Writing a Qualitative Paper

Coronavirus (COVID-19) information

The Short Course Programme in Population Health Sciences has been temporarily suspended.


We anticipate opening bookings in late November 2020.

Information on this page relates to the last run of the course and is for reference only. 

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We may need to make responsive changes to our future programme to follow the latest Public Health, Government and University guidance on coronavirus (COVID-19).

Please be aware that all information about short courses planned for 2021 is provisional and subject to change.

Course dates

Due to demand, this 1 day course will run twice:
23 January 2020
13 July 2020

Course duration

1 day (approximately 6 hours teaching).
The course starts at 9.30 am, with refreshments available from 9 am. The course will finish at 5 pm.

Course aims 

The course provides the practical tools and knowledge needed to write up qualitative research studies for publication. The focus will be on writing for publication in clinical journals, but many of the topics discussed will apply equally to writing qualitative research for any type of journal. The course will be a mixture of interactive lecture and workshop formats.

Course objectives

By the end of the course participants should be able to:

  • understand the structure of a qualitative article;
  • identify your key message/s and target journals;
  • identify elements that are needed to construct the sections of a well-structured manuscript (your abstract, introduction, methods, findings/results and discussion);
  • have a better understanding of how to present qualitative findings (results) clearly and within a tight word count;
  • have identified some strategies to help you write.

Who the course is intended for

The course is suitable for people who have already completed or are well underway with their qualitative data collection and analysis. If you are not yet at that stage then it would be worth considering applying at a later stage.

Course outline

The course will cover the following:

  • understanding the structure of a qualitative article;
  • identifying key messages and target journals;
  • key elements of writing a Methods section;
  • presenting qualitative research findings within a tight word count limit;
  • writing an engaging Introduction;
  • writing a good Discussion;
  • some things to consider when writing an abstract;
  • writing with clarity for a chosen audience;
  • submitting to a journal;
  • going through the peer review process.

Recommended reading

Please identify one or two published articles that you think are good examples of the kinds of qualitative writing that you aspire to. Please bring these along with you to the course, as hard copies if possible.

This course was by far the best short course I have ever been on: keeping the group size small enabled all of us to receive attention and advice tailored to our needs.

Course feedback, January 2020

The course was fantastic - one of the best I've attended. The tutor was extremely knowledgeable and she varied our day with activities and discussions. There was also plenty of time for questions - just brilliant. Such a valuable course and a day well spent.

Course feedback, January 2019

Course fee


More information on course fees, fee waivers and reduced prices.

Course venue

Bristol Medical School
Canynge Hall
39 Whatley Road
United Kingdom

Map and directions

Course refreshments

We provide morning and afternoon refreshment breaks, including tea and coffee, biscuits and fresh fruit.

If you have specific dietary needs we ask that you let us know in advance.

Lunch is not included. There are a range of local cafes and supermarkets nearby for students to purchase lunch. 


Information about accommodation in the area.


For further information please email short-course@bristol.ac.uk.

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