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Qualitative research in health

Learn how to evaluate and conduct qualitative research
This course will give you the skills and confidence to begin conducting and using qualitative research. It is available to do online or in person.

Course overview

This course introduces you to qualitative research in health and will provide you with core concepts and skills. It is designed for beginners and people who want an advanced level introduction. Throughout the course you will address what is qualitative research and how different is it from quantitative research? We will look at the history of qualitative research and what research problems it can address.

We will learn how to design a qualitative study and what are the different (and best) ways to generate data. We will also analyse qualitative data and look at why methodology is different to method. Then we will cover other topics such as:

  • What are ontology and epistemology? 
  • What is reflexivity (and aren't qualitative researchers biased)? 
  • What are the ethical issues? 
  • What is good quality qualitative research?
  • How can I use qualitative evidence in policy or practice?

You will get practical experience and skills through carrying out an observation, participating in a focus group, conducting an interview, analysing data, arguing for qualitative research in health, and appraising the quality of published literature. You will hear from working qualitative researchers about how they use qualitative methods in their work.

Important: This short course is a variant of the unit of study, Qualitative Research in Health (PUBH5505). It enables you to complete the unit without formal university enrolment. You will receive a certificate of attendance, however, you will not receive credit points towards a University of Sydney degree.

To receive credit points and an academic transcript, please see the Medicine Postgraduate Non Award.

Key information
Course fees
  • Professional development students: $2,000
  • Short course (non-award) students: $3437.50 
Course structure
  • This unit runs in Semester 2 only. 
  • 2 x 2 full-day workshops plus, 1 x 1 full-day workshop
  • Online mode is 12 x weekly online lectures and activities
Course dates
  • Friday 21st August 2020
  • Saturday 22nd August 2020
  • Friday 11th September 2020
  • Saturday 17th October 2020
  • Friday 16th October 2020
Application deadline
  • Friday 14th August 2020
  • Camperdown campus

How to apply


Complete the online application for professional development. You will be able to enter payment details as part of this secure process. 

University of Sydney staff

Contact us regarding a journal transfer after you have submitted your application form.


  • Education Support Office, Level 3, Edward Ford Building (A27), The University of Sydney, NSW 2006 Australia