Researching Gender-Based Violence: Methods and Meaning

Overview - Researching Gender-Based Violence: Methods and Meaning

Course dates: 17 - 21 February 2020


Gender-based violence is prevalent globally. It occurs in many forms, including intimate partner violence, rape and coerced sex, child sexual abuse, and human trafficking. Such forms of gender-based violence are a significant risk factor for poor health, impacting on individuals’ physical, sexual and psychological health, as well as their social and economic well-being. Evidence from rigorously conducted research is essential to ensuring that policies and services to prevent and respond to violence are well-designed and appropriate to the context where women and men live. Yet, conducting action-oriented research on gender-based violence that is robust and carried out in ethical and safe ways requires specific methodological approaches.

The course

This course aims to strengthen participants’ knowledge and skills to conduct or commission technically rigorous, ethical and policy- and service-relevant research on various forms of violence against women.

Launched in 2006, the Gender, Violence and Health Centre (GVHC) at the School is a multi-disciplinary research group that works in partnership with local and international organisations around the world to carry out research on gender-based violence and health. The Centre aims to improve the health and well-being of populations, particularly women and girls, through action-oriented research on the extent, cause and consequences of gender-based violence.

We are experts in the evaluation of complex social interventions to prevent violence, using rigorous, cutting-edge evaluation methods, including randomised controlled trials. We are committed to using our research and our strong global partnerships to inform policies and interventions that promote reductions in gender-based violence.

The course is intended for individuals who will conduct or commission research on gender-based violence. It will be of particular interest to those who want to add a ‘violence component’ to study that is quantitative or qualitative study or an intervention evaluation. It is relevant for individuals working on health-related topics such as, sexual and reproductive health, maternal health, HIV, mental health and substance use.

Upon completing the course, participants will have a strong understanding of: current gold standard methods to conceptualise and measure violence exposures, various methodological techniques for assessing the relationship between violence and health outcomes; and practical issues faced when meeting ethical and safety obligations.


This is a specialised course focusing on methods to research gender based violence. Participants are expected have some prior familiarity or experience with conducting research, and relevant knowledge about the subject of gender based violence. Teaching will be conducted in English and participants will need sufficient language skills to read course materials and participate actively in group discussions. Participants will be expected to have an undergraduate degree and ideally, some post graduate training in research methods. Knowledge of computers and a basic knowledge of word for Windows and Excel is also essential.

Course fee

Fee for 2020 - £1,809.00

This fee covers participation in the course and course materials. If the course fee is to be paid on the applicant’s behalf, please send a letter from the sponsor to confirm this as soon as possible. Otherwise, the applicant will be held personally responsible for payment.

Course organisers

Karen Devries is a social epidemiologist with 15 years’ experience. Her research interests centre around prevention of violence against children and adolescents, and child protection.  She is affiliated with the Gender, Violence and Health Centre, and with the Social and Mathematical Epidemiology Group. She also conducts research on violence against women, sexual health, mental health, disability, and epidemiological methods.

Her main research collaborations are currently in Uganda, Zanzibar and Cote d’Ivoire, and her work is funded primarily by the UK MRC, DfID, Wellcome Trust, and the UBS Foundation.  She is a member of the academic technical advisory board for the International Violence Against Children Surveys, and advises WHO on measurement of violence against women. Karen supervises MSc and PhD students, co-organises the Social Epidemiology Module, the short course Researching Gender-Based Violence: Methods and Meaning, and lectures on a number of different MSc modules, and tutor on Basic Statistics.

Ana Maria Buller is an assistant professor in social sciences and Deputy Director of the Gender Violence and Health Centre at LSHTM. Dr Buller has extensive experience in conducting mixed methods social science research, impact evaluations and systematic reviews. Her main research interests lay on the intersection of gender based violence (including interpersonal and domestic violence against women and among MSM, labour and sexual exploitation and child domestic work) health and development with a focus on prevention in LMIC (low and middle income countries). She currently heads the Learning Initiative on Norms, Exploitation and Abuse (LINEA), and the Romantic Jealousy and IPV collaborative.

Course objectives
Course objectives - Researching Gender-Based Violence: Methods and Meaning

Course content

The course will cover the following topics:

  • Conceptualising and researching various forms of gender-based violence.
  • Associations between violence and health: current knowledge.
  • Ethics and safety.
  • Approaches to researching violence: qualitative, quantitative, mixed methods, intervention research.
  • Developing conceptual frameworks for violence and health research.
  • Survey research on violence and questionnaire design.
  • Special circumstances and practical tips for specific contexts.
  • Intervention research: approaches and challenges.
  • Qualitative research on violence.
  • Violence research in health care settings.
  • Practical planning and budgeting for studies on violence

Teaching methods and course materials

The course will be taught through a series of interactive lectures, practical exercises; group work and assigned reading.

How to apply
How to apply - Researching Gender-Based Violence: Methods and Meaning

Applying for this course

We are no longer accepting applications for 2020.

Please read read our admissions policies before submitting your application.

Short courses - visas, accommodation, disclaimer


The student is responsible for obtaining any visa or other permissions to attend the course, and is encouraged to start the application process as early as possible as obtaining a visa for the UK can sometimes take a long time. The Short Courses team can provide supporting documentation if requested.

Accommodation and meals

A list of hotels located in the vicinity of LSHTM, along with further resources for short term accommodation, can be found on our accommodation pages. Tea and coffee will be provided during breaks. Lunch vouchers for the LSHTM canteen will also be available.

Evening meals are not catered for at LSHTM, however there is a large choice of restaurants, cafés and shops nearby.

Important information

Please note:

  • If you have been offered a place on the course you will not be able to register without bringing formal ID (Passport) and without having obtained the correct visa if required.
  • It is essential that you read the current visa requirements for short course students.
  • LSHTM may cancel courses two weeks before the first day of the course if numbers prove insufficient.  In those circumstances, course fees will be refunded.
  • LSHTM cannot accept responsibility for accommodation, travel and other losses incurred as a result of the course being cancelled.