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

This module provides an introduction to using software to support qualitative data analysis and literature reviewing. It focusses on the particular strengths and reasons to work with one of the leading packages Computer Assisted Qualitative Data Analysis (CAQDAS) ATLAS.ti – version 8 (windows), Mac and iPad app. Learning effective approaches to using ATLAS.ti will support students in qualitative data analysis and develop transferable skills in a package used beyond academia in areas of applied research and public consultation. 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 considerations for selecting and using ATLAS.ti, the key features of the programme and ways of using it effectively to support data management, recording developing ideas, keeping a research journal and working with data including literature. The primary ways of working with data include 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

The course is available as self-directed study using extensive video resources, exemplars and framework projects to support you in getting started and working with your data.  This is supported through opportunities to discuss, share and explore your approach with other students engaging on the module and with the convenor via discussion forums.   In addition bookable one-to-one remote access sessions will be run to provide specific support for your project by the convenor.


  • Overview of ATLAS.ti and the differences between different versions (ATLAS.ti 7.5 and 8 for windows, ATLAS.ti Mac and the iPad app)
  • Strategies and approaches to using ATLAS.ti effectively for your project and understanding the assistance it can provide as well as its limits for supporting qualitative data analysis.
  • Understanding and gaining familiarity with 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.
  • 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.

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




27/02/18 - 29/06/18

Number of sessions:


Timing and Location:

online distance learning


Additional information

Minimum quota: 1