Literature Review Course

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Literature Review Course

Start your literature review with this hands-on workshop. You will be introduced to use NVivo to manage your literature sources such as journal articles, e-books, policy documents, and website resources. You will be shown  to use NVivo’s powerful search functions to search for key words and phrases across all your literature sources.  You will learn to ‘harvest’ and code the finds into themes; and critically review the literature to carry out comparative analysis. This is a time saver tool!

This course is a must attend for all PhD students at the beginning of their programme!  Essex University.

Small Class Size

To ensure that high quality and responsive learning support is given to each participant, we only take a small class with a maximum of 9 participants on our scheduled courses. Therefore, it is important you register your interest early to secure a place.

Target Audience

  • Post Graduate Researcher undertaking PhD study or Masters.
  • Early Career Researcher new to research, on their first teaching & research post or an independent researcher.
  • Mid-Career Researcher building reputation and esteem to help establish influence and leadership.
  • Expert Researcher or Research Leader, influencing research strategy and mentoring researchers of the future.


No previous knowledge of NVivo is required. Please see course details below for the course reminders.

Teaching Methods

The teaching method is mainly hands-on. It is supported by presentation, demonstration, encourage reflection, discussions, questions and answers.

The tutor will go around to examine each participant’s project on their coding, node structure, and classification to provide suggestions, corrections and efficiency tips. This will ensure that your coding and node structure will support in-depth data analyses.

Training Workbook

Each participant receives an instructional workbook to work through and keep.

Certificate of Completion & After Training Support

Each participant receives a certificate of completion and ongoing after training support via phone, email and a weekly live questions and answers Webinar.

Key Learning Outcomes

By the end of the course, you will learn to:

  • Create your Literature Review Project in NVivo.
  • Import into the project, your literature sources from your computer or directly from reference manager software such as EndNote, RefWorks, Mendeley, and Zotero libraries.
  • Use Word Frequency and Text Search Queries to explore key words and phrases across the whole of your literature and ‘harvest’ the finds into codes to critically code-on into topics or themes.
  • You may visualise the data using Word Cloud
  • Code your data into both ‘open codes’ and established thematic coding framework.
  • Add annotations, explanations, and interpretations to key points in your data.
  • Compare and critically evaluate the works of various authors by using framework matrices.
  • Use Node Matrix to compare different authors by topics to see which themes well covered and which themes are need further exploration.
  • Use visuals to explore and present findings.
  • Import your findings and analytical memos to Word for writing up.

Course Reminders

Please bring as many full text journal articles as you can download in PDF to class.  You may also export your EndNote, RefWorks, Mendeley, Zotero library of your full text articles into a zip file to class.

PLEASE NOTE. Abstract alone is NOT useful to analyse, you will need the full text journal attachments. If you do not have the attachments in your Reference Management Software libraries, then simply bring the collection of your PDFs of your journal articles to class.

Please BRING YOUR OWN Laptop with NVivo installed and tested for working to our public courses. Laptops are not provided at this venue.

If you do not have NVivo installed on your laptop, you can download a 14-days FREE trial copy from this link.

See Course Dates

Register Your Interest

We only need 4 interested people to put up a Literature Review course, so please submit your interest to make it happen.


Access to NVivo Software

Download All Versions of NVivo

Watch How to Use NVivo – Visit Our YouTube Channel

Read Why You Should Use NVivo for Your Literature Review