Introduction to NVivo for qualitative and mixed-methods analysis

Key information

Start date:

Attendance dates:

October 2021: 07, 08

Time commitment: 2 days, 9:45am - 4pm


Distance learning

Contact details:

Start date:

Attendance dates:

December 2021: 01, 02

Time commitment: 2 days, 9:45am - 4pm


Stag Hill campus, University of Surrey, Guildford, Surrey GU2 7XH

Contact details:


NVivo is a powerful software for the qualitative and mixed-methods analysis of text, audio, video, survey and social media data.

This two day course provides a comprehensive overview of NVivo and an opportunity for participants to practice tasks using their own data, where appropriate. The focus is on gaining confidence in setting up a project efficiently, managing and organising data, exploring and conceptualising data and interrogating and visualising data.

The course combines discussion, demonstration and hands-on work, including:

  • Contextual discussions – developmental, methodological and analytical principles
  • Software overview –interface, architecture, tools
  • Analytic planning – ensuring analytic strategies drive the appropriate use of software tools
  • Guided instruction – step-by-step teaching in the operation of NVivo and the use of tools for analytic tasks
  • Individual support – some time for participants to discuss their projects with the tutor.

Participants are encouraged to bring their own research materials to work with (this could include transcribed primary data, literature files, reports pertinent to the project, etc.), although sample materials can also be provided.

Please note: The tutor will demonstrate using the new NVivo for Windows ("R1" released March 2020) Participants using the new NVivo or its predecessor, NVivo v.12 for Window or Mac are welcome to attend but the course focuses on functions available in the Windows version of the new NVivo, which are not all the same for the Mac version. For product details see the QSR International website.

What you will need to attend

Online course

The online course (7 - 8 October) is delivered using Zoom. In order to attend you will need a computer (Mac or Windows) that has access to the internet, and a microphone (inbuilt or external). We encourage participants to share their image using a webcam to foster dialogue and interaction, but this is not a requirement.

You will need NVivo installed and working on your computer ahead of the session to get the most out of the workshop. If you do not currently have access to the software, the joining instructions to the course will provide details on how to access a 14 day free trial, closer to the time.

In-person course

The in-person course (1 - 2 December) will be using the computer lab which has NVivo installed on the machines (all Windows machines), so you do NOT need to attend with a laptop. Should you wish to do so, however, you will need a computer (Mac or Windows) that has NVivo installed and working.

If you do not currently have access to the software, the joining instructions to the course will provide details on how to access a 14 day free trial, closer to the time. This course assumes participants have a broad understanding of qualitative and/or mixed methods methodologies, but assumes no prior knowledge about NVivo.

Learning outcomes

On successful completion of this course, you will be able to:

  • Understand the structure of NVivo and how it can be used throughout a research project
  • Navigate around the software and operate it to undertake analysis
  • Understand the importance of analytic planning in harnessing NVivo tools powerfully
  • Set-up an NVivo project to reflect initial research design and change structures as a research project progresses
  • Identify NVivo tools that can be used to fulfil specific analytic tasks
  • Know where to access relevant resources to support continued NVivo use.

Course content

During the first day sample data are used to become familiar with tools, and the whole group follows common tasks together and practices exercises individually. Work is structured to provide step-by-step support.

During the second day participants set up their own NVivo project and work with their own research materials, where available. The first part of the day focusses on translating the tasks covered in day one into practice. Individuals and teams work independently, with support from the tutor. The remainder of the day focuses on experimenting with more sophisticated uses of tools. Possibilities and implications are discussed, demonstrated and practiced.

  • Principles of using NVivo throughout the research cycle
  • Data preparation, import and organisation
  • Data exploration and familiarisation
  • Coding strategies – including appropriate uses of auto-coding
  • Use of writing and visualisation tools to reflect on data and processes
  • Querying and outputting.

Course leader

Placeholder image for staff profiles

Dr Sarah Bulloch

Teaching Fellow

Reading list

You are required to read the NVivo review (PDF) before attending this course.

Entry requirements

There are no formal entry requirements for this course.

This course assumes participants have a broad understanding of qualitative and/or mixed methods methodologies, but assumes no prior knowledge about NVivo.


Fees and funding

Price per person:




Education and charitable sector applicants


Government and commercial sector applicants

How to apply

Applications will be through our online store.

Register your interest

Terms and conditions

When you accept an offer of a place at the University of Surrey, you are agreeing to comply with our policies and regulations and our terms and conditions. You are also confirming you have read and understood the University's prospective student privacy notice.

Further details of our terms and conditions will follow.


This online prospectus has been prepared and published in advance of the commencement of the course. The University of Surrey has used its reasonable efforts to ensure that the information is accurate at the time of publishing, but changes (for example to course content or additional costs) may occur given the interval between publishing and commencement of the course. It is therefore very important to check this website for any updates before you apply for a course with us. Read more.