The University of Newcastle, Australia
Available in 2020

Course handbook


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

Availability2020 Course Timetables


  • Trimester 1 - 2020
  • Semester 2 - 2020

Learning outcomes

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

1. Identify key features of qualitative research (M1)

2. Recognise the philosophical and theoretical foundations of some of the major approaches to qualitative research (M1, M2)

3. Identify appropriate contexts and questions for qualitative research in health (M2)

4. Demonstrate where key ethical issues should be considered using examples of qualitative research (M2, M3)

5. Describe issues of rigour in qualitative research (M3)

6. Determine appropriate methods of qualitative data collection and analysis (M4)

7. Judge how to construct and write up qualitative research (M5)

8. Critique reports of qualitative research (M1 - M6)


The subject is written as distance learning modules with regular on-line discussion opportunities. The course content ranges from introducing the philosophical underpinnings of qualitative research, to comparing some commonly applied methodological approaches, to options for analysing and presenting qualitative data.

Along the way, the course covers issues such as:

  • The strengths and limitations of various means of data collection;
  • The ethical implications of qualitative research;
  • The trustworthiness of qualitative research findings;
  • Appraising qualitative research; and
  • Writing up qualitative work.



Assessment items

Written Assignment: Assignment 1

Written Assignment: Assignment 2

Written Assignment: Assignment 3

Written Assignment: Exercises

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