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Participants will learn about conversation analysis as a qualitative method for studying communication in health care, how to go about making video or audio recordings of naturally-occurring encounters between patients, caregivers and health care providers in different settings and gain practical skills in transcribing and analysing them. By the end of the course participants will understand how to apply conversation analytic methods either within standalone projects or alongside other methods in health services research towards the improvement of patient care.

This course is led by Dr Rebecca Barnes, an expert in applying conversation analytic methods. It is open to anyone who would like to understand the basic principles behind conversation analytic methods and to develop practical skills how to apply them to health care encounter data. Participants do not need to have any previous experience or knowledge of conversation analytic methods, although involvement in, or future ambitions towards planning a research project applying these methods would make the course more relevant.


Please note that some of the teaching sessions for this online course will involve you participating in live, interactive Zoom sessions, which will fall between the hours of 09:00 and 17:00 UK time. We are very happy to welcome bookings wherever you are internationally, but please make sure that you are able to attend video calls between these hours. 


  1. What is conversation analysis (CA)?
  2. What kinds of questions can CA methods address in health research?
  3. Collecting naturalistic data: Ethical issues, recording and transcribing.
  4. Analysing naturalistic data: Making and working with collections.
  5. Small group practicum with expert supervision.
  6. Understanding pathways to impact and how to disseminate CA findings.

Learning outcomes:

By the end of the course, participants will be able to:

  1. Understand the basic principles behind using CA to study health care encounters
  2. Recognise the sorts of research questions for which CA methods may be appropriate
  3. Determine how to collect high quality recordings of health care encounters in different settings, and identify the key conventions used in the CA approach to transcription
  4. Apply practical skills in working with recordings and transcripts of health care encounters to build collections of interaction practices for CA analysis
  5. Give examples of the kinds of impact CA studies can have in health research and the range of strategies for disseminating CA findings

We provide:

  • Experienced, approachable tutors who are actively engaged in health research using CA methods
  • Access to slides, transcripts and naturalistic data for you to work with
  • Information on relevant software, recommended reading lists, further training opportunities and events