Qualitative Methods in Health Research

10 Units

Introduces students to qualitative health research methods. The course develops students’ skills in qualitative research design, appraising qualitative research and conducting interpretive analysis.

Faculty Faculty of Health and Medicine
School School of Medicine and Public Health
Availability Trimester 1 - 2018 (Online)
Semester 2 - 2018 (Online)
Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this course, students will be able to:

  1. Understand the theoretical foundations of some of the major approaches to qualitative research
  2. Understand the nature and scope of qualitative research as it applies to health;
  3. Understand the ethical issues involved in qualitative research
  4. Understand issues of rigour in qualitative research
  5. Be able to identify appropriate contexts and questions for qualitative research in health;
  6. Be able to select appropriate methods of qualitative data collection and analysis
  7. Be able to critically appraise reports of qualitative research;
  8. Have undertaken and reported an interpretive analysis of qualitative data

The subject is written as distance learning modules with weekly on-line discussion groups moderated by tutors.

The course content ranges from discussing the philosophical underpinnings of qualitative research, to comparing the different methodological approaches, to hands-on experience analysing qualitative data.

Along the way the course covers issues such as:

  • The ethical implications of qualitative research;
  • The validity of qualitative research findings;
  • Critically appraising qualitative research;
  • The strengths and limitations of the various means of data collection: participant/non-participant, observation, interviewing, Focus Group Discussions; unobtrusive methods (such as analysing texts)
  • Choosing one from the various approaches to data analysis, for example: grounded theorising; discourse analysis.
  • The application of different methods of theory-building in qualitative data analysis;
  • Testing and confirming findings in qualitative research;
  • Triangulation and other means to strengthening validity of qualitative research;
  • Writing a qualitative research report.

The course gives students the opportunity for hands-on experience with interpretive analysis i.e. coding and categorising qualitative data.

Assessment Items
  • Written Assignment: Written Assessment 1
  • Written Assignment: Written Assessment 2
  • Written Assignment: Written Assessment 3

Contact Hours


Online Activity

Online 2 hour(s) per Week for Full Term

Course Materials
  • Nursing Research
  • Constructing Grounded Theory
Timetable 2018 Course Timetables for PUBH6210
Got a question?

Contact us for advice on how to apply, enrol, or for more information.

Ready to start?

Once you’ve read our Application guide you’re ready to apply