Surveys and Qualitative Methods

Subject POPH90231 (2011)

Note: This is an archived Handbook entry from 2011.

Credit Points: 12.50
Level: 9 (Graduate/Postgraduate)
Dates & Locations:

This subject has the following teaching availabilities in 2011:

Semester 2, Parkville - 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

Timetable can be viewed here. For information about these dates, click here.
Time Commitment: Contact Hours: 24 hours: One 2-hour seminar per week for 12 weeks
Total Time Commitment: 120 hours
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 Students Experiencing Academic Disadvantage Policy, academic requirements for this subject are articulated in the Subject Description, Subject Objectives, Generic Skills and Assessment Requirements of this entry.
The University is dedicated to provide support to those with special requirements. Further details on the disability support scheme can be found at the Disability Liaison Unit website.


Dr Louise A. Keogh


Centre for Women's Health, Gender & Society
Melbourne School of Population Health
Tel: +61 3 8344 0692


Academic Programs Office
Melbourne School of Population Health
Tel: +61 3 8344 9339
Fax: +61 3 8344 0824
Subject Overview: This is a compulsory subject in the Master of Public Health. Public health practitioners need to be able to use and interpret a range of published research in order to gather evidence for practice, identify gaps in evidence and evaluate current practice. There is increasing awareness in public health practice of the important role that qualitative research can play in understanding public health problems, and commonly qualitative and survey designs are combined.

This subject will introduce students to surveys and qualitative methods - both the principles underlying design and the strengths and weaknesses of each method. It will cover surveys, individual interviews, group interviews and textual analysis. Each element of research design will be covered, from recognising research paradigms and sampling strategies through to the different types of analysis. Students will learn how to evaluate both survey and qualitative research as sources of evidence in public health.

Objectives: On completion of this subject students will be able to:
  • Describe the contribution of surveys and qualitative methods to public health
  • Apply critical thinking skills to the evaluation of survey and qualitative research literature
  • Select the appropriate survey or qualitative method for answering diverse public health questions
  • Appraise the findings, strengths and weaknesses of published survey and qualitative research in public health

Assessment: A short-answer written assignment of 1500 words due week 7 (35%), a written assignment of 3000 words due during the examination period (60%), and a critical reflection on achievement of course objectives through classroom and assessment activities (500 words, 5%) due during the examination period
Prescribed Texts: None
Breadth Options:

This subject is not available as a breadth subject.

Fees Information: Subject EFTSL, Level, Discipline & Census Date
Generic Skills: Upon completion of this subject students will have developed skills in:

  • Critical thinking and analysis
  • Problem-solving
  • Finding, evaluating and using relevant information
  • Written communication
  • Persuasion and argumentation
Related Course(s): Master of Public Health
Related Majors/Minors/Specialisations: Epidemiology and Biostatistics
Gender && Women's Health
Global Health
Health Economics && Economic Evaluation
Health Program Evaluation
Primary Care
Sexual Health
Social Health

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