Faculty of Medical and Health Sciences

POPLHLTH 704 - Qualitative Health Research

15 Points

Semester 1



Provides practical experience in the appraisal and use of qualitative methods in research in health. The development of studies from research questions through design, conduct, and analysis and interpretation of such studies are examined in detail. Students are required to prepare a portfolio examining the use of a specific methodological approach in qualitative health research.

Programme and course advice

Prerequisite: None

This advanced qualitative research methods course and students should ideally have taken a general research methods course within the previous 2-3 years. This course may be taken towards a PhD, Master of Health Sciences, BHSc (Hons) or any other Health Sciences or Public Health programmes along with an Advanced Qualitative Research course, currently taught as a special topic POPLHLTH 762. This course is often taken as a research course for Postgraduate Diploma of Health Sciences in Alcohol and Drug Studies or Mental Health (students in these programmes have a choice of POPLHLTH 701-705), especially when students are planning to continue to masters with a topic using qualitative research.

Course aims

Content outline

  • Rigour and qualitative research
  • Ethics, positionality, theoretical perspectives and reflection in qualitative research
  • Questions and methodologies – developing questions, designing data collection
  • Collecting, managing and transforming data
  • Representing research, rigour and ethics revisited

Goals of the course

To develop the ability to critically evaluate qualitative health research and to give students the basis for designing and conducting their own qualitative studies.

Learning outcomes 

Students will learn how to:

  • Reflect on ethical and philosophical issues relating to using qualitative methodologies in research
  • Discuss development of research questions and general approaches for given topics
  • Identify appropriate strategies for data collection, and interpretation and analysis
  • Reflect on oral and written presentation of qualitative research
  • Critically evaluate presentation of qualitative research

Learning and teaching

The course will consist of five block teaching days between 9am-3.30pm. Attendance at all five days is required, except with medical certificate. Students are expected to arrive before 9am and remain until 3.30pm. Please arrange transport accordingly.

Campus teaching dates

This course is held at Tāmaki Campus. Please see your timetable on SSO or Building 730 Reception noticeboard on the day for the room details.


100% internal assessment (no final examination)

Weekly Reading Summaries 60%, Critical Peer feedback 10%, Peer exchange 5%, Annotated bibliography 25%

Learning resources

A series of introductory readings will be provided along with additional material, all accessible by internet on CANVAS and TALIS. Students will be encouraged to make use of the internet and the library resources and to seek assistance when required from the campus librarians (an important component of this course is learning to search databases and literature appropriately).  

Course Coordinator

Course Administrator