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Ethnography for Health Care Improvement Summer School 2024




A short course designed for researchers and doctoral students to critically engage with the theory and practice of ethnography in healthcare settings.

You will be taught by staff from SAPPHIRE, University of Leicester, who have an international reputation for expertise in using ethnographic methods in healthcare improvement

11th & 12th July 2024 at College Court Conference Centre, Leicester


Detailed Description

The two day course (12 hrs) will employ a variety of lectures, workshops, group work and student presentations.

The course will cover the following:

·    Ethnography in and of healthcare, managing tensions in improvement and evaluation

·    Use, variation and value associated with the ethnographic label, including non-traditional, digital, visual and remote approaches

·    The roles and positions of the ethnographer in healthcare 'fields' 

·    Critical appraisal of ethnographic contributions to healthcare improvement and different methods/practices

·    Cross-cultural variation, comparative studies of healthcare using ethnographic methods – sensitivity to local context, time, place and complexity

·    Designing and conducting ethnographic research in healthcare improvement; tips from the field, the importance of reflexivity and ethical conduct inside and outside healthcare settings

·    Ethnographic writing and publication, influencing policy and practice


 By the end of the course the student will be able to:

  • identify scope and practical application of ethnography for healthcare improvement
  • identify sociological / anthropological origins of ethnography and key philosophical concepts involved with using ethnography for healthcare improvement
  • outline approaches to recording field notes, interviews, and debriefs, and to managing data
  • describe approaches to the analysis of ethnographic data
  • consider the challenges and benefits of team working in ethnographic studies
  • discuss challenges in gaining ethical approval, access to sites, data collection in healthcare settings (particularly around securing consent), exiting the field and writing up for publication
  • describe ways to manage data collection during restricted access to settings, while keeping with the ethnographic tradition
  • understand ways to generate theoretically informed insights ‘telling cases’ with implications for healthcare improvement
  • consider methods of ethnographic writing, and ways of disseminating findings to different audiences using different media
  • link with other researchers and doctoral students to share good practice and foster development of an ‘ethnography in healthcare improvement’ community of practice



Participants must have studied qualitative methods at Masters level or have an equivalent level of qualitative research experience. If you are not sure that you meet the entry standard or you have any other questions, please email the course leader Jennifer Creese for advice.

Please note that the course needs a minimum number of delegates to run. We will confirm whether the course is running by 4th April 2024 (and refund the full fee if it's not).


The cost of the conference will cover refreshments and lunch on both days, but accommodation at College Court is not included and should you wish to stay you will have to arrange this yourself. Further information about accommodation at College Court will be made available to delegates in advance of the start of the course



Cancellation Policy

A full refund will be given for cancellations made at least 12 weeks in advance of the start of the course.

A 50% refund will be given for cancellations made at least 6 weeks in advance of the start of the course.

Refunds will not be given for cancellations less than 6 weeks in advance of the course unless a substitute attendee is arranged by the original delegate.

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