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HBS Case Selections

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OpenAI: Idealism Meets Capitalism

  • Shikhar Ghosh
  • Shweta Bagai

Generative AI and the Future of Work

  • Christopher Stanton
  • Matt Higgins

Copilot(s): Generative AI at Microsoft and GitHub

  • Frank Nagle
  • Shane Greenstein
  • Maria P. Roche
  • Nataliya Langburd Wright
  • Sarah Mehta

Innovation at Moog Inc.

  • Brian J. Hall
  • Ashley V. Whillans
  • Davis Heniford
  • Dominika Randle
  • Caroline Witten

Innovation at Google Ads: The Sales Acceleration and Innovation Labs (SAIL) (A)

  • Linda A. Hill
  • Emily Tedards

Juan Valdez: Innovation in Caffeination

  • Michael I. Norton
  • Jeremy Dann

UGG Steps into the Metaverse

  • Shunyuan Zhang
  • Sharon Joseph
  • Sunil Gupta
  • Julia Kelley

Metaverse Wars

  • David B. Yoffie

Roblox: Virtual Commerce in the Metaverse

  • Ayelet Israeli
  • Nicole Tempest Keller

Timnit Gebru: "SILENCED No More" on AI Bias and The Harms of Large Language Models

  • Tsedal Neeley
  • Stefani Ruper

Hugging Face: Serving AI on a Platform

  • Kerry Herman
  • Sarah Gulick

SmartOne: Building an AI Data Business

  • Karim R. Lakhani
  • Pippa Tubman Armerding
  • Gamze Yucaoglu
  • Fares Khrais

Honeywell and the Great Recession (A)

  • Sandra J. Sucher
  • Susan Winterberg

Target: Responding to the Recession

  • Ranjay Gulati
  • Catherine Ross
  • Richard S. Ruback
  • Royce Yudkoff

Hometown Foods: Changing Price Amid Inflation

  • Julian De Freitas
  • Jeremy Yang
  • Das Narayandas

Elon Musk's Big Bets

  • Eric Baldwin

Elon Musk: Balancing Purpose and Risk

Tesla's ceo compensation plan.

  • Krishna G. Palepu
  • John R. Wells
  • Gabriel Ellsworth

China Rapid Finance: The Collapse of China's P2P Lending Industry

  • William C. Kirby
  • Bonnie Yining Cao
  • John P. McHugh

Forbidden City: Launching a Craft Beer in China

  • Christopher A. Bartlett
  • Carole Carlson

  • Stefan Thomke
  • Daniela Beyersdorfer

Innovation at Uber: The Launch of Express POOL

  • Chiara Farronato
  • Alan MacCormack

Racial Discrimination on Airbnb (A)

  • Michael Luca
  • Scott Stern
  • Hyunjin Kim

Unilever's Response to the Future of Work

  • William R. Kerr
  • Emilie Billaud
  • Mette Fuglsang Hjortshoej

AT&T, Retraining, and the Workforce of Tomorrow

  • Joseph B. Fuller
  • Carl Kreitzberg

Leading Change in Talent at L'Oreal

  • Lakshmi Ramarajan
  • Vincent Dessain
  • Emer Moloney
  • William W. George
  • Andrew N. McLean

Eve Hall: The African American Investment Fund in Milwaukee

  • Steven S. Rogers
  • Alterrell Mills

United Housing - Otis Gates

  • Mercer Cook

The Home Depot: Leadership in Crisis Management

  • Herman B. Leonard
  • Marc J. Epstein
  • Melissa Tritter

The Great East Japan Earthquake (B): Fast Retailing Group's Response

  • Hirotaka Takeuchi
  • Kenichi Nonomura
  • Dena Neuenschwander
  • Meghan Ricci
  • Kate Schoch
  • Sergey Vartanov

Insurer of Last Resort?: The Federal Financial Response to September 11

  • David A. Moss
  • Sarah Brennan

Under Armour

  • Rory McDonald
  • Clayton M. Christensen
  • Daniel West
  • Jonathan E. Palmer
  • Tonia Junker

Hunley, Inc.: Casting for Growth

  • John A. Quelch
  • James T. Kindley

Bitfury: Blockchain for Government

  • Mitchell B. Weiss
  • Elena Corsi

Deutsche Bank: Pursuing Blockchain Opportunities (A)

  • Lynda M. Applegate
  • Christoph Muller-Bloch

Maersk: Betting on Blockchain

  • Scott Johnson

Yum! Brands

  • Jordan Siegel
  • Christopher Poliquin

Bharti Airtel in Africa

  • Tanya Bijlani

Li & Fung 2012

  • F. Warren McFarlan
  • Michael Shih-ta Chen
  • Keith Chi-ho Wong

Sony and the JK Wedding Dance

  • John Deighton
  • Leora Kornfeld

United Breaks Guitars

David dao on united airlines.

  • Benjamin Edelman
  • Jenny Sanford

Marketing Reading: Digital Marketing

  • Joseph Davin

Social Strategy at Nike

  • Mikolaj Jan Piskorski
  • Ryan Johnson

The Tate's Digital Transformation

Social strategy at american express, mellon financial and the bank of new york.

  • Carliss Y. Baldwin
  • Ryan D. Taliaferro

The Walt Disney Company and Pixar, Inc.: To Acquire or Not to Acquire?

  • Juan Alcacer
  • David J. Collis

Dow's Bid for Rohm and Haas

  • Benjamin C. Esty

Finance Reading: The Mergers and Acquisitions Process

  • John Coates

Apple: Privacy vs. Safety? (A)

  • Henry W. McGee
  • Nien-he Hsieh
  • Sarah McAra

Sidewalk Labs: Privacy in a City Built from the Internet Up

  • Leslie K. John

Data Breach at Equifax

  • Suraj Srinivasan
  • Quinn Pitcher
  • Jonah S. Goldberg

Apple's Core

  • Noam Wasserman

Design Thinking and Innovation at Apple

  • Barbara Feinberg

Apple Inc. in 2012

  • Penelope Rossano

Iz-Lynn Chan at Far East Organization (Abridged)

  • Anthony J. Mayo
  • Dana M. Teppert

Barbara Norris: Leading Change in the General Surgery Unit

  • Boris Groysberg
  • Nitin Nohria
  • Deborah Bell

Adobe Systems: Working Towards a "Suite" Release (A)

  • David A. Thomas
  • Lauren Barley

Home Nursing of North Carolina

Castronics, llc, gemini investors, angie's list: ratings pioneer turns 20.

  • Robert J. Dolan

Basecamp: Pricing

  • Frank V. Cespedes
  • Robb Fitzsimmons

J.C. Penney's "Fair and Square" Pricing Strategy

J.c. penney's 'fair and square' strategy (c): back to the future.

  • Jose B. Alvarez

Osaro: Picking the best path

  • James Palano
  • Bastiane Huang

HubSpot and Motion AI: Chatbot-Enabled CRM

  • Thomas Steenburgh

GROW: Using Artificial Intelligence to Screen Human Intelligence

  • Ethan S. Bernstein
  • Paul D. McKinnon
  • Paul Yarabe

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Arup: Building the Water Cube

  • Robert G. Eccles
  • Amy C. Edmondson
  • Dilyana Karadzhova

(Re)Building a Global Team: Tariq Khan at Tek

Managing a global team: greg james at sun microsystems, inc. (a).

  • Thomas J. DeLong

Organizational Behavior Reading: Leading Global Teams

Ron ventura at mitchell memorial hospital.

  • Heide Abelli

Anthony Starks at InSiL Therapeutics (A)

  • Gary P. Pisano
  • Vicki L. Sato

Wolfgang Keller at Konigsbrau-TAK (A)

  • John J. Gabarro

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Midland Energy Resources, Inc.: Cost of Capital

  • Timothy A. Luehrman
  • Joel L. Heilprin

Globalizing the Cost of Capital and Capital Budgeting at AES

  • Mihir A. Desai
  • Doug Schillinger

Cost of Capital at Ameritrade

  • Mark Mitchell
  • Erik Stafford

Finance Reading: Cost of Capital

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David Neeleman: Flight Path of a Servant Leader (A)

  • Matthew D. Breitfelder

Coach Hurley at St. Anthony High School

  • Scott A. Snook
  • Bradley C. Lawrence

Shapiro Global

  • Michael Brookshire
  • Monica Haugen
  • Michelle Kravetz
  • Sarah Sommer

Kathryn McNeil (A)

  • Joseph L. Badaracco Jr.
  • Jerry Useem

Carol Fishman Cohen: Professional Career Reentry (A)

  • Myra M. Hart
  • Robin J. Ely
  • Susan Wojewoda

Alex Montana at ESH Manufacturing Co.

  • Michael Kernish

Michelle Levene (A)

  • Tiziana Casciaro
  • Victoria W. Winston

John and Andrea Rice: Entrepreneurship and Life

  • Howard H. Stevenson
  • Janet Kraus
  • Shirley M. Spence

Partner Center

Hertz CEO Kathryn Marinello with CFO Jamere Jackson and other members of the executive team in 2017

Top 40 Most Popular Case Studies of 2021

Two cases about Hertz claimed top spots in 2021's Top 40 Most Popular Case Studies

Two cases on the uses of debt and equity at Hertz claimed top spots in the CRDT’s (Case Research and Development Team) 2021 top 40 review of cases.

Hertz (A) took the top spot. The case details the financial structure of the rental car company through the end of 2019. Hertz (B), which ranked third in CRDT’s list, describes the company’s struggles during the early part of the COVID pandemic and its eventual need to enter Chapter 11 bankruptcy. 

The success of the Hertz cases was unprecedented for the top 40 list. Usually, cases take a number of years to gain popularity, but the Hertz cases claimed top spots in their first year of release. Hertz (A) also became the first ‘cooked’ case to top the annual review, as all of the other winners had been web-based ‘raw’ cases.

Besides introducing students to the complicated financing required to maintain an enormous fleet of cars, the Hertz cases also expanded the diversity of case protagonists. Kathyrn Marinello was the CEO of Hertz during this period and the CFO, Jamere Jackson is black.

Sandwiched between the two Hertz cases, Coffee 2016, a perennial best seller, finished second. “Glory, Glory, Man United!” a case about an English football team’s IPO made a surprise move to number four.  Cases on search fund boards, the future of malls,  Norway’s Sovereign Wealth fund, Prodigy Finance, the Mayo Clinic, and Cadbury rounded out the top ten.

Other year-end data for 2021 showed:

  • Online “raw” case usage remained steady as compared to 2020 with over 35K users from 170 countries and all 50 U.S. states interacting with 196 cases.
  • Fifty four percent of raw case users came from outside the U.S..
  • The Yale School of Management (SOM) case study directory pages received over 160K page views from 177 countries with approximately a third originating in India followed by the U.S. and the Philippines.
  • Twenty-six of the cases in the list are raw cases.
  • A third of the cases feature a woman protagonist.
  • Orders for Yale SOM case studies increased by almost 50% compared to 2020.
  • The top 40 cases were supervised by 19 different Yale SOM faculty members, several supervising multiple cases.

CRDT compiled the Top 40 list by combining data from its case store, Google Analytics, and other measures of interest and adoption.

All of this year’s Top 40 cases are available for purchase from the Yale Management Media store .

And the Top 40 cases studies of 2021 are:

1.   Hertz Global Holdings (A): Uses of Debt and Equity

2.   Coffee 2016

3.   Hertz Global Holdings (B): Uses of Debt and Equity 2020

4.   Glory, Glory Man United!

5.   Search Fund Company Boards: How CEOs Can Build Boards to Help Them Thrive

6.   The Future of Malls: Was Decline Inevitable?

7.   Strategy for Norway's Pension Fund Global

8.   Prodigy Finance

9.   Design at Mayo

10. Cadbury

11. City Hospital Emergency Room

13. Volkswagen

14. Marina Bay Sands

15. Shake Shack IPO

16. Mastercard

17. Netflix

18. Ant Financial

19. AXA: Creating the New CR Metrics

20. IBM Corporate Service Corps

21. Business Leadership in South Africa's 1994 Reforms

22. Alternative Meat Industry

23. Children's Premier

24. Khalil Tawil and Umi (A)

25. Palm Oil 2016

26. Teach For All: Designing a Global Network

27. What's Next? Search Fund Entrepreneurs Reflect on Life After Exit

28. Searching for a Search Fund Structure: A Student Takes a Tour of Various Options

30. Project Sammaan

31. Commonfund ESG

32. Polaroid

33. Connecticut Green Bank 2018: After the Raid

34. FieldFresh Foods

35. The Alibaba Group

36. 360 State Street: Real Options

37. Herman Miller

38. AgBiome

39. Nathan Cummings Foundation

40. Toyota 2010

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How to write a case study — examples, templates, and tools

How to write a case study — examples, templates, and tools marquee

It’s a marketer’s job to communicate the effectiveness of a product or service to potential and current customers to convince them to buy and keep business moving. One of the best methods for doing this is to share success stories that are relatable to prospects and customers based on their pain points, experiences, and overall needs.

That’s where case studies come in. Case studies are an essential part of a content marketing plan. These in-depth stories of customer experiences are some of the most effective at demonstrating the value of a product or service. Yet many marketers don’t use them, whether because of their regimented formats or the process of customer involvement and approval.

A case study is a powerful tool for showcasing your hard work and the success your customer achieved. But writing a great case study can be difficult if you’ve never done it before or if it’s been a while. This guide will show you how to write an effective case study and provide real-world examples and templates that will keep readers engaged and support your business.

In this article, you’ll learn:

What is a case study?

How to write a case study, case study templates, case study examples, case study tools.

A case study is the detailed story of a customer’s experience with a product or service that demonstrates their success and often includes measurable outcomes. Case studies are used in a range of fields and for various reasons, from business to academic research. They’re especially impactful in marketing as brands work to convince and convert consumers with relatable, real-world stories of actual customer experiences.

The best case studies tell the story of a customer’s success, including the steps they took, the results they achieved, and the support they received from a brand along the way. To write a great case study, you need to:

  • Celebrate the customer and make them — not a product or service — the star of the story.
  • Craft the story with specific audiences or target segments in mind so that the story of one customer will be viewed as relatable and actionable for another customer.
  • Write copy that is easy to read and engaging so that readers will gain the insights and messages intended.
  • Follow a standardized format that includes all of the essentials a potential customer would find interesting and useful.
  • Support all of the claims for success made in the story with data in the forms of hard numbers and customer statements.

Case studies are a type of review but more in depth, aiming to show — rather than just tell — the positive experiences that customers have with a brand. Notably, 89% of consumers read reviews before deciding to buy, and 79% view case study content as part of their purchasing process. When it comes to B2B sales, 52% of buyers rank case studies as an important part of their evaluation process.

Telling a brand story through the experience of a tried-and-true customer matters. The story is relatable to potential new customers as they imagine themselves in the shoes of the company or individual featured in the case study. Showcasing previous customers can help new ones see themselves engaging with your brand in the ways that are most meaningful to them.

Besides sharing the perspective of another customer, case studies stand out from other content marketing forms because they are based on evidence. Whether pulling from client testimonials or data-driven results, case studies tend to have more impact on new business because the story contains information that is both objective (data) and subjective (customer experience) — and the brand doesn’t sound too self-promotional.

89% of consumers read reviews before buying, 79% view case studies, and 52% of B2B buyers prioritize case studies in the evaluation process.

Case studies are unique in that there’s a fairly standardized format for telling a customer’s story. But that doesn’t mean there isn’t room for creativity. It’s all about making sure that teams are clear on the goals for the case study — along with strategies for supporting content and channels — and understanding how the story fits within the framework of the company’s overall marketing goals.

Here are the basic steps to writing a good case study.

1. Identify your goal

Start by defining exactly who your case study will be designed to help. Case studies are about specific instances where a company works with a customer to achieve a goal. Identify which customers are likely to have these goals, as well as other needs the story should cover to appeal to them.

The answer is often found in one of the buyer personas that have been constructed as part of your larger marketing strategy. This can include anything from new leads generated by the marketing team to long-term customers that are being pressed for cross-sell opportunities. In all of these cases, demonstrating value through a relatable customer success story can be part of the solution to conversion.

2. Choose your client or subject

Who you highlight matters. Case studies tie brands together that might otherwise not cross paths. A writer will want to ensure that the highlighted customer aligns with their own company’s brand identity and offerings. Look for a customer with positive name recognition who has had great success with a product or service and is willing to be an advocate.

The client should also match up with the identified target audience. Whichever company or individual is selected should be a reflection of other potential customers who can see themselves in similar circumstances, having the same problems and possible solutions.

Some of the most compelling case studies feature customers who:

  • Switch from one product or service to another while naming competitors that missed the mark.
  • Experience measurable results that are relatable to others in a specific industry.
  • Represent well-known brands and recognizable names that are likely to compel action.
  • Advocate for a product or service as a champion and are well-versed in its advantages.

Whoever or whatever customer is selected, marketers must ensure they have the permission of the company involved before getting started. Some brands have strict review and approval procedures for any official marketing or promotional materials that include their name. Acquiring those approvals in advance will prevent any miscommunication or wasted effort if there is an issue with their legal or compliance teams.

3. Conduct research and compile data

Substantiating the claims made in a case study — either by the marketing team or customers themselves — adds validity to the story. To do this, include data and feedback from the client that defines what success looks like. This can be anything from demonstrating return on investment (ROI) to a specific metric the customer was striving to improve. Case studies should prove how an outcome was achieved and show tangible results that indicate to the customer that your solution is the right one.

This step could also include customer interviews. Make sure that the people being interviewed are key stakeholders in the purchase decision or deployment and use of the product or service that is being highlighted. Content writers should work off a set list of questions prepared in advance. It can be helpful to share these with the interviewees beforehand so they have time to consider and craft their responses. One of the best interview tactics to keep in mind is to ask questions where yes and no are not natural answers. This way, your subject will provide more open-ended responses that produce more meaningful content.

4. Choose the right format

There are a number of different ways to format a case study. Depending on what you hope to achieve, one style will be better than another. However, there are some common elements to include, such as:

  • An engaging headline
  • A subject and customer introduction
  • The unique challenge or challenges the customer faced
  • The solution the customer used to solve the problem
  • The results achieved
  • Data and statistics to back up claims of success
  • A strong call to action (CTA) to engage with the vendor

It’s also important to note that while case studies are traditionally written as stories, they don’t have to be in a written format. Some companies choose to get more creative with their case studies and produce multimedia content, depending on their audience and objectives. Case study formats can include traditional print stories, interactive web or social content, data-heavy infographics, professionally shot videos, podcasts, and more.

5. Write your case study

We’ll go into more detail later about how exactly to write a case study, including templates and examples. Generally speaking, though, there are a few things to keep in mind when writing your case study.

  • Be clear and concise. Readers want to get to the point of the story quickly and easily, and they’ll be looking to see themselves reflected in the story right from the start.
  • Provide a big picture. Always make sure to explain who the client is, their goals, and how they achieved success in a short introduction to engage the reader.
  • Construct a clear narrative. Stick to the story from the perspective of the customer and what they needed to solve instead of just listing product features or benefits.
  • Leverage graphics. Incorporating infographics, charts, and sidebars can be a more engaging and eye-catching way to share key statistics and data in readable ways.
  • Offer the right amount of detail. Most case studies are one or two pages with clear sections that a reader can skim to find the information most important to them.
  • Include data to support claims. Show real results — both facts and figures and customer quotes — to demonstrate credibility and prove the solution works.

6. Promote your story

Marketers have a number of options for distribution of a freshly minted case study. Many brands choose to publish case studies on their website and post them on social media. This can help support SEO and organic content strategies while also boosting company credibility and trust as visitors see that other businesses have used the product or service.

Marketers are always looking for quality content they can use for lead generation. Consider offering a case study as gated content behind a form on a landing page or as an offer in an email message. One great way to do this is to summarize the content and tease the full story available for download after the user takes an action.

Sales teams can also leverage case studies, so be sure they are aware that the assets exist once they’re published. Especially when it comes to larger B2B sales, companies often ask for examples of similar customer challenges that have been solved.

Now that you’ve learned a bit about case studies and what they should include, you may be wondering how to start creating great customer story content. Here are a couple of templates you can use to structure your case study.

Template 1 — Challenge-solution-result format

  • Start with an engaging title. This should be fewer than 70 characters long for SEO best practices. One of the best ways to approach the title is to include the customer’s name and a hint at the challenge they overcame in the end.
  • Create an introduction. Lead with an explanation as to who the customer is, the need they had, and the opportunity they found with a specific product or solution. Writers can also suggest the success the customer experienced with the solution they chose.
  • Present the challenge. This should be several paragraphs long and explain the problem the customer faced and the issues they were trying to solve. Details should tie into the company’s products and services naturally. This section needs to be the most relatable to the reader so they can picture themselves in a similar situation.
  • Share the solution. Explain which product or service offered was the ideal fit for the customer and why. Feel free to delve into their experience setting up, purchasing, and onboarding the solution.
  • Explain the results. Demonstrate the impact of the solution they chose by backing up their positive experience with data. Fill in with customer quotes and tangible, measurable results that show the effect of their choice.
  • Ask for action. Include a CTA at the end of the case study that invites readers to reach out for more information, try a demo, or learn more — to nurture them further in the marketing pipeline. What you ask of the reader should tie directly into the goals that were established for the case study in the first place.

Template 2 — Data-driven format

  • Start with an engaging title. Be sure to include a statistic or data point in the first 70 characters. Again, it’s best to include the customer’s name as part of the title.
  • Create an overview. Share the customer’s background and a short version of the challenge they faced. Present the reason a particular product or service was chosen, and feel free to include quotes from the customer about their selection process.
  • Present data point 1. Isolate the first metric that the customer used to define success and explain how the product or solution helped to achieve this goal. Provide data points and quotes to substantiate the claim that success was achieved.
  • Present data point 2. Isolate the second metric that the customer used to define success and explain what the product or solution did to achieve this goal. Provide data points and quotes to substantiate the claim that success was achieved.
  • Present data point 3. Isolate the final metric that the customer used to define success and explain what the product or solution did to achieve this goal. Provide data points and quotes to substantiate the claim that success was achieved.
  • Summarize the results. Reiterate the fact that the customer was able to achieve success thanks to a specific product or service. Include quotes and statements that reflect customer satisfaction and suggest they plan to continue using the solution.
  • Ask for action. Include a CTA at the end of the case study that asks readers to reach out for more information, try a demo, or learn more — to further nurture them in the marketing pipeline. Again, remember that this is where marketers can look to convert their content into action with the customer.

While templates are helpful, seeing a case study in action can also be a great way to learn. Here are some examples of how Adobe customers have experienced success.

Juniper Networks

One example is the Adobe and Juniper Networks case study , which puts the reader in the customer’s shoes. The beginning of the story quickly orients the reader so that they know exactly who the article is about and what they were trying to achieve. Solutions are outlined in a way that shows Adobe Experience Manager is the best choice and a natural fit for the customer. Along the way, quotes from the client are incorporated to help add validity to the statements. The results in the case study are conveyed with clear evidence of scale and volume using tangible data.

A Lenovo case study showing statistics, a pull quote and featured headshot, the headline "The customer is king.," and Adobe product links.

The story of Lenovo’s journey with Adobe is one that spans years of planning, implementation, and rollout. The Lenovo case study does a great job of consolidating all of this into a relatable journey that other enterprise organizations can see themselves taking, despite the project size. This case study also features descriptive headers and compelling visual elements that engage the reader and strengthen the content.

Tata Consulting

When it comes to using data to show customer results, this case study does an excellent job of conveying details and numbers in an easy-to-digest manner. Bullet points at the start break up the content while also helping the reader understand exactly what the case study will be about. Tata Consulting used Adobe to deliver elevated, engaging content experiences for a large telecommunications client of its own — an objective that’s relatable for a lot of companies.

Case studies are a vital tool for any marketing team as they enable you to demonstrate the value of your company’s products and services to others. They help marketers do their job and add credibility to a brand trying to promote its solutions by using the experiences and stories of real customers.

When you’re ready to get started with a case study:

  • Think about a few goals you’d like to accomplish with your content.
  • Make a list of successful clients that would be strong candidates for a case study.
  • Reach out to the client to get their approval and conduct an interview.
  • Gather the data to present an engaging and effective customer story.

Adobe can help

There are several Adobe products that can help you craft compelling case studies. Adobe Experience Platform helps you collect data and deliver great customer experiences across every channel. Once you’ve created your case studies, Experience Platform will help you deliver the right information to the right customer at the right time for maximum impact.

To learn more, watch the Adobe Experience Platform story .

Keep in mind that the best case studies are backed by data. That’s where Adobe Real-Time Customer Data Platform and Adobe Analytics come into play. With Real-Time CDP, you can gather the data you need to build a great case study and target specific customers to deliver the content to the right audience at the perfect moment.

Watch the Real-Time CDP overview video to learn more.

Finally, Adobe Analytics turns real-time data into real-time insights. It helps your business collect and synthesize data from multiple platforms to make more informed decisions and create the best case study possible.

Request a demo to learn more about Adobe Analytics.

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Simon Fraser University

  • Library Catalogue

Finding case studies

On this page, introduction, finding cases, sample cases, developing and analysing cases.

"Case studies" can mean examples from organizations provided simply to illustrate a point or descriptions of organizational situations designed to be interpreted and analyzed by a learner. The resources below provide a mix of all types of case studies.

This guide also includes some resources that will be of more use to students (e.g., the tips on finding case studies in databases) and other resources that instructors will find useful (e.g., the links to case clearinghouses).

If you don't find what you need here, don't hesitate to ask for help .

  New!  We've recently added another 600+ new cases to our Sage Business Cases resource! 

Logo of SAGE Business Cases

Try searching the SFU Library catalogue  and include ( case study OR case studies OR cases ) as part of your search. Check out these sample searches:

("case study" OR "case studies" OR cases) AND "organizational behavior"

("case study" OR "case studies" OR cases) AND "strategic management"

("case study" OR "case studies" OR cases) AND "project management"

Also try an Advanced Search  in which you look for case studies in the Subject field, combined with your specific need (entrepreneurship? strategy?) as a Keyword. Add case* in the Title field as well to increase your chance of getting books that contain large numbers of cases. You can also start by  searching for books that have cases in the title AND " case studies" in the subject .

In the SFU Library catalogue, try searching for theses & graduating projects by SFU Business students. Such publications often involve specific case studies. Try searching the catalogue  again, but this time combine the word theses (plural) with your topic. See these sample searches for example theses AND "electronic commerce"  // theses AND "electronic arts" .  Also, try Dissertations and Theses Abstracts and Index  for theses completed elsewhere. See our guide to Finding University Theses and Projects from Simon Fraser and Other Universities for more suggestions.

  • In Business Source Complete enter your search terms, then either check off the Document Type Case study or include the Subject Case studies as part of your search.
  • CBCA Fulltext Business offers similar ways of finding case studies: either choose the Document Type (click on More Search Options) Case study or include the Subject Case studies as part of your search.
  • See the Sample cases area below for some specific journals focusing on business cases.

Websites & databases

Most cases sold by places such as Harvard or the Richard Ivey School of Business are not available via the library. You usually need to pay for the cases if you are not a faculty member, or if you are a faculty member and you want to assign cases in your class. If you are a student and a case has been assigned as a reading in your class, double check with your instructor to see if the case might have been pre-purchased for all members of your class.

Sage Business Cases A global and diverse collection of case studies designed to help students see theoretical business concepts put into practice. This collection is available to all SFU students, instructors, and alumni. See this blog post for further details.

Harvard Business School Cases Harvard's cases are available for direct purchase from the HBR Store .  Qualified and registered instructors  can access Harvard's Educator site to preview cases and access Teaching Notes and other supporting materials. Also see below for a discussion on how to find a small number of HBS cases in the Harvard Business Review.

The Case Centre (formerly the European Case Clearing House) "[T]he largest single source . . . of management case studies in the world. We hold and distribute all cases produced by the world's best-known management teaching establishments, as well as case studies in many languages produced by individual authors from almost every corner of the globe." Search for a case, then click on the link for an "inspection copy" (if available) and follow the links to register as a faculty member.

Richard Ivey School of Business - Cases Faculty can register to preview cases. Note that we have several books in the Ivey Casebook Series .

Cases online via the Harvard Business Review 

Try searching for Harvard Business Review in the Publication Name field in Business Source Complete, then checking the box to limit your search to the Document Type " case study."  Add in other terms to focus your search. 

Note that only a very small subset of all Harvard Business School (HBS) cases are published in the HBR.  The majority of Harvard's business cases are sold only to individuals and classes, not to libraries for use by the entire institution.

Journals that feature case studies

  • Journal of Information Technology Teaching Cases : provides "suitable, contemporary case materials for teaching topics in the organisation and management of information systems and on the social consequences of information technology." Note that this is a spin-off journal from the Journal of Information Technology which used to publish such cases. 
  • International Journal of Case Studies in Management : Cases from 2003-2012 available via our CBCA database.
  • International Journal of Management Cases : The IJMC is the official journal of the CIRCLE Research Centre. CIRCLE (Centre for International Research Consumers, Locations and their Environments) is a virtual research group in over 70 universities.
  • Allied Academies International Conference: Proceedings of the International Academy for Case Studies (IACS)
  • Journal of the International Academy for Case Studies : Presents classroom teaching cases, with instructor's notes, on any subject which might be taught in a Business School.
  • Business Case Journal , Journal of Critical Incidents , and Journal of Case Studies : All from the Society for Case Research
  • Asian Case Research Journal : Cases on Asian companies & MNCs operating in Asia-Pacific. No access to the most recent 12 months.
  • Journal of Case Research in Business & Economics

Other online sources for cases

  • CaseBase & CaseBase2: Case Studies in Global Business : Covers business case studies focused on issues in emerging markets and emerging industries across the globe.
  • Business Ethics Case Studies : A few cases from Business Ethics Canada - St. Mary's University
  • The Case Centre (formerly the European Case Clearinghouse) offers a selection of free cases .
  • Business Gateway : Case studies from Scotland on starting and running a small business.
  • The Times 100 : Free business case studies on real life companies. 
  • Acadia Institute of Case Studies (Acadia University): Most studies are focused on small business and entrepreneurship and include teaching notes. Some of them even include short videos. Permission is granted for educational use. Note that the AICS site appears to be currently inaccessible, so we've linked to the Web Archive version of their site as of late 2019.
  • Company-specific case studies: Intended as examples of how customers have used or could use their products: IBM , Intel , and LANSA .
  • Advertising Educational Foundation: Case histories : "Case histories give you an inside look at the steps advertising agencies and advertisers take to create a campaign and how effective it can be. Case histories show the preceding issue/problem, the response and the outcome. Creative is included."
  • MarketLine cases in Business Source : Mostly strategic analysis cases featuring large, global companies.
  • Open Case Studies : An interdisciplinary collection of cases from UBC that are licensed to allow others to revise and reuse them. Very few of the cases are explicitly categorized as "business," but many of the cases on topics such as Conservation may be useful in a business context.

  An example of case analysis that might give you a sense of what's expected/possible: 

In 1989, the journal Interfaces published an HBS case and asked its readers to submit their analyses. Those analyses were then compiled into two subsequent articles, providing a useful example of the many ways business issues could be viewed and resolved.

Initial case : Porteus, E. L. (1989). The Case Analysis Section: National Cranberry Cooperative . Interfaces, 19 (6), 29–39. (Note: this case has been revised multiple times. If it is assigned in your class, make sure you are using the most current revision, mostly likely only available via HBS.)

Analyses:  #1: Porteus, E. L. (1993). Case Analysis: Analyses of the National Cranberry Cooperative -- 1. Tactical Options . Interfaces, 23 (4), 21–39.

#2: Porteus, E. L. (1993). Case Analysis: Analyses of the National Cranberry Cooperative -- 2. Environmental Changes and Implementation . Interfaces, 23 (6), 81–92.

  • Rotterdam School of Management: CDC Case Writing Training Material Valuable advice to aspiring case writers via a 4-part series in our Sage Business Cases database.
  • Why teach with cases? : reflections on philosophy and practice (2022 ebook)
  • The ultimate guide to compact cases : case research, writing, and teaching   (2022 ebook)
  • Writing, Teaching, and Using Cases : A January 2014 presentation by Leyland Pitt and Michael Parent (both of SFU). Michael and Leyland led a full-day workshop with a focus on case teaching.
  • The case writing workbook : a guide for faculty and students : "Designed as an individualized workshop to assist case authors to structure their writing..."
  • Guide for Contributors: Tips for Writing Cases : From the publishers of our SAGE Business Cases (SBC) database. Also see the SBC's  Author Guidelines .
  • Learning Effectively with Case Studies: A Conversation between a Professor and a Former MBA Student
  • The case study companion : teaching, learning and writing business case studies : All angles in one recent (2021) ebook!
  • The Case Writer's Toolkit :  "... to help writers visualise concepts, signpost ideas, break down complex information and apply techniques in a practical manner."
  • A Brief Guide to Case Teaching : A free guide from The Case Centre
  • Teaching with Cases : A Practical Guide : "... focuses on practical advice for instructors that can be easily implemented. It covers how to plan a course, how to teach it, and how to evaluate it."
  • Teaching & Authoring Tools : Part of the Ivey Cases site, this page offers documents and videos to help you create your own cases, as well as lists of additional resources.
  • Application of a Case Study Methodology by Winston Tellis: (The Qualitative Report, Volume 3, Number 3, September, 1997). This academic article covers the social science methodologies involved in designing, conducting and analysing a case study. It also features a detailed bibliography.
  • The Art and Craft of Case Writing (3rd ed. 2012): "[A] practical, comprehensive, and multidisciplinary guide that blends an informal, workshop-style with solid theory and practice." Includes a section on video, multimedia, and Internet cases.
  • Basics of Developing Case Studies : Part of the Free Management Library , this site has some basic information on how to develop a case study, as well as links to some sample cases.
  • A Guide to Case Analysis : Focus is on how to analyse company cases when learning strategic management techniques. (Depending on your browser settings, you may need to right click this link and open it in a new tab or download it.)
  • Case Studies: Overview  (from Cengage): Covers both analysing and writing a case study from the perspective of a business student. From the same publisher: A student's guide to analysing case studies .
  • Case Analysis Guide : Developed by a publisher to support students using a Strategic Management text, but applicable in many other situations.
  • Short videos on how to approach a case study by the author of the Case Study Handbook: A Student's Guide
  • Videos: What is the Case Method? : from The Case Centre

Also, try the subject heading " Case method " in the SFU Library catalogue for books on using the case method in your classes. Suggested sample case method books:

  • Encyclopedia of case study research ( print )
  • Case study research: design and methods (4th edition, 2009; print )
  • Case study research: principles and practices ( online or  print )
  • Case writing for executive education: a survival guide ( print )

You might also want to try checking an index of education articles such as ERIC : start with the subject heading (or Descriptor) Case Method (Teaching Technique) .  Alternatively, try our Education Source database using Case method (Teaching) as your subject search term. 

Organizing Your Social Sciences Research Assignments

  • Annotated Bibliography
  • Analyzing a Scholarly Journal Article
  • Group Presentations
  • Dealing with Nervousness
  • Using Visual Aids
  • Grading Someone Else's Paper
  • Types of Structured Group Activities
  • Group Project Survival Skills
  • Leading a Class Discussion
  • Multiple Book Review Essay
  • Reviewing Collected Works
  • Writing a Case Analysis Paper
  • Writing a Case Study
  • About Informed Consent
  • Writing Field Notes
  • Writing a Policy Memo
  • Writing a Reflective Paper
  • Writing a Research Proposal
  • Generative AI and Writing
  • Acknowledgments

A case study research paper examines a person, place, event, condition, phenomenon, or other type of subject of analysis in order to extrapolate  key themes and results that help predict future trends, illuminate previously hidden issues that can be applied to practice, and/or provide a means for understanding an important research problem with greater clarity. A case study research paper usually examines a single subject of analysis, but case study papers can also be designed as a comparative investigation that shows relationships between two or more subjects. The methods used to study a case can rest within a quantitative, qualitative, or mixed-method investigative paradigm.

Case Studies. Writing@CSU. Colorado State University; Mills, Albert J. , Gabrielle Durepos, and Eiden Wiebe, editors. Encyclopedia of Case Study Research . Thousand Oaks, CA: SAGE Publications, 2010 ; “What is a Case Study?” In Swanborn, Peter G. Case Study Research: What, Why and How? London: SAGE, 2010.

How to Approach Writing a Case Study Research Paper

General information about how to choose a topic to investigate can be found under the " Choosing a Research Problem " tab in the Organizing Your Social Sciences Research Paper writing guide. Review this page because it may help you identify a subject of analysis that can be investigated using a case study design.

However, identifying a case to investigate involves more than choosing the research problem . A case study encompasses a problem contextualized around the application of in-depth analysis, interpretation, and discussion, often resulting in specific recommendations for action or for improving existing conditions. As Seawright and Gerring note, practical considerations such as time and access to information can influence case selection, but these issues should not be the sole factors used in describing the methodological justification for identifying a particular case to study. Given this, selecting a case includes considering the following:

  • The case represents an unusual or atypical example of a research problem that requires more in-depth analysis? Cases often represent a topic that rests on the fringes of prior investigations because the case may provide new ways of understanding the research problem. For example, if the research problem is to identify strategies to improve policies that support girl's access to secondary education in predominantly Muslim nations, you could consider using Azerbaijan as a case study rather than selecting a more obvious nation in the Middle East. Doing so may reveal important new insights into recommending how governments in other predominantly Muslim nations can formulate policies that support improved access to education for girls.
  • The case provides important insight or illuminate a previously hidden problem? In-depth analysis of a case can be based on the hypothesis that the case study will reveal trends or issues that have not been exposed in prior research or will reveal new and important implications for practice. For example, anecdotal evidence may suggest drug use among homeless veterans is related to their patterns of travel throughout the day. Assuming prior studies have not looked at individual travel choices as a way to study access to illicit drug use, a case study that observes a homeless veteran could reveal how issues of personal mobility choices facilitate regular access to illicit drugs. Note that it is important to conduct a thorough literature review to ensure that your assumption about the need to reveal new insights or previously hidden problems is valid and evidence-based.
  • The case challenges and offers a counter-point to prevailing assumptions? Over time, research on any given topic can fall into a trap of developing assumptions based on outdated studies that are still applied to new or changing conditions or the idea that something should simply be accepted as "common sense," even though the issue has not been thoroughly tested in current practice. A case study analysis may offer an opportunity to gather evidence that challenges prevailing assumptions about a research problem and provide a new set of recommendations applied to practice that have not been tested previously. For example, perhaps there has been a long practice among scholars to apply a particular theory in explaining the relationship between two subjects of analysis. Your case could challenge this assumption by applying an innovative theoretical framework [perhaps borrowed from another discipline] to explore whether this approach offers new ways of understanding the research problem. Taking a contrarian stance is one of the most important ways that new knowledge and understanding develops from existing literature.
  • The case provides an opportunity to pursue action leading to the resolution of a problem? Another way to think about choosing a case to study is to consider how the results from investigating a particular case may result in findings that reveal ways in which to resolve an existing or emerging problem. For example, studying the case of an unforeseen incident, such as a fatal accident at a railroad crossing, can reveal hidden issues that could be applied to preventative measures that contribute to reducing the chance of accidents in the future. In this example, a case study investigating the accident could lead to a better understanding of where to strategically locate additional signals at other railroad crossings so as to better warn drivers of an approaching train, particularly when visibility is hindered by heavy rain, fog, or at night.
  • The case offers a new direction in future research? A case study can be used as a tool for an exploratory investigation that highlights the need for further research about the problem. A case can be used when there are few studies that help predict an outcome or that establish a clear understanding about how best to proceed in addressing a problem. For example, after conducting a thorough literature review [very important!], you discover that little research exists showing the ways in which women contribute to promoting water conservation in rural communities of east central Africa. A case study of how women contribute to saving water in a rural village of Uganda can lay the foundation for understanding the need for more thorough research that documents how women in their roles as cooks and family caregivers think about water as a valuable resource within their community. This example of a case study could also point to the need for scholars to build new theoretical frameworks around the topic [e.g., applying feminist theories of work and family to the issue of water conservation].

Eisenhardt, Kathleen M. “Building Theories from Case Study Research.” Academy of Management Review 14 (October 1989): 532-550; Emmel, Nick. Sampling and Choosing Cases in Qualitative Research: A Realist Approach . Thousand Oaks, CA: SAGE Publications, 2013; Gerring, John. “What Is a Case Study and What Is It Good for?” American Political Science Review 98 (May 2004): 341-354; Mills, Albert J. , Gabrielle Durepos, and Eiden Wiebe, editors. Encyclopedia of Case Study Research . Thousand Oaks, CA: SAGE Publications, 2010; Seawright, Jason and John Gerring. "Case Selection Techniques in Case Study Research." Political Research Quarterly 61 (June 2008): 294-308.

Structure and Writing Style

The purpose of a paper in the social sciences designed around a case study is to thoroughly investigate a subject of analysis in order to reveal a new understanding about the research problem and, in so doing, contributing new knowledge to what is already known from previous studies. In applied social sciences disciplines [e.g., education, social work, public administration, etc.], case studies may also be used to reveal best practices, highlight key programs, or investigate interesting aspects of professional work.

In general, the structure of a case study research paper is not all that different from a standard college-level research paper. However, there are subtle differences you should be aware of. Here are the key elements to organizing and writing a case study research paper.

I.  Introduction

As with any research paper, your introduction should serve as a roadmap for your readers to ascertain the scope and purpose of your study . The introduction to a case study research paper, however, should not only describe the research problem and its significance, but you should also succinctly describe why the case is being used and how it relates to addressing the problem. The two elements should be linked. With this in mind, a good introduction answers these four questions:

  • What is being studied? Describe the research problem and describe the subject of analysis [the case] you have chosen to address the problem. Explain how they are linked and what elements of the case will help to expand knowledge and understanding about the problem.
  • Why is this topic important to investigate? Describe the significance of the research problem and state why a case study design and the subject of analysis that the paper is designed around is appropriate in addressing the problem.
  • What did we know about this topic before I did this study? Provide background that helps lead the reader into the more in-depth literature review to follow. If applicable, summarize prior case study research applied to the research problem and why it fails to adequately address the problem. Describe why your case will be useful. If no prior case studies have been used to address the research problem, explain why you have selected this subject of analysis.
  • How will this study advance new knowledge or new ways of understanding? Explain why your case study will be suitable in helping to expand knowledge and understanding about the research problem.

Each of these questions should be addressed in no more than a few paragraphs. Exceptions to this can be when you are addressing a complex research problem or subject of analysis that requires more in-depth background information.

II.  Literature Review

The literature review for a case study research paper is generally structured the same as it is for any college-level research paper. The difference, however, is that the literature review is focused on providing background information and  enabling historical interpretation of the subject of analysis in relation to the research problem the case is intended to address . This includes synthesizing studies that help to:

  • Place relevant works in the context of their contribution to understanding the case study being investigated . This would involve summarizing studies that have used a similar subject of analysis to investigate the research problem. If there is literature using the same or a very similar case to study, you need to explain why duplicating past research is important [e.g., conditions have changed; prior studies were conducted long ago, etc.].
  • Describe the relationship each work has to the others under consideration that informs the reader why this case is applicable . Your literature review should include a description of any works that support using the case to investigate the research problem and the underlying research questions.
  • Identify new ways to interpret prior research using the case study . If applicable, review any research that has examined the research problem using a different research design. Explain how your use of a case study design may reveal new knowledge or a new perspective or that can redirect research in an important new direction.
  • Resolve conflicts amongst seemingly contradictory previous studies . This refers to synthesizing any literature that points to unresolved issues of concern about the research problem and describing how the subject of analysis that forms the case study can help resolve these existing contradictions.
  • Point the way in fulfilling a need for additional research . Your review should examine any literature that lays a foundation for understanding why your case study design and the subject of analysis around which you have designed your study may reveal a new way of approaching the research problem or offer a perspective that points to the need for additional research.
  • Expose any gaps that exist in the literature that the case study could help to fill . Summarize any literature that not only shows how your subject of analysis contributes to understanding the research problem, but how your case contributes to a new way of understanding the problem that prior research has failed to do.
  • Locate your own research within the context of existing literature [very important!] . Collectively, your literature review should always place your case study within the larger domain of prior research about the problem. The overarching purpose of reviewing pertinent literature in a case study paper is to demonstrate that you have thoroughly identified and synthesized prior studies in relation to explaining the relevance of the case in addressing the research problem.

III.  Method

In this section, you explain why you selected a particular case [i.e., subject of analysis] and the strategy you used to identify and ultimately decide that your case was appropriate in addressing the research problem. The way you describe the methods used varies depending on the type of subject of analysis that constitutes your case study.

If your subject of analysis is an incident or event . In the social and behavioral sciences, the event or incident that represents the case to be studied is usually bounded by time and place, with a clear beginning and end and with an identifiable location or position relative to its surroundings. The subject of analysis can be a rare or critical event or it can focus on a typical or regular event. The purpose of studying a rare event is to illuminate new ways of thinking about the broader research problem or to test a hypothesis. Critical incident case studies must describe the method by which you identified the event and explain the process by which you determined the validity of this case to inform broader perspectives about the research problem or to reveal new findings. However, the event does not have to be a rare or uniquely significant to support new thinking about the research problem or to challenge an existing hypothesis. For example, Walo, Bull, and Breen conducted a case study to identify and evaluate the direct and indirect economic benefits and costs of a local sports event in the City of Lismore, New South Wales, Australia. The purpose of their study was to provide new insights from measuring the impact of a typical local sports event that prior studies could not measure well because they focused on large "mega-events." Whether the event is rare or not, the methods section should include an explanation of the following characteristics of the event: a) when did it take place; b) what were the underlying circumstances leading to the event; and, c) what were the consequences of the event in relation to the research problem.

If your subject of analysis is a person. Explain why you selected this particular individual to be studied and describe what experiences they have had that provide an opportunity to advance new understandings about the research problem. Mention any background about this person which might help the reader understand the significance of their experiences that make them worthy of study. This includes describing the relationships this person has had with other people, institutions, and/or events that support using them as the subject for a case study research paper. It is particularly important to differentiate the person as the subject of analysis from others and to succinctly explain how the person relates to examining the research problem [e.g., why is one politician in a particular local election used to show an increase in voter turnout from any other candidate running in the election]. Note that these issues apply to a specific group of people used as a case study unit of analysis [e.g., a classroom of students].

If your subject of analysis is a place. In general, a case study that investigates a place suggests a subject of analysis that is unique or special in some way and that this uniqueness can be used to build new understanding or knowledge about the research problem. A case study of a place must not only describe its various attributes relevant to the research problem [e.g., physical, social, historical, cultural, economic, political], but you must state the method by which you determined that this place will illuminate new understandings about the research problem. It is also important to articulate why a particular place as the case for study is being used if similar places also exist [i.e., if you are studying patterns of homeless encampments of veterans in open spaces, explain why you are studying Echo Park in Los Angeles rather than Griffith Park?]. If applicable, describe what type of human activity involving this place makes it a good choice to study [e.g., prior research suggests Echo Park has more homeless veterans].

If your subject of analysis is a phenomenon. A phenomenon refers to a fact, occurrence, or circumstance that can be studied or observed but with the cause or explanation to be in question. In this sense, a phenomenon that forms your subject of analysis can encompass anything that can be observed or presumed to exist but is not fully understood. In the social and behavioral sciences, the case usually focuses on human interaction within a complex physical, social, economic, cultural, or political system. For example, the phenomenon could be the observation that many vehicles used by ISIS fighters are small trucks with English language advertisements on them. The research problem could be that ISIS fighters are difficult to combat because they are highly mobile. The research questions could be how and by what means are these vehicles used by ISIS being supplied to the militants and how might supply lines to these vehicles be cut off? How might knowing the suppliers of these trucks reveal larger networks of collaborators and financial support? A case study of a phenomenon most often encompasses an in-depth analysis of a cause and effect that is grounded in an interactive relationship between people and their environment in some way.

NOTE:   The choice of the case or set of cases to study cannot appear random. Evidence that supports the method by which you identified and chose your subject of analysis should clearly support investigation of the research problem and linked to key findings from your literature review. Be sure to cite any studies that helped you determine that the case you chose was appropriate for examining the problem.

IV.  Discussion

The main elements of your discussion section are generally the same as any research paper, but centered around interpreting and drawing conclusions about the key findings from your analysis of the case study. Note that a general social sciences research paper may contain a separate section to report findings. However, in a paper designed around a case study, it is common to combine a description of the results with the discussion about their implications. The objectives of your discussion section should include the following:

Reiterate the Research Problem/State the Major Findings Briefly reiterate the research problem you are investigating and explain why the subject of analysis around which you designed the case study were used. You should then describe the findings revealed from your study of the case using direct, declarative, and succinct proclamation of the study results. Highlight any findings that were unexpected or especially profound.

Explain the Meaning of the Findings and Why They are Important Systematically explain the meaning of your case study findings and why you believe they are important. Begin this part of the section by repeating what you consider to be your most important or surprising finding first, then systematically review each finding. Be sure to thoroughly extrapolate what your analysis of the case can tell the reader about situations or conditions beyond the actual case that was studied while, at the same time, being careful not to misconstrue or conflate a finding that undermines the external validity of your conclusions.

Relate the Findings to Similar Studies No study in the social sciences is so novel or possesses such a restricted focus that it has absolutely no relation to previously published research. The discussion section should relate your case study results to those found in other studies, particularly if questions raised from prior studies served as the motivation for choosing your subject of analysis. This is important because comparing and contrasting the findings of other studies helps support the overall importance of your results and it highlights how and in what ways your case study design and the subject of analysis differs from prior research about the topic.

Consider Alternative Explanations of the Findings Remember that the purpose of social science research is to discover and not to prove. When writing the discussion section, you should carefully consider all possible explanations revealed by the case study results, rather than just those that fit your hypothesis or prior assumptions and biases. Be alert to what the in-depth analysis of the case may reveal about the research problem, including offering a contrarian perspective to what scholars have stated in prior research if that is how the findings can be interpreted from your case.

Acknowledge the Study's Limitations You can state the study's limitations in the conclusion section of your paper but describing the limitations of your subject of analysis in the discussion section provides an opportunity to identify the limitations and explain why they are not significant. This part of the discussion section should also note any unanswered questions or issues your case study could not address. More detailed information about how to document any limitations to your research can be found here .

Suggest Areas for Further Research Although your case study may offer important insights about the research problem, there are likely additional questions related to the problem that remain unanswered or findings that unexpectedly revealed themselves as a result of your in-depth analysis of the case. Be sure that the recommendations for further research are linked to the research problem and that you explain why your recommendations are valid in other contexts and based on the original assumptions of your study.

V.  Conclusion

As with any research paper, you should summarize your conclusion in clear, simple language; emphasize how the findings from your case study differs from or supports prior research and why. Do not simply reiterate the discussion section. Provide a synthesis of key findings presented in the paper to show how these converge to address the research problem. If you haven't already done so in the discussion section, be sure to document the limitations of your case study and any need for further research.

The function of your paper's conclusion is to: 1) reiterate the main argument supported by the findings from your case study; 2) state clearly the context, background, and necessity of pursuing the research problem using a case study design in relation to an issue, controversy, or a gap found from reviewing the literature; and, 3) provide a place to persuasively and succinctly restate the significance of your research problem, given that the reader has now been presented with in-depth information about the topic.

Consider the following points to help ensure your conclusion is appropriate:

  • If the argument or purpose of your paper is complex, you may need to summarize these points for your reader.
  • If prior to your conclusion, you have not yet explained the significance of your findings or if you are proceeding inductively, use the conclusion of your paper to describe your main points and explain their significance.
  • Move from a detailed to a general level of consideration of the case study's findings that returns the topic to the context provided by the introduction or within a new context that emerges from your case study findings.

Note that, depending on the discipline you are writing in or the preferences of your professor, the concluding paragraph may contain your final reflections on the evidence presented as it applies to practice or on the essay's central research problem. However, the nature of being introspective about the subject of analysis you have investigated will depend on whether you are explicitly asked to express your observations in this way.

Problems to Avoid

Overgeneralization One of the goals of a case study is to lay a foundation for understanding broader trends and issues applied to similar circumstances. However, be careful when drawing conclusions from your case study. They must be evidence-based and grounded in the results of the study; otherwise, it is merely speculation. Looking at a prior example, it would be incorrect to state that a factor in improving girls access to education in Azerbaijan and the policy implications this may have for improving access in other Muslim nations is due to girls access to social media if there is no documentary evidence from your case study to indicate this. There may be anecdotal evidence that retention rates were better for girls who were engaged with social media, but this observation would only point to the need for further research and would not be a definitive finding if this was not a part of your original research agenda.

Failure to Document Limitations No case is going to reveal all that needs to be understood about a research problem. Therefore, just as you have to clearly state the limitations of a general research study , you must describe the specific limitations inherent in the subject of analysis. For example, the case of studying how women conceptualize the need for water conservation in a village in Uganda could have limited application in other cultural contexts or in areas where fresh water from rivers or lakes is plentiful and, therefore, conservation is understood more in terms of managing access rather than preserving access to a scarce resource.

Failure to Extrapolate All Possible Implications Just as you don't want to over-generalize from your case study findings, you also have to be thorough in the consideration of all possible outcomes or recommendations derived from your findings. If you do not, your reader may question the validity of your analysis, particularly if you failed to document an obvious outcome from your case study research. For example, in the case of studying the accident at the railroad crossing to evaluate where and what types of warning signals should be located, you failed to take into consideration speed limit signage as well as warning signals. When designing your case study, be sure you have thoroughly addressed all aspects of the problem and do not leave gaps in your analysis that leave the reader questioning the results.

Case Studies. Writing@CSU. Colorado State University; Gerring, John. Case Study Research: Principles and Practices . New York: Cambridge University Press, 2007; Merriam, Sharan B. Qualitative Research and Case Study Applications in Education . Rev. ed. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass, 1998; Miller, Lisa L. “The Use of Case Studies in Law and Social Science Research.” Annual Review of Law and Social Science 14 (2018): TBD; Mills, Albert J., Gabrielle Durepos, and Eiden Wiebe, editors. Encyclopedia of Case Study Research . Thousand Oaks, CA: SAGE Publications, 2010; Putney, LeAnn Grogan. "Case Study." In Encyclopedia of Research Design , Neil J. Salkind, editor. (Thousand Oaks, CA: SAGE Publications, 2010), pp. 116-120; Simons, Helen. Case Study Research in Practice . London: SAGE Publications, 2009;  Kratochwill,  Thomas R. and Joel R. Levin, editors. Single-Case Research Design and Analysis: New Development for Psychology and Education .  Hilldsale, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, 1992; Swanborn, Peter G. Case Study Research: What, Why and How? London : SAGE, 2010; Yin, Robert K. Case Study Research: Design and Methods . 6th edition. Los Angeles, CA, SAGE Publications, 2014; Walo, Maree, Adrian Bull, and Helen Breen. “Achieving Economic Benefits at Local Events: A Case Study of a Local Sports Event.” Festival Management and Event Tourism 4 (1996): 95-106.

Writing Tip

At Least Five Misconceptions about Case Study Research

Social science case studies are often perceived as limited in their ability to create new knowledge because they are not randomly selected and findings cannot be generalized to larger populations. Flyvbjerg examines five misunderstandings about case study research and systematically "corrects" each one. To quote, these are:

Misunderstanding 1 :  General, theoretical [context-independent] knowledge is more valuable than concrete, practical [context-dependent] knowledge. Misunderstanding 2 :  One cannot generalize on the basis of an individual case; therefore, the case study cannot contribute to scientific development. Misunderstanding 3 :  The case study is most useful for generating hypotheses; that is, in the first stage of a total research process, whereas other methods are more suitable for hypotheses testing and theory building. Misunderstanding 4 :  The case study contains a bias toward verification, that is, a tendency to confirm the researcher’s preconceived notions. Misunderstanding 5 :  It is often difficult to summarize and develop general propositions and theories on the basis of specific case studies [p. 221].

While writing your paper, think introspectively about how you addressed these misconceptions because to do so can help you strengthen the validity and reliability of your research by clarifying issues of case selection, the testing and challenging of existing assumptions, the interpretation of key findings, and the summation of case outcomes. Think of a case study research paper as a complete, in-depth narrative about the specific properties and key characteristics of your subject of analysis applied to the research problem.

Flyvbjerg, Bent. “Five Misunderstandings About Case-Study Research.” Qualitative Inquiry 12 (April 2006): 219-245.

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Where Can I find Harvard Business School Case Studies?

How do i find articles with case studies, where can i find free case studies, subject specialists.

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Harvard Business Publishing makes a great deal of money selling these for business school course packs and will not make them available to libraries. You can, however, order them directly from HBS, around $8.95 each How to find them:

  • Harvard Business Review publishes one case study per issue. These generally deal with fictitious companies but are very good studies of current problems faced by companies.
  • Harvard Business School Publishing Search by company name or topic. Abstracts are usually included. Harvard also sells cases from Babson College and Northwestern's Kellogg School of Management, among others.

Use keyword searches in article databases . For example: "case studies and airlines" or "case  studies and management". Full-text articles and abstracts are available, depending on the journal.

Tip: Use the subject heading "case studies" in ABI/INFORM and Business Source Complete

Article database that indexes academic journals, trade publications, newspapers and magazines in business and economics. Full text is often available. Use the FindIt links to locate full text of articles that are not included in the database.

  • Business Source Complete This link opens in a new window & more less... Article database that includes trade publications, academic journals, industry profiles, country information and company profiles, which include SWOT analyses. Full text is often available. Use the FindIt links to locate full text of articles that are not included in the database.
  • EconLit with Full Text This link opens in a new window & more less... EconLit indexes articles from economics journals, books, book chapters, dissertations and working papers. It is a very good source for empirical studies on economics and finance. Use the FindIt links to locate full text of articles that are not included in the database.

Most cases published for teaching in business schools are not free to use. These are a few resources that do offer free cases, but only LearningEdge offers their entire catalog for free.

  • LearningEdge Cases developed at the MIT Sloan School of Management.
  • Free cases from Stanford Graduate School of Business More are available for purchase through Harvard Business School Publishing
  • Free cases from the Case Centre A selection of cases. Many more available for purchase
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A number of universities and organizations provide access to free business case studies.  Below are some of the best known sources.

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Free cases from The Case Centre

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As a useful resource for case teachers, and to encourage the growth in case use, The Case Centre partnered with a group of leading business schools to provide this collection of ten free cases.

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Search our full collection of diverse management cases, articles, book chapters and teaching materials from leading authors, schools and publishers worldwide.

Educators and trainers can also access free online preview copies and instructor materials.

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Free case study websites.

  • For Faculty: Teaching with Cases
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Commercial cases, like those from Harvard Business School, Ivey and others:

  • a copy of the case is to be purchased by/for each student in a class
  • like workbooks and other consumables, may not be copied under copyright "fair use"
  • the library cannot purchase or get copies on interlibrary loan (ILL)
  • Webster University faculty wishing to use commercial cases should check with their College or School on the home campus or with staff at their extended campus about the procedures for student purchasing.  

Case studies used in the classroom, which we at the library call the "case study method" of educational pedagogy, usually present the case facts and, rather than provide the solution, provide alternative solutions and/or questions to lead discussion or challenge students to apply theories learned in their course. Commercial publishers often provide faculty with teaching notes and other resources to facilitate student learning.  Faculty may be required to register for an account that allows them to access the publisher's website to identify and purchase cases for classroom use.

  • The Case Centre Established by European higher education institutions as a "reliable facility for sharing case materials among business teachers."
  • Darden Business Publishing University of Virginia
  • Harvard Business Publishing: Education Harvard also partners with business schools and universities, such as Ivey, Kellogg, Standford, Thunderbird and more, to streamline searching and distribution of their cases.
  • Ivey Publishing - Ivey Business School Provides "business case studies with a global perspective."
  • Stanford Graduate School of Business: Case Studies:

Some organizations offer "free" case studies and materials for idea generation. These sites provide varying degrees of teaching support. Faculty may need to register for access to teaching notes and materials.

  • Case Studies | Teaching Resources Library | MIT Sloan Free case studies from MIT Sloan School of Management in categories such as accounting and finance, leadership, operations management, strategy and more.
  • Ethics Cases | Markkula Center for Applied Ethics This site from Santa Clara University provides ethics cases in business, government, leadership, ESG topics, etc.
  • Ethics Unwrapped Case studies, curated resources, and videos from the McCombs School of Business at the University of Texas, Austin.
  • Knowledge at Wharton Offers free access to over 10,000 articles and podcasts and videos highlighting Wharton faculty research and analysis of current business trends.
  • Merlot OER Case Studies Merlot collects Open Educational Resources. This link is a search for business case materials that may be used for free.
  • SHRM Teaching Resources "SHRM is committed to empowering HR faculty with the proper tools and resources needed to create better-prepared entry level HR candidates. These case studies and learning modules are available for faculty and educator use only."
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Can't find case studies in the business library resources.

Try these websites. Note, not all case studies are free. Access to case studies may require purchase, creation of an account, or direct contact with the publisher.

Search these journals online:

  • International Journal of Case Studies in Management
  • Journal of Case Research in Business and Economics
  • Journal of Business Case Studies
  • InterLibrary Loan (ILL) request Can't access the full-text? Try requesting the title of a case study using Interlibrary Loan.

Search these case depositories:

  • Asian Business Case Centre
  • The Case Centre A diverse collection of management cases, articles, book chapters and teaching materials. For a complete list of case suppliers (may require payment):
  • Chief Marketer Serves marketing professionals at consumer and business-to-business brands, as well as their agencies, with information on measurable marketing strategies, tactics and techniques
  • Darden Business Publishing (Univ. of Virginia)
  • Harvard Business Review Cases Harvard's case studies are available for ~$9 each.
  • International City Managers' Association Choose document type of "case study" on left; then search within results on right.
  • Ivey case studies Ivey Publishing provides over 8,000 business case studies with a global perspective.
  • Marketing Sherpa
  • MERLOT II The MERLOT collection consists of discipline-specific learning materials, including case studies.
  • MIT SLoan Management The teaching business case studies available on LearningEdge, which fall under the headings of entrepreneurship, leadership/ethics, operations management, strategy, sustainability, and system dynamics, are narratives that facilitate class discussion about a particular business or management issue.
  • Society for Case Research SCR, founded in 1978, facilitates the exchange of ideas leading to the improvement of case research, writing, and teaching; assists in the publication of written cases or case research and other scholarly work; and provides recognition for excellence in case research, writing and teaching. more... less... SCR publishes three scholarly journals, the Business Case Journal (BCJ), Journal of Case Studies (JCS), and the Journal of Critical Incidents (JCI). Use the Library's JOURNAL FINDER (on the homepage) to connect to the full-text of these journals.
  • Society for Human Resource Management To access case studies on the SHRM site you must become a member. SHRM offers a discounted student membership. Come in and speak to a librarian about additional options available to GGU students.
  • Stanford Graduate School of Business
  • The Times 100 Free case studies written by the Financial Times.
  • Vanderbilt Center for Ethics Case Resources Offers a list of links to other sites that have subject specific case studies.
  • WARC Search for advertising effectiveness case studies
  • WDI Publishing Publishes "cases covering all core business disciplines, including a special collection of cases which address issues relevant to social impact and market-based solutions in emerging economies."
  • The Case Center Good source for finding free cases also providing training
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A Guide to Multisite Qualitative Analysis


  • 1 1 The University of British Columbia, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.
  • 2 2 University of Calgary, Calgary, Alberta, Canada.
  • PMID: 30024317
  • DOI: 10.1177/1049732318786703

The aims of multisite qualitative research, originally developed within the case study tradition, are to produce findings that are reflective of context, while also holding broader applicability across settings. Such knowledge is ideal for informing health and social interventions by overcoming the limitations of research developed through methodological approaches that either "strip" context, or that hold relevance for a site-specific group or population. Yet, despite the potential benefits of multisite qualitative research, there is a paucity of analytical guidance to support researchers in achieving these yields. In this article, we present an analytical approach for conducting multisite qualitative analysis (MSQA) across various methodologies to maximize the potential of qualitative research, enhance rigor, and support the development of interventions that are tailored to the populations that they are intended to serve.

Keywords: Canada; analytical approaches; applicability; data analysis; health interventions; multisite qualitative research; qualitative.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Anthropology, Cultural
  • British Columbia
  • Health Services Research / methods*
  • Multicenter Studies as Topic / methods*
  • Qualitative Research*
  • Research Design*

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Home / Guides / Citation Guides / How to Cite Sources / How to Cite a Case Study in APA, MLA, or Chicago

How to Cite a Case Study in APA, MLA, or Chicago

When citing a case study, the format in MLA and APA is similar to that of a report, and in Chicago style, it is similar to that of a book. For all three citation styles, you will need the name of the author(s), the title of the case study, the year it was published, the publishing organization/publisher, and URL (if applicable). The templates and examples below will demonstrate how to cite a case study in MLA, APA, and Chicago styles.

Author Last Name, Author First Name.  Title of Case Study . Edition (if applicable), volume number (if applicable), Publisher, year of publication, URL without http:// or https:// (if applicable).

Hill, Linda A., et al. HCL Technologies (A). Rev. edition, Harvard Business School, 2008,

In-text Citation:

(Author Last Name(s) page #)

(Hill et al. 8)

Author Last Name, Author Initial. (Publication Year). Title of Case Study (Case # if applicable). Publishing Organization. URL

Hill, L., Khanna, T., & Stecker, E. (2008). HCL Technologies (A) (Case 408-004). Harvard Business School.

(Author Last Name, Publication Year)

(Hill et al., 2008)

Notes-bibliography style

Author Last Name, First Name.  Title of the Case Study . Publishing City: Publishing Organization, Publication Year. URL.

Hill, Linda A., Tarun Khanna, and Emily Stecker. HCL Technologies (A).  Boston: Harvard Business School, 2008.

1. Author First Name Last Name, Title of the Case Study (Publishing City: Publishing Organization, Publication Year), URL.

1. Linda A. Hill, Tarun Khanna, and Emily Stecker, HCL Technologies (A) ( Boston: Harvard Business School, 2008),

Author-date style

Author Last Name, First Name. Publication Year. Title of the Case Study . Publishing City: Publishing Organization. URL.

Hill, Linda A., Tarun Khanna, and Emily Stecker. 2008. HCL Technologies (A).  Boston: Harvard Business School.

In-text citation: 

(Author Last Name Publication Date)

(Holl, Khanna, and Stecker 2008)

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The University of Edinburgh home

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Postgraduate study

East Asian Studies MSc

Awards: MSc

Study modes: Full-time, Part-time

Funding opportunities

Programme website: East Asian Studies

Upcoming Introduction to Postgraduate Study and Research events

Join us online on the 19th June or 26th June to learn more about studying and researching at Edinburgh.

Choose your event and register

Programme description

East Asian countries are inseparably linked by their politics, histories, societies and cultures. Our Masters programme is distinct for its border-crossing focus, enabling you to take a transnational and comparative approach to East Asian Studies, or to concentrate on China, Japan or Korea.

With two of the world’s leading economic powers situated in East Asia, there is huge potential for both regional conflict and cooperation. Taking East Asian Studies is as relevant and critical now as it has been at any time since the end of World War II.

Programme flexibility

This new programme replaces our individual Masters programmes on China, Japan, Korea and East Asian Relations.

It has been structured to give you the freedom to design your own postgraduate coursework and research.

Unusually for a taught Masters programme, it has only one required taught course: a research methods class.

You will choose the rest of your taught courses from a wide range of options. These will help you explore the social, political, historical, economic and cultural factors that have made the East Asian region what it is today.

You will write your dissertation towards the end of the programme on a topic related to your own interests and expertise in East Asia and its constituent countries.

We will give you the tools to analyse and understand the complexities of East Asia in a global context, with skills relevant to professional sectors such as diplomacy, international relations, negotiation, and journalism.

No previous knowledge of an East Asian language is required and your classes will not typically involve language learning. If you would like to learn an East Asian language you don’t already know, you can opt to do so as part of the programme (Korean) or for additional credit (Chinese and Japanese).

Programme pathways

If you have completed a degree in Japanese, Chinese or Korean Studies, you may wish to use this opportunity to start learning about another country in East Asia, either on its own or in comparison.

Alternatively, you can opt to deepen your knowledge of the country you already specialise in.

Depending on the courses you take, you will graduate with a Masters (Msc) in:

  • East Asian Studies
  • East Asian Studies with Japanese Studies
  • East Asian Studies with Chinese Studies
  • East Asian Studies with Korean Studies

You can indicate when you apply which pathway suits you best and we will confirm your choice when you have joined the programme and selected your courses.

Why Edinburgh

Our programme is carefully designed to introduce skills and knowledge in a way that is clear, coherent and interconnected, supporting your academic development and research training towards your dissertation.

You will study in a stimulating, interdisciplinary environment and an international community of learners, each bringing their own perspective to class.

Our programme draws on unparalleled staff expertise across the East Asian region and across disciplines. Our thriving Asian Studies department has expertise in Japanese, Chinese and Korean Studies, and a great programme of cultural events, including its own seminar series.

You will benefit from the resources of a leading cultural capital city, from the University of Edinburgh Library (some two million borrowable volumes) to the National Library of Scotland. A compact, green and historic city, with excellent restaurants, cinemas and theatres, it’s a great place to live and study.

Programme structure

You can take the MSc in East Asian Studies over one year, full-time, or two years, part-time.

By the end of the programme, you will have completed courses totalling 180 credits.

All students take our course on ‘Doing Research on East Asia: Key Concepts, Approaches and Issues’. This is worth 20 credits.

You will then choose five optional courses, each worth 20 credits. You will select these from a wide range of courses relating to specialised regional and disciplinary knowledge.

The final element of the programme is your dissertation. This is a piece of independent research - 15,000 words (worth 60 credits) - written with the advice and support of a designated supervisor.

Find out more about compulsory and optional courses

We link to the latest information available. Please note that this may be for a previous academic year and should be considered indicative.

Learning outcomes

On completion of the programme, you will have gained the skills to:

  • articulate and describe major events, actors, and issues impacting East Asia and / or individual countries in the region.
  • critically discuss and utilise theoretical and conceptual tools for understanding the region, individual countries, and / or issues relevant to both.
  • explain and critique the scholarship in your chosen subject area.
  • select and utilise appropriate sources to support your arguments and research.
  • apply knowledge and skills to conduct independent research.

Career opportunities

East Asia is widely perceived to be the focus of future global politics, with tensions between North Korea and the US, for example, dominating headlines worldwide.

Giving you a thorough grasp of historical and contemporary factors, our programme is designed to equip you with the knowledge to critically engage with these developments, either as they relate to one particular country or in comparison.

You will acquire the tools to analyse, understand and articulate the complexities of East Asia and its constituent countries in a global context, and in career-ready ways.

Your skills will give you an advantage in a range of careers across the private, public, not-for-profit, and for-benefit sectors, including in:

  • diplomacy, negotiation and international relations
  • politics, policy work, civil service and law
  • journalism, broadcasting and media
  • business, finance and commerce
  • communications, marketing, advertising and public relations
  • education, outreach, advocacy and training
  • leisure, tourism and travel
  • publishing, culture, heritage and the arts
  • research and development

The enhanced research skills you will develop through training, coursework and your dissertation are a valuable asset if you wish to continue on to PhD study.

Entry requirements

These entry requirements are for the 2024/25 academic year and requirements for future academic years may differ. Entry requirements for the 2025/26 academic year will be published on 1 Oct 2024.

A UK 2:1 honours degree, or its international equivalent, in a relevant subject.

Students from China

This degree is Band C.

  • Postgraduate entry requirements for students from China

International qualifications

Check whether your international qualifications meet our general entry requirements:

  • Entry requirements by country
  • English language requirements

Regardless of your nationality or country of residence, you must demonstrate a level of English language competency at a level that will enable you to succeed in your studies.

English language tests

We accept the following English language qualifications at the grades specified:

  • IELTS Academic: total 7.0 with at least 6.5 in each component. We do not accept IELTS One Skill Retake to meet our English language requirements.
  • TOEFL-iBT (including Home Edition): total 100 with at least 23 in each component. We do not accept TOEFL MyBest Score to meet our English language requirements.
  • C1 Advanced ( CAE ) / C2 Proficiency ( CPE ): total 185 with at least 176 in each component.
  • Trinity ISE : ISE III with passes in all four components.
  • PTE Academic: total 70 with at least 62 in each component.

Your English language qualification must be no more than three and a half years old from the start date of the programme you are applying to study, unless you are using IELTS , TOEFL, Trinity ISE or PTE , in which case it must be no more than two years old.

Degrees taught and assessed in English

We also accept an undergraduate or postgraduate degree that has been taught and assessed in English in a majority English speaking country, as defined by UK Visas and Immigration:

  • UKVI list of majority English speaking countries

We also accept a degree that has been taught and assessed in English from a university on our list of approved universities in non-majority English speaking countries (non-MESC).

  • Approved universities in non-MESC

If you are not a national of a majority English speaking country, then your degree must be no more than five years old* at the beginning of your programme of study. (*Revised 05 March 2024 to extend degree validity to five years.)

Find out more about our language requirements:

Fees and costs

Scholarships and funding, featured funding.

There are a number of scholarship opportunities available for this programme depending on your study pathway.

If you take a Chinese Studies pathway through the MSc in East Asian Studies, you may be considered for a scholarship covering one year of UK tuition fees for the programme. The application deadline for this scholarship is Monday 6 May 2024.

If you take a Korean Studies pathway through the programme, you may be considered for a scholarship which covers £3,000 of tuition fees. The application deadline for this scholarship is Monday 6 May 2024.

  • Find out more about these and other masters scholarships in the School of Literatures, Languages and Cultures

Search for scholarships and funding opportunities:

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Further information

  • Phone: +44 (0)131 650 4086
  • Contact: College of Arts, Humanities & Social Sciences Admissions Office
  • School of Literatures, Languages & Cultures
  • 50 George Square
  • Central Campus
  • Programme: East Asian Studies
  • School: Literatures, Languages & Cultures
  • College: Arts, Humanities & Social Sciences

Select your programme and preferred start date to begin your application.

MSc East Asian Studies - 1 Year (Full-time)

Msc east asian studies - 2 years (part-time), application deadlines.

Due to high demand, the school operates a number of selection deadlines. We will make a small number of offers to the most outstanding candidates on an ongoing basis, but hold the majority of applications until the next published selection deadline when we will offer a proportion of the places available to applicants selected through a competitive process.

Please be aware that applications must be submitted and complete, i.e. all required documents uploaded, by the relevant application deadline in order to be considered in that round. Your application will still be considered if you have not yet met the English language requirement for the programme.

Deadlines for applicants applying to study in 2024/25:

  • How to apply

You must submit one reference with your application.

The online application process involves the completion of a web form and the submission of supporting documents.

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Find out more about the general application process for postgraduate programmes:

Mindfulness-Based Blood Pressure Reduction

An evidence-based, innovative approach for managing and reducing elevated blood pressure, and enhancing cardiovascular wellness.

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  • Mindfulness-Based Programs

Mindfulness Disclosure

Explore the benefits and risks of mindfulness practice.

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Take the first step toward better heart health.

High blood pressure, a major cause of cardiovascular disease, is the leading risk factor for early death worldwide, according to the World Health Organization.

The Mindfulness-Based Blood Pressure Reduction (MB-BP) program, adapted from MBSR by Brown University cardiovascular health expert and mindfulness researcher, Eric Loucks Ph.D., is a clinically tested approach to reduce high blood pressure and improve other risk factors such as stress, poor diet and inactivity.

  • View Program Schedule
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Program Snapshot

This program offers mindfulness training, education on hypertension and heart health, mindful movements and support for reducing cardiovascular risk factors.

+ Orientation

June 27 - September 5, 2024

Live, synchronous

2.5 hours per week with one all-day session

Deadline: June 17

MB-BP IS NOT INTENDED TO BE, AND SHOULD NOT BE USED AS, MEDICAL OR PROFESSIONAL ADVICE OR A SUBSTITUTE FOR MEDICAL TREATMENT BY A HEALTHCARE PROFESSIONAL, SUCH AS A CARDIOLOGIST OR PRIMARY HEALTHCARE PROVIDER. Rather, MB-BP is designed to be complementary and integrative with evidence-based medical care. For this reason, MB-BP is best delivered under the consultation of, and partnership with, your healthcare provider. While clinical trials have shown evidence that MB-BP reduces blood pressure on average, individual results are not guaranteed. You should consult with a healthcare provider to see if MB-BP may be right for you.

MB-BP is not provided in the course of a professional relationship between a healthcare provider and a patient. The Mindfulness Center is not recommending a course of treatment for your particular circumstances or making a diagnosis through the use of MB-BP. The Mindfulness Center’s faculty and staff are not physical or mental healthcare providers and cannot diagnose or treat physical or mental health conditions. Do not disregard or delay in seeking medical advice or treatment because of any information you receive through MB-BP. Your healthcare provider should be consulted regarding matters concerning medical conditions, treatment, and needs of you and your family.

Learning Outcomes

Participants will:

  • Learn and develop evidence-based mindfulness meditation skills and practices, such as the body scan, focused attention, walking meditation, mindful eating and mindful movements
  • Understand the risk factors of high blood pressure (stress, diet, physical activity) as well as its effects on health and mortality
  • Explore cravings and their management, and how behaviors like overeating, inactivity, alcohol consumption and medication adherence can lead to high blood pressure
  • Enhance awareness of thoughts, emotions and physical sensations surrounding your relationship to hypertension risk factors
  • Adopt processes for self-care

A heart-focused mindfulness program

The Mindfulness-Based Blood Pressure Reduction program improves health behaviors that lower blood pressure.

Who Will Benefit?

The MB-BP program is designed for:

  • Individuals with systolic blood pressure of 120 mmHg or higher, or diastolic pressure of 80 mmHg or higher (i.e. elevated blood pressure or hypertension)
  • Health-conscious individuals eager to address behavioral risk factors for poor cardiovascular health (stress, diet, physical activity, alcohol intake, medication adherence, etc.)
  • Qualified or certified MBSR teachers looking to take a mindfulness adaptation that focuses on physical health outcomes

"The program gives participants the tools to make heart-healthy diet changes that can lower their blood pressure and decrease their risk of cardiovascular disease."

photo of Eric Loucks

What Participants are Saying

“ Since the mindfulness course, people close to me notice that I recover from stressful situations much faster. I’ve had doctor appointments where my blood pressure was much lower and very close to my target, which hadn’t happened since my hypertension diagnosis many years ago. ”

Research in the News

Mindfulness shows promise as an effective intervention to lower blood pressure, can mindfulness evolve from wellness pursuit to medical treatment.

Center for Mexican American and Latino/a Studies

  • College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences

University of Houston 3553 Cullen Boulevard Room 323 Houston, TX 77204-3001 Phone: (713) 743-3136

CMALS Luncheon Presentation

The Center for Mexican American and Latino/a Studies (CMALS) at the University of Houston was established in 1972 as an interdisciplinary academic program in partnership with Stephen F. Austin Senior High School. It was established in 1985 to help students achieve excellent academic standing, high school graduation, and college enrollment. 

Our mission is to advance knowledge, promote critical thinking and foster the value of service to the community.

Exclusive: Corporate climate watchdog document deems carbon offsets largely ineffective

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The European Commission will close its investigation into Chinese bidders in a public tender for a solar park in Romania after the companies withdrew from the process, European Industry Commission Thierry Breton said on Monday.

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Key searches, 2024 master of public health graduates share their education highlights and career aspirations.


Year after year, graduates from the Department of Population and Public Health Sciences go on to powerfully impact health and health outcomes in their own neighborhoods, in California, and around the globe. Meet just a few of the 2024 Master of Public Health graduates poised to continue this tradition.

sites in case study

Mehaly Bekele, MPH

Mph concentration: biostatistics-epidemiology bs health promotion & disease prevention, minor in healthcare studies.

“Engaging in research projects and collaborative work in this program with faculty and fellow students was incredibly enriching,” shares Mehaly Bekele, a first-generation college graduate in the progressive degree program. Bekele’s interest in the field of public health stems from her desire to mitigate health disparities within underserved communities. During her time at USC, Bekele served as an EH MATTERS fellow, where she contributed to the Inland Empire Children’s Respiratory Health Study, investigating environmental and social factors influencing children’s respiratory well-being in the San Bernardino and Riverside area. “Engaging with community members during this study was enlightening,” she reveals. “Their enthusiastic advocacy and participation in this study made our work deeply gratifying. My goal is to engage in comprehensive work that not only addresses healthcare frameworks but also delves into the broader context of social determinants of health. I am committed to bridging the gap for communities that feel marginalized and unheard within our current framework, ensuring that their voices and concerns are central to public health initiatives. I aspire to conduct community-driven epidemiological research aimed at developing tailored solutions to combat health disparities prevalent in these communities.”

sites in case study

Mia Chakroun, MPH

Mph concentration: global health.

“Growing up, I’ve always been fascinated by different cultures, languages, and how they relate to health,” expresses progressive degree student Mia Chakroun.  “When I discovered public health and learned about its multidisciplinary approach to improving the well-being of communities, I knew it was the field I wanted to pursue. During her time at USC, Chakroun worked on a tobacco control project, where she gained hands-on research experience. “Seeing how our work directly influenced the California Department of Public Health made me realize the significant impact one can have in this field.”

Chakroun completed her practicum experience at the Southern California Clinical and Translational Science Institute (SC CTSI). “This experience was an integral and transformative part of my degree, putting my knowledge and skills into practice while benefiting from the guidance of experienced professionals who helped shape my career aspirations,” she explains. “Working with the dedicated evaluation and improvement team was a particularly rewarding and meaningful experience. For my capstone project, I collaborated with SC CTSI’s community engagement team— the insights, abilities, and connections I gained have been invaluable and will undoubtedly serve me well in my future endeavors.” After Graduation, Chakroun intends to work in the non-profit sector, government, or in a role focused on community engagement.

sites in case study

Megan Enciso, MPH

Mph concentration: community health promotion.

“My interest in public health was driven by my desire to help underserved and marginalized communities,” shares Megan Enciso. “I enjoy identifying resources and information using social determinants of health to make effective interventions or approaches.” “My most impactful education experience at USC was learning about concepts of program design and evaluation. They helped me develop better research skills and I learned the step-by-step process of creating and implementing a public health program.” Aligned with Enciso’s community health interest, her favorite course in this program was ‘Organizing and Mobilizing Communities for Public Health’, due to its focus on community-based activities away from a traditional classroom environment. Another highlight featured a field trip in the ‘Public Health Disaster Management and Response’  course, where students visited the Los Angeles Fire Department and toured the emergency operations center.

Enciso completed her practicum requirement at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles (CHLA). “The highlight of my practicum was interacting with different families at CHLA! I learned how to use RedCap and developed my community engagement skills,” she says.  After graduation, Enciso plans to apply her public health and communication skills to provide more services to underserved communities.

smiling young man

Aaron Lee, MPH

Mph concentration: biostatistics-epidemiology.

“My passion for public health emerged during my time at the non-profit organization, Big Brothers Big Sisters, where I witnessed firsthand the transformative impact of mentorship on young children,” reveals Aaron Lee. “My enduring interest in population-based interventions is rooted in my aspiration to effect positive change within my community. My fascination with epidemiology stems from my curiosity about disease etiology and the varying health outcomes resulting from diverse exposure statuses within socioeconomically disparate communities.” Lee completed his practicum requirement at the Pasadena Department of Public Health. He conducted an outbreak investigation of a locally acquired dengue case. “Having gained valuable insights into epidemiological principles at USC, I honed my skills in identifying potential mosquito breeding sites in front- and backyards of households,” he shares. “Furthermore, I enhanced my proficiency in contact tracing through thorough interviews with residents to ascertain their exposure and travel history.”

Lee served as the President of the Master of Public Health Student Association (MaPHSA) from 2023-2024. After graduation, he plans to pursue a doctoral degree in epidemiology.

smiling young woman

Christina Longmire, MPH

“My passion for public health was fueled during my undergraduate studies, where I majored in Global Health,” shares progressive degree student Christina Longmire. “This educational journey broadened my perspective on global challenges and deepened my interest in the field. One particularly enlightening course was ‘Health Behavior Statistical Methods’, where I was captivated by the intersection between public health and statistics, steering me towards a focus on biostatistics and epidemiology. Through this graduate program, I found a special interest in maternal health and nutrition. I am eager to use data-driven approaches to improve the health and well-being of these individuals.”

Longmire completed her practicum experience at the Maternal, Child and Adolescent Center for Infectious Diseases and Virology at the Keck School of Medicine of USC. “One of my most impactful educational experiences was my practicum where I looked at the transmission of COVID-19 from mother to child. This opportunity deepened my interest in maternal health and inspired my passion to pursue research as a future career,” she shares. “I also gained proficiency in a range of advanced laboratory techniques, acquiring invaluable skills along the way that I know I will be able to use in my career. These included nucleic acid sequence extraction, polymerase chain reaction (PCR) and PCR data analysis, nanopore sequencing, and utilizing a Qubit fluorometer, to name a few.”

After graduation, Longmire intends to explore Europe, and after aspires to embark on a career as a research scientist.

Learn more about how the Keck School of Medicine is celebrating the Class of 2024 .

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  • Master of Public Health
  • Master of Public Health Online
  • Population and Public Health Sciences

This is how inbred purebred dogs have become…

By Alexandra Horowitz Graphics by Sara Chodosh and Taylor Maggiacomo

Dr. Horowitz is a cognitive scientist who studies dogs.

Sex with your sibling is called incest and is illegal in almost all 50 states. Sex with your sibling or other close relations, if you are a dog, is called inbreeding, and inbreeding is part of the practice of pure-breeding dogs.

Breeders are not typically mating siblings, though it is not prohibited by the American Kennel Club and is not unheard of. Any mating within a closed gene pool of candidates will do, as far as breeders are concerned. But according to research published by a team from the University of California, Davis, and Wisdom Health Genetics in Finland, purebred dogs have, on average, a “coefficient of inbreeding” of 0.25, the same number you get when two siblings have a child. This number indicates the probability that two individuals will share two alleles from a common ancestor, like a parent or grandparent. And this number — 0.25 — is a problem.

The results of pure-breeding, on display starting this Saturday at the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show in New York, are profound. The radical morphological diversity of dog breeds today — from four-pound Malteses, white-haired and small-faced, to 170-pound Great Danes, large of body and of presence — is due to selective breeding.

So, too, are the consequences: the occurrence of several hundred health disorders related to genetics or to adherence to the standards set by breed groups that have emerged since dog pure-breeding took off in the 19th century. These include changes to anatomy so drastic that they affect reproduction (the bulldog’s head is so big that the overwhelming majority cannot be birthed naturally), respiration (the pug’s small skull leads to a constellation of abnormalities that make breathing difficult) and recreation (the German shepherd and other large-breed dogs are prone to debilitating hip dysplasia).

German shepherds used to have straight backs

A black and white photo of a german shepherd dog standing next to a person.

A German shepherd in 1958.

Erich Andres/United Archives, via Getty Images

Modern shepherds have more pronounced slopes

A color side photo of a german shepherd dog in its signature stack pose facing the left.

A German shepherd at the 2013 Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show.

Fred R. Conrad/The New York Times

The U.C. Davis research, led by Danika Bannasch, a veterinary geneticist, also found that the more inbred a breed was, the more inherited disease the breed had. (Remember the number they found, 0.25? Healthy rates of genetic similarity occur with a coefficient of inbreeding below 0.05.) This finding aligns with what anyone who has taken biology already knows: When you limit the breeding population, the frequency of potentially unhealthy mutations increases, as deleterious but recessive alleles become prominent.

When we breed to a type, genetic diversity is lost. Now we have dozens of small- and large-scale studies showing the inevitable results of inbreeding with dogs: smaller litter sizes, fewer surviving newborns and even decreasing life spans. A large 2019 study found, controlling for size, that purebred dogs lived over a year less than mixed-breed dogs did. As a society, in other words, we’re trading a year of their lives for the ability to choose their shape, size and color.

More inbred dogs tend to have more health issues

Morbidity is a measure of suffering from disease, shown here as the number of non-routine vet visits for each breed, per 10,000 dog years, as observed by an insurance company.

Parents are cousins

Half siblings

↑ Morbidity

2,500 non-routine vet visits

Inbreeding →

Irish Wolfhound

Mixed breed

Dogs are living examples of a paradox — the paradox of our human impulses. I know no dog people who want their dogs to live a year less than they would, statistically speaking, if they were mutts. But I know lots of people who want to purchase a purebred dog. Why is this? I think it comes down to our psychological tendencies, on one hand, and consumer mind-set, on the other.

Psychologically, we love anecdotal data and are easily persuaded by single data points. As a researcher on dog cognition for the past 20 years, I have seen this demonstrated in reaction to published and replicated research when our experiences seem to belie the results. When I describe research that finds that the guilty look of dogs is a response to their owners’ behavior, not a reflection of their understanding of their own misbehavior, the most common reaction I receive is: But my dog looks guilty only when he is guilty.

Pugs used to have more prominent snouts

An old photo of a pug, with a much less smushed face than a modern pug has.

A pug in 1915.

Imagno/Getty Images

Modern pugs have smushed, round faces

A modern pug with a squashed face.

A pug at the 2013 Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show.

There are plenty of individual examples of long-lived purebred dogs — several of the oldest living dogs on record, north of 20 years, are purebred — so we hold on to those anecdotes, like a smoker to cigarettes because a grandmother lived until 102 clutching her Marlboros. Also contributing to our paradoxical behavior is our love for buying things, even (sometimes especially) living things. Societally, we treat dogs as commercial products, although each dog purchaser is hoping the dog will become a member of the family, not shelved with our other household objects for display.

In an era when you can get groceries and a new computer delivered to your home in an hour, I am surprised that we can’t buy puppies on Amazon (yet). But we can head online, scrolling through websites and collecting recommendations from other dog purchasers. We start to imagine the kind of dog we would like, with features we can choose. The American Kennel Club and the dog-breed clubs within it are happy to tell you about the features you can expect in your new dog — friendly, good with kids, trainable. The possibility of a reliable dog product is more fun to believe in than the scholarly research that clearly demonstrates that breed type is a poor predictor of behavior. The illusion of certainty mesmerizes us.

Chow chows were smaller, with fewer wrinkles

A chow chow from the early 20th century, with a less squashed face.

A chow in 1930.

Fox Photos/Getty Images

Modern chows are slightly larger, with more fluffy fur

A modern chow with a wrinkly face.

A chow at the 2013 Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show.

The deluge of evidence showing both the ubiquity of inbreeding and its detrimental results is a chance for reflection. While science is steadily producing more details about exactly how inbreeding is deforming the species we claim to love, there is nothing fundamentally new here: We have known for years about the poor results for dogs. What the evidence may now be showing us, though, is the poor result for us: We are a species that is willfully damaging dogs.

This result is born not just of our obsession with breeds or our willingness to overlook the damage of inbreeding but also of our thinking about dogs as objects to be molded to our desires. We are drawn to the infantile look of big-eyed, flat-faced dogs, and as a result, we inadvertently created dogs whose eyes ulcerate and whose noses and tracheas are small and often nearly blocked. We are drawn to dogs with distinctive coats (Dalmatian: spotted; Rhodesian Ridgeback: with a characteristic line down the spine), the genes for which also lead to disorders (Dalmatian: deafness; Ridgeback: dermoid sinus, a neural tube defect).

Bull terriers had more typical snout bridges

A bull terrier from the mid-20th century with a normal looking snout.

A bull terrier in 1949.

Modern bull terriers have more football-shaped heads

A modern bull terrier with an egg-shaped head.

A bull terrier at the 2013 Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show.

As a species, we are so attached to the idea that we should be able to buy a dog who looks however we like — flat of face or fancy of coat — that we are willing to overlook the consequences for the species, for the breeds and often for the very sweet, exuberant pup we add to our families.

We have a chance to redeem ourselves. Right now, the American Kennel Club has no constraints on inbreeding (even as it encourages breeders to remember that “crippling or fatal” hereditary diseases may result). But I am not counting on the American Kennel Club. Instead, we could make outcrosses — the introduction of different genetic material to breeds — the norm. Research looking at dog genotypes and phenotypes has found several putative genes associated with longevity in dogs. What if we pursued robust health, instead of breed standards based on appearance, by investigating and working with those genes? If we loosen our grip on the idea that dogs are consumer objects to be designed and from whom we can demand certain behaviors, we will have a chance to meet dogs again on their own terms.


The position of each dog breed in the inbreeding chart is an approximation. Within each breed, the inbreeding coefficient for a given dog will vary.

sites in case study

Dogs Are Not Here for Our Convenience

Spaying and neutering puppies shouldn’t be standard policy — and it isn’t automatically the “responsible” choice either.

By Alexandra Horowitz

sites in case study

My Year of Being Very Online About Dogs

The world of dog training has fractured dramatically across ideological differences. It turns out no one is safe from the culture wars — not even your Shih Tzu.

By Alicia P.Q. Wittmeyer and Mark Peckmezian

sites in case study

Things People Say to Their Dogs

Our running commentary tells us a lot about who we are — and who we think animals are.

An earlier version of this article misstated a terrier breed. It is a Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier, not an Irish Terrier.

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