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The University of Southampton

HLTH6110 Applied Qualitative Research Methods

Module Overview

The aim of this module is to acquire a practical understanding of qualitative research (including methodology, methods and analysis).

Aims and Objectives

Module Aims

To acquire a practical understanding of qualitative research (including methodology, methods and analysis).

Learning Outcomes

Learning Outcomes

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • Demonstrate understanding of the selection and application of appropriate qualitative methods and critically evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of a specified methodology in relation to a research question
  • Demonstrate an ability to collect and prepare qualitative data
  • Critically analyse data collection approaches relevant for specified research questions and approaches
  • Critically appraise the credibility and dependability of qualitative methods within a research project
  • Use a specified qualitative analysis method to analyse qualitative data
  • Demonstrate an understanding of data interpretation and presentation and justify the conclusions and recommendations arising from the data


Indicative content for this module includes: • Understanding qualitative methodology, including epistemological and theoretical foundations • Identification and selection of clinical research questions amenable to qualitative inquiry • Selecting appropriate qualitative methods to address research question(s) • Developing skills in qualitative methods: including key data collection methods (e.g. undertaking ethnographic research including observation and visual methods; sampling techniques, accessing sites and recruitment; conducting interviews, including devising topic guides and question prompts; focus group methods and facilitation techniques; and documentary analysis). • Understanding the main approaches to qualitative data analysis (such as thematic analysis, constant comparison and framework), and gaining practical experience of employing these to develop interpretation/theory. • Critical appraisal: assessing quality and rigour in qualitative research • Interpretation of qualitative data, including in mixed methods studies • Techniques for presentation and writing-up findings, including considering publishing qualitative research

Learning and Teaching

Teaching and learning methods

The module will use interactive learning styles so you will work with facilitators and colleagues in the group. The format of taught sessions may include lectures and workshop/seminars which will draw on expertise and examples of recent and ongoing clinically and health-related research in the University and NHS. Approximately 50% of the course will be practical work, and there will be ample opportunities for students to discuss and develop their own research ideas to feed into the dissertation and/or Open Module. There will be ample opportunities for self directed learning, much of which can be focused around the dissertation or Open Module. Independent study will be supported by module notes and web resources, including Blackboard.

Practical classes and workshops10
Preparation for scheduled sessions10
Completion of assessment task150
Wider reading or practice60
Total study time250

Resources & Reading list

Digital recorder/transcribing equipment. access to these will be arranged for relevant sessions

Ritchie J, Lewis J. (eds) (2003). Qualitative Research Practice; a Guide for Social Science Students and Researchers.. 

Mason J. (2002). Qualitative Researching. 

Access to software for analysis. Atlas ti or Nvivo

Access to word processing and internet. 

Green J, Thorogood N. (2004). Qualitative methods for health research. 



MethodPercentage contribution
Essay 100%

Repeat Information

Repeat type: External

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