Principles of Qualitative Research Desgn

Subject 505-921 (2008)

Note: This is an archived Handbook entry from 2008.Search for this in the current handbook

Credit Points: 12.500
Level: Graduate/Postgraduate
Dates & Locations:

This subject has the following teaching availabilities in 2008:

Semester 1, - Taught on campus.
Pre-teaching Period Start not applicable
Teaching Period not applicable
Assessment Period End not applicable
Last date to Self-Enrol not applicable
Census Date not applicable
Last date to Withdraw without fail not applicable

Classroom intensive

Timetable can be viewed here. For information about these dates, click here.
Time Commitment: Contact Hours: 6-day intensive (9.00am – 4.00pm).
Total Time Commitment: Students should expect a total time commitment outside the stated contact hours of at least three hours for each hour of contact in this subject.
Prerequisites: None
Corequisites: None
Recommended Background Knowledge: None
Non Allowed Subjects: None
Core Participation Requirements:

For the purposes of considering request for Reasonable Adjustments under the Disability Standards for Education (Cwth 2005), and Student Support and Engagement Policy, academic requirements for this subject are articulated in the Subject Overview, Learning Outcomes, Assessment and Generic Skills sections of this entry.

It is University policy to take all reasonable steps to minimise the impact of disability upon academic study, and reasonable adjustments will be made to enhance a student's participation in the University's programs. Students who feel their disability may impact on meeting the requirements of this subject are encouraged to discuss this matter with a Faculty Student Adviser and Student Equity and Disability Support:


Centre for the Study of Health & Society
Subject Overview:

This subject will give students an understanding of the principles underlying good qualitative research. The topics covered will be relevant for students interested in qualitative research specifically, and for health research students who want to learn about qualitative research in order to combine qualitative with quantitative research. The first part of this subject will concentrate on qualitative research design and process. These sessions will provide both theoretical background and practical advice for doing qualitative research. The second part will discuss ethics in research. Areas to be covered will include the rationale for formal ethical review of research involving humans and details of the ethics committee process, as well as more general discussion of basic ethical principles in research, and issues particularly relevant to qualitative and document-based research. The subject will draw on different social science disciplines to highlight different disciplinary approaches to designing and formulating research projects.

Subject Objectives: After the completion of this subject students will:

  • understand the principles and processes of qualitative research design
  • be able to identify research issues and formulate qualitative research questions
  • have a capacity to design and conduct qualitative research at a postgraduate level
  • have developed a respect and understanding for the ethics of scholarship
  • have developed an understanding of the different kinds of ethical issues involved in doing research with human subjects
  • be familiar with the formal process of ethical review of research
  • be able to complete a human research ethics application form
  • have developed problem-solving abilities in the conduct of research
Assessment: Completion of a structured written assignment related to human research ethics up to a maximum of 2,500 words (50%) due mid semester.Essay up to a maximum of 2,500 words (50%) due at the end of the semester.
Prescribed Texts: Liamputtong, P. & Ezzy, D. (2006) (2nd ed) Qualitative research methods. Melbourne: Oxford University Press.
Recommended Texts:

A detailed book of readings will be available for purchase.

Breadth Options:

This subject is not available as a breadth subject.

Fees Information: Subject EFTSL, Level, Discipline & Census Date
Generic Skills:

On completion of this subject, students should be able to:

  • critically review literature;
  • have developed abilities in problem-solving in relation to qualitative research design;
  • critically review a human research ethics application;
  • complete a human research ethics application;
  • plan and design a qualitative research study;
  • identify the key methodological and ethical aspects of good qualitative research design.

Level: 500

Links to further information:
Notes: This subject is a Group 1 elective in the Master of Public Health.

Subject Coordinators: Assoc Prof Marilys Guillemin 8344 0827 and A/Prof Lynn Gillam 8344 0831

Quota: There will be a quota of 25 students on this subject.

Related Course(s): Master of Adolescent Health & Welfare
Master of Public Health
Master of Social Health
Master of Social Health (Aboriginal Health)
Master of Social Health (Health Ethics)
Master of Social Health (Health Policy)
Master of Social Health (Interdisciplinary)
Master of Social Health (Medical Anthropology)

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