Approaches to Qualitative Evidence Synthesis - online (Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences)
Duration 1 week blended learning with 1 hour webinar
Team Researcher Academy

This online course is run by the Researcher Academy as part of the Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences Training Programme

Postgraduate Research Students and Research Staff in the Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences only. Researchers who are based in other faculties, and who are undertaking health and medical-related research may access the online lecture capture resources.

Target Audience: Researchers (Postgraduate Research Students and Research Staff) from the Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences only.

Course Description: Systematic review is a method to systematically search, critically appraise and synthesise evidence for a specific question of interest. This course will provide an introduction to the synthesis of qualitative research.

Aims: To give an overview of the techniques involved in undertaking a qualitative evidence synthesis (QES)

Learning outcomes:
At the end of the sessions you will be able to:

  • Discuss the role of qualitative systematic reviews in evidence based healthcare
  • Define what a qualitative evidence synthesis (QES) is and the principles of how to conduct one
  • Describe the different types of QES (e.g. thematic synthesis, meta-aggregation and meta-ethnography) and how to select the most appropriate approach for your project
  • Develop an appropriate research question using PICO or SPIDER and understand how this informs your search strategy and inclusion/exclusion criteria
  • Identify the principles and tools for critical appraisal of qualitative literature
  • Undertake a synthesis of qualitative evidence
  • Describe the principles for assessing confidence in the findings of a qualitative systematic review
  • Describe a reporting framework for qualitative evidence synthesis


The course takes place over 1 working week and is divided into 4 self-study parts and 1 live webchat. Participants will be required to complete each part before progressing to the next. The self-study materials will be released daily via Moodle and each part is anticipated to take approximately 2 hours for completion and is a combination of pre-recorded lecture, reading and a task.

Self-study materials will be released daily at 9am on days 1-5. The self-study can be undertaken flexibly, but all must be completed in advance of the webchat. It is anticipated that the self-study element should take approximately 6-8 hours to complete, dependent on reading and writing speeds. It is recommended that 2 hours is allocated in your diary each day to dedicate to completing each part.

The culminating webchat will take place via Microsoft Teams. Details and will be provided by the course tutor in the Moodle resource associated with the course. By booking on this course you are committing to join and actively participate in the 1-hour live webchat. The Teams link will be provided on the course's Moodle page. For any access issues please contact Dr Catrin Evans, the course tutor or

You may also be interested to attend

Introduction to Systematic Reviews (online)
Quantitative Evidence Synthesis (online)
Approaches to Qualitative Evidence Synthesis (online)

Course Accessibility

The following table shows a summary of what is needed to participate in the course. 

If you feel you will experience any difficulties participating, please let us know via the ‘special requirements’ tab, providing as much information as possible. The special requirements tab can be completed when you book your place. Alternatively, you can contact us directly at

Access and/or complete self-study/ pre-course tasks prior to main session(s) on Moodle
Access Moodle
Access MS Teams
Attend the webchat at the specified date and time
Participate in several online platforms at one time
Use MS Teams chat box function during webchat
Engage with online materials
Watch and listen to the course tutor(s) and/or other attendees
Follow presentation slides during the course
Take part in group activities/ discussions

Booking Conditions 

Our webinars/ online courses are very popular, especially in the current period and we are experiencing large volumes of people on our waiting lists.  

Please do let us know if you would like to cancel your place on this course so we can offer your place to another delegate. 

Please note, attendances for webinars/ online courses will be recorded. There are no training points associated with courses run by the Researcher Academy.



Accessing the course 

This session may be recorded. If a recording is kept of the session, then please note, that it may be made available to the wider University of Nottingham researcher community.

To access the course please follow the link below and log into Moodle using your normal username and password. You must use the link below when accessing this course for the first time as it allows you to self-enrol onto the course. Make sure that you log in to the course within two days of the course start date, after this date enrolment is disabled. 

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