The University of Newcastle, Australia
Available in 2019

Course handbook


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

Availability2019 Course Timetables


  • Semester 2 - 2019
  • Trimester 1 - 2019

Learning outcomes

On successful completion of the course students will be able to:

1. Describe the theoretical foundations of some of the major approaches to qualitative research;

2. Give examples of the nature and scope of qualitative research as it applies to aspects of health research;

3. Outline some key ethical issues involved in qualitative research;

4. Understand issues of rigour in qualitative research;

5. Identify appropriate contexts and questions for qualitative research in health;

6. Suggest appropriate methods of qualitative data collection and analysis; and

7. Appraise reports of qualitative research.


The subject is written as distance learning modules with weekly on-line discussion opportunities. The course content ranges from introducing the philosophical underpinnings of qualitative research, to comparing some commonly applied methodological approaches, to analysing qualitative data. Along the way the course covers issues such as:

  • The ethical implications of qualitative research;
  • The trustworthiness of qualitative research findings;
  • Appraising qualitative research;
  • The strengths and limitations of various means of data collection: observation, interviewing, focus group discussions; and
  • Writing a qualitative research report.

Assessment items

Written Assignment: Written Assessment 1

Written Assignment: Written Assessment 2

Written Assignment: Written Assessment 3

Written Assignment: Written Tasks

Contact hours


Online Activity

Online 2 hour(s) per Week for Full Term

Self-Directed Learning

Self-Directed 8 hour(s) per Week for Full Term