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Metasynthesis - Research Course in Advanced Qualitative Methods

This is the study programme for 2020/2021.

Learning outcome

Upon successful completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  • Demonstrate knowledge of the arguments for a metasynthesis research design
  • Demonstrate knowledge of the characteristics of different types of metasynthesis approaches and methods with a focus on interpretative meta-ethnography
  • Demonstrate understanding of validity in metasynthesis research designs

  • Be able to create aims and research questions in metasynthesis research designs
  • Demonstrate skills to applicate metasynthesis designs in research with a focus on interpretative meta-ethnography
  • Be able to critically assess and evaluate qualitative studies for inclusion in metasynthesis studies

General competence:
  • Reflect on the use of metasynthesis in evidence-based practice
  • Integrate a critical attitude to validity in metasynthesis research designs
  • Reflect on ethical, gender and ethnic issues in metasynthesis studies


  • Metasynthesis-what, why, and how
  • Metaphors in metasynthesis
  • Meta-ethnography
  • Comparisons of metasynthesis to integrative reviews, systematic reviews, meta-aggregation, meta-analysis and secondary analysis
  • Primary research appraisal

The scientific contents of the course:
Metasynthesis is research on qualitative research and several methods have been developed to synthesize qualitative studies in various fields and disciplines. Meta-ethnography is one of the most used interpretative metasynthesis methods in development. Metasynthesis research has the potential to benefit human and societal development, and may contribute to the use of qualitative research findings in decision-making. Metasynthesis research studies may advance the critical philosophical, theoretical and methodological knowledge and discussion that is relevant to the development of qualitative research.

Required prerequisite knowledge


Recommended previous knowledge

Qualitative methods


Weight Duration Marks Aid
Paper1/1 Pass - Fail
Each participant will write a paper (ca. 3500 words) as a plan for a metasynthesis study related to the participants' own research project using the literature and discussions from the course (OP). The paper should include suggestions and arguments for a) the aim and research question, b) the criteria for inclusion and exclusion, c) a plan for a literature search, d) a preliminary appraisal and analysis of the findings of three included articles, and d) a possible synthesis and finally, e) reflections on the process.

Course teacher(s)

Course coordinator
Terese Elisabet Bondas

Method of work

Lectures, exercises and discussions
Mode of delivery: Face-to-face in one session

Open to

PhD Candidates in health sciences. PhD candidates at other universities and university colleges in Norway and EEA can apply for admission to the course. Documentation of admission to a PhD program is required.https://www.uis.no/article.php?articleID=138250&categoryID=24304https://www.uis.no/article.php?articleID=138250&categoryID=24304

https://www.uis.no/article.php?articleID=138250&categoryID=24304Course program

Course assessment

Students by way of course evaluation studies (mid-term evaluation and final evaluation). These evaluations are included in the university's quality assurance system.


Link to reading list

This is the study programme for 2020/2021.

Sist oppdatert: 10.08.2020