment deadline: 15/10/2022
Date and time15.11.2022, at: 09:00 - 17.11.2022, at: 16:00
Regular seats25
Course fee4,920.00 kr.
ECTS credits2.40
Contact personAnnegrethe Hansen    E-mail address: ahan@sund.ku.dk
Enrolment Handling/Course OrganiserPhD administration     E-mail address: phdkursus@sund.ku.dk

Aim and content
This is a generic course. This means that the course is reserved for PhD students at the Graduate School of Health and Medical Sciences at UCPH.

Anyone can apply for the course, but if you are not a PhD student at the Graduate School, you will be placed on the waiting list until enrollment deadline. After the enrolment deadline, available seats will be allocated to the waiting list.

The course is free of charge for PhD students at Danish universities (except Copenhagen Business School), and for PhD students at NorDoc member universities. All other participants must pay the course fee

Learning objectives
A student who has met the objectives of the course will be able to:
1. Be conscious of motivations and incitements for choice of theory mediated between research subject (interests of researcher/you), research object (character of research area) and research environment (research milieu, supervisor)
2. Compare and discuss different theories, their status, compatibleness, statement power, scope and level of abstraction (grand theory, middle-range and micro theory) and how it applies to own project
3. Know and use knowledge about different dimensions in qualitative research - the work of construction - e.g. genesis and structure; time, space and body; relations between fields (research, clinic, education)
4. Assess the appropriateness of the interrelatedness of paradigms, theories, methods, technicalities, research questions and empirical data material in research including knowledge about processes of deduction, induction and abduction
5. Have insight to conduct a qualitative analysis in accordance with acknowledged criteria of quality, validity and disciplinary integrity

This course aims to increase PhD students’ competences in use of theory in qualitative research. During the course we present, discuss and operationalize how different theories relate to empirical work and the broader research process. We will discuss strength and limitations of deductive, inductive and abductive approaches and how choice of theory is interwoven with knowledge traditions (paradigms), research question, work assumptions, methods, operationalization, coding and results. Inspired by French epistemological tradition (e.g. Bourdieu, Foucault) we will present concepts of ‘epistemological break’ and ‘construction of the object’. We will work in-depth with sociological and institutional theory, but also cultural theory, theory of learning and patientology. Special attention will be on use of theory as a central operation in empirical research. We will emphasize how critical research requires an ongoing reflectivity where every choice implicit or explicit, have implications on the other levels and phases of the research process. The last seminar will focus on academic writing, how analysis becomes text.

PhD students and research-year medical students working on a research project based on qualitative methods. Data collection must be in progress, i.e. we expect participants to work with their own empirical material. 25 seats will be available.

Relevance to graduate programmes
The course is relevant to PhD students from the following graduate programmes at the Graduate School of Health and Medical Sciences, UCPH:
- Public Health and Epidemiology
- Medicine, Culture and Society


The course is a three days seminar. Seminar days are conducted as master classes with opening lectures and exercises. Participants will present their own research in three or four smaller groups with response from course teachers and other participants. Work in groups, project presentations and preparation to the seminars will be expected. In addition, a summary of your project, and reflections over the method is required, estimated to equivalate 7,5 hours work.

Course director
Kristian Larsen, Research Leader, University Hospitals Centre for Health Research, The Capital Region, kristian.larsen@regionh.dk, and professor, Section of Social Medicine, Department of Public Health, Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences, University of Copenhagen, krla@sund.ku.dk

Leslie Dubbin, assistant professor, School of Nursing, University of California, San Fransisco, USA
Fran Collyer, Professor, Karlstad University, Sweden and Department of Sociology and Social Policy, University of Sydney, Australia
Sasha Scambler, Reader, Kings College, London, United Kingdom

15-17 November 2022

Course location
Please note that there are 2 different locations for the course at Center for Sundhed og Samfund (CSS)

- Tuesday 15 November 2022; 8.30 - 17.00: CSS 35.3.13 (56 pl.)
- Wednesday 16 November and Thursday 17 November 2022; 8.30-17.00: CSS 7.0.08 (34 pl.)

Please register before 15. October 2022

Seats to PhD students from other Danish universities will be allocated on a first-come, first-served basis and according to the applicable rules.
Applications from other participants will be considered after the last day of enrolment.

Note: All applicants are asked to submit invoice details in case of no-show, late cancellation or obligation to pay the course fee (typically non-PhD students). If you are a PhD student, your participation in the course must be in agreement with your principal supervisor.

Click the search button to search Courses.

Course calendar
See which courses you can attend and when

New courses
Courses are published regularly. High demand courses are announced in spring and autumn.

Learn which courses are announced on fixed dates