PhD Courses in Denmark

Introduction to Thematic Analysis

Copenhagen Graduate School of Social Sciences

Department of Psychology, University of Copenhagen

Date and time: 30 September and 1 October 2021 from 9:00 to 16:00.

Thematic analysis (TA) (Braun & Clarke, 2006) is one of the most widely used, and sometimes misused, qualitative methods in contemporary academic literature. Its popularity is, in part, due to the apparently straightforward and well-defined approach that it outlines, but the superficial accessibility of the method should not be mistaken for simplicity. In this course, we will scratch beneath the surface simplicity of TA and explore some of the more detailed and complex issues that need to be considered when working with this approach. 

The central goal of the course is to introduce interested PhD students to the central tenets of TA and to equip them with the core competencies, which will enable them to carry out their own study using this framework. To this end, the course will cover the following: Introduction of TA, including historical development and newer iterations of the approach; examination of the relative strengths and weaknesses of TA, positioning it within a broader spectrum of analytical approaches e.g. grounded theory & interpretative phenomenological analysis; a practical guide to using TA, from study design to publication of findings.    

Teaching style

The course will consist of a mixture of teacher presentations, practical exercises, and group discussion during the two days. It is expected that participants actively engage in these activities.


The seminar is relevant for PhD students from all fields, who are planning or considering a qualitative study using TA.

All participants should send a document (maximum one page) no later than one week before the course. Deadline 23 September 2021. to stating:

  • Your research topic and research question(s) 

  • Key concepts/theoretical perspective(s) that inspire your research 

  • What you hope the course will provide you with

Requirements for passing the seminar:

  • Before course start send a description of your study as described above.

  • Attendance at both teaching days

  • Active participation in exercises during the course and group discussions.

  • After the course, send a revision of your study description no later than October 14, 2021.

Language: English.


Course organiser and teacher: Senior Researcher Bryan Cleal, Steno Diabetes Center Copenhagen, Region Hovedstaden.

Max. numbers of participants: 20

Registration: Please register via the link in the box no later than 6 September 2021. Registration is closed.

Payment for participation in courses: Please find the relevant information here: PhD courses – Department of Psychology - University of Copenhagen (

Further information: For more information about the PhD course, please contact the PhD Administration (