FASS638d: Qualitative Data Analysis with ATLAS.ti (distance learning)

This module provides students with opportunity to learn about and apply the Computer Assisted Qualitative Data Analysis (CAQDAS) tool known as ATLAS.ti. The skills and methodological implications of CAQDAS platforms such as ATLAS.ti represent an increasingly important component of the IT-assisted PGR toolkit. The module will be run subject to demand.

Educational Aims

This workshop introduces students to working with ATLAS.ti to support them throughout the stages of qualitative research and analysis as well as using the software to support annotating, critically reviewing, synthesising and integrating research literature into their project. Students will be introduced to the tools and ways of working to support data management, recording their developing ideas, keeping a research journal and working with data including annotating, coding, linking and exploring both textual and multimedia data. This is then extended to explore using the powerful search, query and visualisation tools to further analysis and connect this to writing their thesis.

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this module students will be able to:

  • demonstrate familiarity with the main features and concepts of the qualitative data analysis software package ATLAS.ti and how these relate to concepts and approaches in qualitative data analysis
  • critically consider their data and project and how they can use ATLAS.ti software to support them in preparing, managing, analysing, and securing diverse forms of qualitative data
  • understand what data segmentation and coding processes are, how these work with software and how they can be applied to their project
  • use software visualisations as ways to decompose, explore and present data dynamically
  • appreciate software proficiency as a transferable skill and including routes for accreditation as an ATLAS.ti student or professional trainer as well as some of the ways that ATLAS.ti is used beyond academia.

Module Structure/Delivery Pattern

Preparation (1 hour) and two sessions 2 x 3.5 hours every other week (7 hours). Recordings and self-study resources available afterwards.


Session 1:

  • ATLAS.ti and the assistance it can provide as well as its limits for supporting qualitative data analysis.
  • Using the interface, the margin metaphor and the workspace.
  • Good practices for project management and document preparation and organisation and apply these to the data they are working on. This will include issues around data security and project protection.
  • Core programme features and how these relate to the process of qualitative data analysis including reading/viewing data, annotating it and writing emerging thoughts.
  • What coding processes are and how these work with software.
  • Developing and applying code lists for projects and literature reviews.
  • Connecting data. Visualisation tools and basic queries.

Session 2:

  • Working with multimedia, including synchronising transcripts, and coding video and audio.
  • Issues concerning coding including compound codes, code hierarchies the importance of co-occurrence for analysis.
  • Issues and opportunities with creating code hierarchies.
  • Using the analysis tools including the code-co-occurrence explorer code co-occurrence tables and using the query tools.
  • Approaches for using more advanced query options.
  • Connecting writing to data outputs using the memo tools and memo output options and how these can be incorporated into writing and presentations.
  • Routes for transferable skills in developing through the certified student and professional routes and use of this software beyond academic research.


Attendance at CAQDAS session of FASS510: Qualitative Research Methods or accessing recorded session.

Introductory Reading

Friese, S. (2012). Qualitative data analysis with ATLAS.ti. London: SAGE.

Friese, S. (2015). Computer-Assisted Grounded Theory Analysis (S. Friese, Trans.). In C. Equit & C. Hohage (Eds.), Handbuch Grounded Theory – Von der Methodologie zur Forschungspraxis (pp. 483-507). Weinheim: Beltz Juventa.

Gibbs, G. R. (2013). Using Software in Qualitative Analysis. In U. Flick (Ed.), SAGE Handbook of Qualitative Data Analysis (pp. 277-294): SAGE Publications Ltd.

Paulus, T. M., & Lester, J. N. (2015). ATLAS.ti for conversation and discourse analysis studies. International Journal of Social Research Methodology, 1-24.

Silver, C., & Lewins, A. (2014). The Nature of Software Support for Research Projects Using software in qualitative research : a step-by-step guide (2nd ed. ed., pp. 35-60). Los Angeles: SAGE.

Wright, S. (2015). Exploring Actor-Network Theory and CAQDAS: Approaches to coding, querying and connecting data using ATLAS.ti. Paper presented at the ATLAS.ti User Conference 2015, Berlin.

Timing and location




26/04/17 and 10/05/17

Number of sessions:

2 x 3.5 hour sessions

Timing and Location:

Wednesdays, weeks 21 and 23


Additional information

Minimum quota: 1

Maximum quota: 100