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Participants will learn about the history of applied conversation analytic research, how to go about making recordings of naturally occurring health care encounters between patients, their caregivers / family members and health care providers 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 as standalone projects or alongside other methods in health services research towards the improvement of patient care.

This course is led by Dr Rebecca Barnes and team of experienced conversation analysts. 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. Quite a bit of our teaching involves group work and the use of Zoom breakout rooms, because we believe this is the best and most effective way to teach qualitative research methods – (plus this ensures that you get plenty of opportunity to ask our qualitative experts questions!)


  1. What is conversation analysis (CA)?
  2. What kinds of research questions can CA methods address in healthcare?
  3. Collecting naturalistic data: Ethical issues, recording and transcribing.
  4. Analysing naturalistic data: Making and working with collections.
  5. Practicum and feedback.
  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. Recall the history and 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 using CA methods to analyse recordings and transcripts of health care encounters
  5. Give examples of the kinds of impact CA research can have and the range of strategies for disseminating CA findings to different stakeholder groups

We provide:

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