Welcome to the Introduction to NVivo module. NVivo is software that allows you to store, organise and analyse qualitative data. It can be used to assist with research projects, literature reviews and other assignments and analyses big and small, and is installed on most computers at Curtin’s Australian campuses.

If you are an Australian-based student or staff member and would like access on a personal computer, you can request a free NVivo download by going to the ‘SupportU’ self-service portal in OASIS, searching ‘Request Home Use Software’, selecting the search result and entering the required information. If you would like access on a Curtin device, you can download NVivo using ‘Install Applications’ (Windows) or ‘Self-Service’ (Mac) on your desktop (please note that there are differences between the two versions of NVivo). Alternatively, if you are a student or staff member outside of Australia and are not able to download NVivo, you may like to try using a free, open source alternative such as Taguette (for highlighting and coding materials), Qualcoder (for coding materials, creating notes and memos) or CATMA (for text annotation, analysis and visualisation).

This module looks at some of the ways you can use the software to analyse qualitative data, and uses some sample project materials as examples. The idea is that you can then apply these same concepts to any data of your own, regardless of your discipline or the amount of data you have.

Your feedback on this module is very welcome and can be provided at any time on the feedback page, or alternatively for any questions about the module please contact Library-UniSkills@curtin.edu.au

What you will learn

  • The set up of the NVivo workspace, including for the provided sample projects (skip to Getting started)
  • How to import different types of materials into an NVivo project (including Word, PDF, audio, video and picture files saved on your computer; survey data; web content; emails; and references and PDFs from EndNote) (skip to Setting up a project)
  • Options for transcribing audio and video files (skip to Transcribing)
  • How to use codes to organise project materials together according to specific themes and topics (skip to Codes & coding)
  • How to store information about cases and files in an NVivo project using case and file classifications (skip to Classifications)
  • How to use search project materials to find common words or phrases or to identify patterns and make comparisons (skip to Searching)
  • How to use mindmaps to visualise the layout of codes (skip to Charts & mind maps)
  • How to use NVivo to assist with literature reviews (skip to Literature reviews)

The PDF below is a printable version of this guide, which you can download and refer to later.