Course details

FacultyHealth Sciences
Education levelPostgraduate / Master of Science
Course codeE6Semester2
Course titleQualitative Research
Independent teaching activitiesHours per weekECTS
CoursetypeGeneral setting course, skills development
Prerequisite coursesNone
Teaching and assessment languageEnglish

Learning outcomes


This course will introduce students to the principles of qualitative research. Participants will explore how qualitative research bridges the gap between scientific evidence and clinical practice by examining the attitudes, beliefs, and preferences of both patients and health care providers. The course will also provide an introduction to the methods of collecting qualitative data, including observation, interview and focus groups and the techniques of thematic analysis. The course will further introduce students to the nature and design of mixed methods research, describing practical ways that combine both qualitative and quantitative research.


Upon completion of the course, graduate students will be familiar with:

  • Use of qualitative research in evidence-based practice
  • Steps taken to design, collect data and analyse a qualitative project
  • Commonly used qualitative methodologies, including observation, interviews and focus groups
  • The principles of thematic qualitative data analysis
  • The ways in which qualitative and quantitative approaches can be combined

The course participants upon completion will be able to:

  • Design, analyse and assess survey and interview/focus group data
  • Design a qualitative and mixed methods research study
  • Critically appraise a qualitative research study
  • Appreciate the practicalities of individual qualitative research methods
  • Write up a qualitative research protocol

Course contents

  1. Definition and origins of qualitative research
  2. Ethnography
  3. Qualitative interviewing
  4. Focus groups
  5. Conducting a qualitative research literature search
  6. Recruitment and sampling
  7. Introduction to thematic analysis
  8. Systematic reviews of qualitative research

Teaching and learning methods – evaluation

Teaching methodsFace to face
Distance learning
Use of information and
communication technologies (ICT)

  • Use of ICT in Teaching- Moodle Virtual learning environment (VLE)
    (asynchronous learning, wikis, Online Discussion Fora, Educational Portfolio, assignment submission, assessment process)

  • Use of ICT in Communication with students
    (email, instant messaging via Moodle)

Module structureWork Hours per SemesterActivity
Lectures 30
Exercises (Quiz) 5
Exercises (Wikis) 5
Exercises (Online discussion fora) 10
Exercises (Study relevant papers) 20
Essay background work40
Essay writing15
Overall work for the course125
Assessment Methods
  • Written assignment, in English, approximately 2,500 words long, to be submitted by each student at the end of the course

  • Weekly quizes, with multiple choice questions

Recommended Bibliography

  1. Austin Z1, Sutton J2. Qualitative research: getting started. Can J Hosp Pharm. 2014 Nov;67(6):436-40.
  2. Tariq S1, Woodman J. Using mixed methods in health research. JRSM Short Rep. 2013 May 7;4(6)