Qualitative coding with ATLAS.ti

Methodology courses and philosophy of science

Course information

Number of sessions: 2
Hours per session: 4
Course fee:

  • free for PhD candidates of the Graduate School
  • €400,- for non-members
  • Consult our enrolment policy for more information.


Telephone: +31 (0)10 4082607 (Graduate School).

You can only enrol for one edition of this course.

Edition 1

Session 1
October 10 (Thursday) 2019
Mandeville building (directions), room T3-51

Session 2
October 17 (Thursday) 2019
Mandeville building (directions), room T4-82

Edition 2

Session 1
January 10 (Friday) 2020
Tinbergen building (directions), room HT-203

Session 2
January 17 (Friday) 2020
Tinbergen building (directions), room HT-209


In qualitative research, coding means giving tags to texts, images, video or audio as a way to yield a systematic understanding of the contents of data. This process of coding can be structured and improved by using programs such as ATLAS.ti.

Aims and working method

This course explains qualitative coding and ATLAS.ti in two sessions. In these sessions, both inductive and deductive approaches are covered. The course is built upon a hands-on approach and concrete exercises, with ample time for questions that are relevant for the participants’ own research. 

One-on-one meetings are a central part of the second session. In these meetings you will receive customized advice on how you can employ Atlas.TI within your overall research, based on your own questions and submitted material.

Learning objectives

After completion of the course, participants will: 

  • understand the epistemological and methodological background of qualitative coding.
  • know the important and common pitfalls and advantages of qualitative coding
  • know how to do qualitative coding, based on a hand-on experience with coding texts.
  • be able to use ATLAS.ti and be familiar with the benefits of coding software in general.



  • Heath, H., & Cowley, S. (2004). Developing a grounded theory approach: a comparison of Glaser and Strauss. International journal of nursing studies, 41(2), 141-150.
  • Elo, S., & Kyngäs, H. (2008). The qualitative content analysis process. Journal of advanced nursing, 62(1), 107-115.
  • Boeije, H. (2002). A purposeful approach to the constant comparative method in the analysis of qualitative interviews. Quality and Quantity, 36(4), 391-409.


  • If you want to use your own laptop, follow the instructions at https://my.eur.nl/en/eur-employee/ict/software/download-software-licences/atlasti. Please do this in advance and notify the course instructor(s) in advance if there are any problems. Make sure to download ATLAS.ti 8. You do not need to bring your own device, as you can use the computers at the Erasmus University.
  • Important: There may be some differences in ATLAS.ti when using an Apple notebook.

Session description

Online environment:

  • Short introduction to qualitative coding and why we use it
  • Various functions in ATLAS.ti

Session 1
Introducing ATLAS.ti for inductive and deductive research

  • Linking various functions in ATLAS.ti to your own fieldwork
  • Constructing a code-tree
  • Creating structures when coding texts

Session 2
Personal feedback based on your own research (non-mandatory)

About the instructor

Ewald de Bruijn is a PhD candidate at the Department of Public Administration and Sociology (DPAS) of Erasmus University Rotterdam