On Campus
6 x 2-hour lectures per semester
6 x 1-hour tutorials per semester
6-hours project work once-only

Distance Online
6 x 2-hour online lectures per semester
6 x 1-hour online tutorials per semester
6-hours project work once-only
Enrolment not permitted
1 of PHCA8502, PHCA9502 has been successfully completed
Assignment(s), Project, Tutorial participation
Topic description

The topic introduces students to qualitative research methods and assumes no prior knowledge or skills of the area. It begins with an examination of the history, philosophical underpinnings and use of qualitative research and explores a range of methods used for data collection. This includes interviews, focus groups and observation methods. We then look at the various theoretical perspectives that can be used to inform and analyse qualitative research. Close attention is paid to maintaining quality and rigour in the research process.

Educational aims

This topic aims to provide students with the opportunity to develop skills in qualitative research and to understand and apply the theoretical and methodological foundations of qualitative approaches to health services research.

Expected learning outcomes
On completion of this topic you will be expected to be able to:

  1. Develop skills in undertaking qualitative research
  2. Demonstrate awareness of the kinds of questions and issues best addressed by qualitative methods
  3. Critique examples of qualitative research in terms of such issues as ethics, credibility and rigour
  4. Analyse, interpret and report qualitative data
  5. Understand the role of qualitative research methods in health research

Key dates and timetable

(1), (2)

Each class is numbered in brackets.
Where more than one class is offered, students normally attend only one.

Classes are held weekly unless otherwise indicated.


If you are enrolled for this topic, but all classes for one of the activities (eg tutorials) are full,
contact your College Office for assistance. Full classes frequently occur near the start of semester.

Students may still enrol in topics with full classes as more places will be made available as needed.

If this padlock appears next to an activity name (eg Lecture), then class registration is closed for this activity.

Class registration normally closes at the end of week 2 of each semester.

Classes in a stream are grouped so that the same students attend all classes in that stream.
Registration in the stream will result in registration in all classes.
  Unless otherwise advised, classes are not held during semester breaks or on public holidays.