English Language Education

Writing up PhD Qualitative Research

This course is for PhD students working on qualitative research. Students work through key chapters of their PhD thesis, and receive detailed feedback from their tutor on extracts of writing from different parts of their thesis.

Course Details

Course content

The course will cover the following:

  • Structure and Introduction
  • Literature Review
  • Methodology
  • Data Chapters
  • The Final Chapter
  • The First Few Pages

Teaching Methods

There are six 1 hour and 50 minute classes, held every two weeks. In each class you work through a series of tasks which involve: discussing aspects of writing up your thesis; analysing sample extracts from University of Edinburgh doctoral theses; studying academic English expressions relevant to specific chapters of your thesis. You will then write a short assignment outside of class hours (approximately 1-2 hours a week). You send the assignment to your tutor, who responds with feedback on your writing. Students receive copies of the course materials, Writing Up Qualitative Research.

Learning Outcomes

By the end of the course, students will have a better understanding of:

  • the typical structure of a qualitative PhD
  • the typical structure of the individual chapters of a qualitative PhD
  • appropriate grammar for writing up qualitative research
  • appropriate vocabulary for writing up qualitative research

Timing and Location

Wednesdays from 7 February 11.10-13.00

Thursdays from 8 February 11.10 - 13.00

Paterson's Land, Holyrood Campus


Any Edinburgh University international PhD student in their final year and/or is at the writing up stage. (Students doing ‘mixed method’ research may also do this course, but should also ask their supervisors for guidance as to which course might be more appropriate - this one or Writing up your PhD Quantitative Research).


Registration is now open for Semester 2 ELSIS Courses. The deadline for applications for this course is Friday 26 January 2018:

Apply now

Independent Study Materials