Critical Choices in Qualitative Research

“The fascinating thing about qualitative research is that there is always more to learn about it. Every project is a new creative challenge. It never gets boring.” - Dr. Janneke Frambach, Course Coordinator

The maximum amount of participants for this course is 25. This course is free of charge for FHML PhD candidates. To register you will need your UM registration number (i.e. personnel number).

Programme information

Looking for a course that will help you getting started with your qualitative research project? Or are you in the middle of your qualitative research project and unsure of how to proceed? Then this course is for you. In this course we focus on essential moments of choice in the qualitative research process, such as selecting your research design or analytical strategy. These choices are inherently interconnected and will ultimately determine how you make sense of your data.

We have two main goals for this course. First, we aim to provide you with the necessary understandings and rationales that allow you as a researcher to be as intentional as possible about the selection of your research design, research methods and data analysis. Second, we offer practical skills and tools for qualitative data collection and analysis.

Your own project is the central theme guiding you through the course. Depending on where you are in your study, you will get hands-on with designing your study or taking the next steps in your project. Ample opportunities for peer exchange, peer review and consultations with course leaders will enable you to reflect on and shape your own work, as well as learn about the moments of choice involved in qualitative research more broadly. A variety of sessions on core concepts and practices in qualitative research are offered during the course, in which we encourage reflection on how these concepts relate to your own project.

Date: 31 October until 2 December 2024
Application deadline: 15 September 
Course fee: €1.650
Related information:

Principal staff involved: 
Dr. Janneke Frambach (course coordinator)

Dr. Renée Stalmeijer
Dr. Juliët Beuken
Professor Pim Teunissen


This course will get you started and/or further assist you in designing and conducting your qualitative research study. At the end of the course, you will:

  • Have a thorough understanding of the essential research choices involved in qualitative research and how these choices relate to each other;

  • Be aware of the purposes, advantages and challenges of different qualitative research methods and approaches and be able to make an informed choice between different approaches in light of your research project;

  • Understand rigour in qualitative research and how to apply this to your research project;

  • Have acquired critical skills for qualitative data collection and data analysis;

  • Be able to critically reflect on the strengths and weaknesses of your own and other qualitative research projects. 


Programme details

The course duration is five weeks. Course sessions take place twice a week: on Monday and Thursday in the timeslot of 2.00-5.00 pm CET (Note that some sessions with your coach may be scheduled on other days). The course takes a “flipped classroom” approach, meaning that there is preparatory work involved for all online sessions. The preparations and online sessions together equal a time investment of about four hours per course day (i.e. twice a week, 10 days in total).

We organize three types of online sessions:

  • Plenary sessions: These are online sessions with the whole group facilitated by one or more teachers. These sessions can be online discussion sessions, question hours or workshops. They are scheduled at fixed times selected to suit multiple time zones (between 2 pm – 5 pm CET).
  • Coach team sessions: In a small team, at the start, middle and end of the course, you will meet your coach to discuss your individual project.
  • Peer team sessions: In small groups, you will meet with other participants to discuss the topic of the day and related assignments. The assignments serve as input for the plenary sessions that are scheduled after the peer team sessions.


Student profile

This course is intended for PhD candidates and other researchers in health professions education and in the health professions more broadly, who are planning or conducting a qualitative research project, and wish to extend their knowledge and skills related to qualitative research. Prior experience with qualitative research is not a prerequisite, but we do expect participants to be familiar with the general aims and rationale of qualitative research and to have concrete plans to conduct qualitative research. The course is not intended for researchers with extensive knowledge and experience in qualitative research. Be prepared to bring your own work-in-progress to the course. This can range from a research idea to (part of) a dataset.



A multidisciplinary team of educationalists, social scientists and health professionals deliver the course. They have been involved in a wide range of qualitative research projects in health professions education and beyond, including global health and medicine. They will share their practical experiences in this course.