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HS5102 - Qualitative Research Methods for Health Professionals

[Offered in odd-numbered years]

Credit points: 3
Year: 2012
Student Contribution Band: Band 2
Administered by: School of Medicine & Dentistry

Available to students enrolled in the Graduate Certificate of Primary Health Care Research, the Public Health and Tropical Medicine Program (PMHTM, Dip PHTM, PGradDipPHTM), the Postgraduate Diploma in Tropical Medicine and Hygiene, the MSc (Public Health and Tropical Medicine) and other courses by arrangement with the Head of the School.

Qualitative research methods are playing an increasingly important role in health research and, indirectly, in health policy and programs. This unit will introduce students to doing qualitative research, both as a stand-alone approach and as a complement to quantitative research. Topics covered will include: theoretical and conceptual foundations of qualitative research; designing qualitative research; ethical issues in conducting qualitative research; main approaches to generating data; interviewing skills; observational methods; using documentary sources; principles of qualitative data analysis; computer-assisted qualitative data analysis; writing up qualitative research and appraising qualitative research. This unit will also cover emerging methods in qualitative research including research in cyberspace, cross cultural research methods and participatory action research methods.

Learning Outcomes

  • Appraise qualitative research reports;
  • Design a qualitative research project, or incorporate qualitative methods into a mixed- methods research project;
  • Employ a range of qualitative data collection methods, including interviews, focus groups discussions, observation, documentary sources and participatory action techniques;
  • Analyse qualitative data, both manually and with computer assistance; and;
  • Write up and present qualitative research data for publication.

Graduate Qualities

  • The ability to adapt knowledge to new situations;
  • The ability to think critically, to analyse and evaluate claims, evidence and arguments, and to reason and deploy evidence clearly and logically;
  • The ability to find and access information using appropriate media and technologies;
  • The ability to evaluate that information;
  • The ability to reflect on and evaluate learning, and to learn independently in a self directed manner;
  • The ability to read complex and demanding texts accurately, critically and insightfully;
  • The ability to work with people of different gender, age, ethnicity, culture, religion and political persuasion.

Note: Minor variations might occur due to the continuous Subject quality improvement process, and in case of minor variation(s) in assessment details, the Subject Outline represents the latest official information.