Colchester, United Kingdom

Constructivist Grounded Theory

online course
when 5 February 2024 - 9 February 2024
language English
duration 1 week
credits 4 EC
fee GBP 492

"Learn how to develop a research project using constructivist grounded theory, focusing on six main steps: data collection and preparation, initial coding, focused coding, theoretical sampling, theoretical coding and writing up findings.

Need to know

Participants must have at least a basic knowledge of qualitative methods and be familiar with the MAXQDA software and the following main functionalities: setting up a MAXQDA project, importing documents and the document system; writing code and the code system; writing memos and the memo system; the MAXMaps feature.

Participants must be running the latest version of MAXQDA (2020 or 2022) to take the course. If your institution doesn't provide you with a MAXQDA licence, you can download the free trial version of MAXQDA 2022, which is fully functional for 14 days, but cannot be reinstalled on the same computer after the trial period has expired.

In depth

Key topics covered

This course is designed to allow you to familiarise yourself with the main steps involved in a research project based on the use of constructivist grounded theory, providing both theoretical tools for understanding the method and practical tools for putting the different steps into practice. In all sessions, the qualitative analysis software MAXQDA will be used to experiment in practice with the main coding activities that characterise constructivist grounded theory and the tools that the software offers to implement them.

Session 1 - Basic features and general logic
This session considers some basic features of constructivist grounded theory, including the practice of constant comparison, the use of sensitising concepts and the importance of theoretical saturation.

Session 2 - Data collection, data preparation and open coding
This session will explain how to collect and prepare data in a research project using constructivist grounded theory, and discuss what types of data might be more appropriate for such a method. It will also introduce the practice of open coding and unpack the key coding activities involved.

Session 3 - Focused coding and theoretical sampling
This session will focus on the shift from open coding to focused coding, unpack the key coding activities that characterise focused coding, consider the role of memos in the coding process, and discuss what theoretical sampling is and how it might be used to engage in further data collection.

Session 4 - Theoretical coding and conceptual development
This session introduces theoretical coding, the final cycle of coding in constructivist grounded theory, and discusses how conceptual development works throughout the coding process, moving from codes to categories, from categories to concepts, and from concepts to mid-level theories.

Session 5 - Writing up findings and integration with other methods
This session will discuss how to write up findings from a grounded theory study, consider the role of the literature review, and discuss when and how constructivist grounded theory can be integrated with other methods such as situational analysis.

How the course will work online

Prior to the course, you will be able to access some readings on the learning management system. The course consists of five live online sessions of 3 hours per day, including two short lectures, two in-class exercises, a time for questions and answers, also related to your research project, and a social break. You will be able to book one-to-one sessions with the tutor throughout the course."

Course leader

Alice Mattoni is an Associate Professor in the Department of Political and Social Sciences at the University of Bologna.

Target group

The course is designed for a demanding audience (researchers, professional analysts, advanced students).

Course aim

"This course teaches you how to develop a research project using constructivist grounded theory, focusing on six main steps:

-Data collection and preparation
-Initial coding
-Focused coding
-Theoretical sampling
-Theoretical coding
-Writing up findings
You will also learn some of the basic aspects of constructivist grounded theory, including the use of sensitising concepts, the abductive research logic on which it is based, the role of existing literature in the research process, and the combination of constructivist grounded theory with other methods, including situational analysis.

By the end of the course, you will be able to

-Discuss the key features of constructivist grounded theory
-Plan ad hoc data collection strategies for constructivist grounded theory
-Engage in the three main types of coding in constructivist grounded theory
-Formulate interpretative abstractions based on the empirical data
-Implement constructivist grounded theory in MAXQDA
-Write up findings from constructivist grounded theory"

Credits info

4 EC
"You can earn up to four credits for attending this course.
3 ECTS credits – Attend 100% of live sessions and engage fully with class activities.
4 ECTS credits – Attend 100% of live sessions, engage fully with class activities and complete a post-class assignment."

Fee info

GBP 492: ECPR Member - check if your institution is a member on our website.
GBP 985: ECPR Non-Member


Funding applications for the 2024 ECPR Methods School Winter instalment are now closed. For more details on funding opportunities for ECPR's other events, please visit our website.