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Unit of study_

PUBH5506: Advanced Qualitative Analysis and Writing

This advanced unit of study extends students' practical and theoretical knowledge of qualitative research to provide advanced concepts and skills in qualitative data analysis and writing. You should have a basic understanding of qualitative research. We will explore the principles of qualitative analysis, and learn about different analytic strategies and key analytic tools. You will learn how to develop codes and themes, use memos and analytic maps, and interpret data through the process of writing. You will learn about starting writing, structuring articles, making analytic arguments, and editing your own work. Most importantly, we will consider what it means to think and write 'qualitatively'. You will analyse a portfolio of qualitative data, and produce a results and discussion section for a journal article. After completing this unit you will have increased your experience, skills and confidence in qualitative data analysis and writing.


Academic unit Public Health
Unit code PUBH5506
Unit name Advanced Qualitative Analysis and Writing
Session, year
Semester 1, 2020
Attendance mode Block mode
Location Camperdown/Darlington, Sydney
Credit points 6

Enrolment rules

Available to study abroad and exchange students


Teaching staff and contact details

Coordinator Julie Mooney-Somers,
Lecturer(s) Julie Mooney-Somers ,
Type Description Weight Due Length
Assignment Candidate themes
Develop candidate themes with descriptions and a thematic map
20% Mid-semester break
Due date: 13 Apr 2020 at 23:00
Min 3 candidate themes with descriptions
Outcomes assessed: LO1 LO5 LO3
Assignment Line by line coding
Code interview transcripts (2) and short interview memo (2)
20% Week 06
Due date: 30 Mar 2020 at 23:00
2 coded transcripts; 2 <500 word memo
Outcomes assessed: LO1 LO3
Assignment Draft analysis
Draft analysis with themes defined (title, scope, variations) and data
20% Week 10
Due date: 04 May 2020 at 23:00
1500-2500 word
Outcomes assessed: LO1 LO3 LO4 LO5
Assignment Polished analysis
Polished written work comprising methods, results and discussion
40% Week 13
Due date: 01 Jun 2020 at 23:00
3000-4000 words
Outcomes assessed: LO1 LO2 LO3 LO4 LO5 LO6 LO7

Tips for maximising your assignment mark

Submit your assignment as a WORD document (file type .DOC or DOCX). If you submit in rich text (.RTS), PDF or anything other than WORD (.DOC/.DOCX) your assignment will be returned to you for resubmission in the correct format. You will lose 5% of the total possible mark for each day until you submit the correct format (down to a minimum mark of 50%). Fulfilling formatting requirements is an important skill for a researcher.

Keep to the word limits set for the assignments. Communicating ideas succinctly is an important skill for researchers. If you are more than 10% UNDER OR OVER the word-limit, you will lose marks in proportion with excess length: 1% of the total possible mark for every additional 1% over the word length. For example:

Word length set for assignment: 1000 (+10%=1100; -10%=900)

Total marks for assignment: 25%

Word length of assignment submitted = 1500 words

Words in excess of limit+10% = 400 (40% of 1000 words)

1% of 25 marks = 0.25

Marks lost for excess length = 40*0.25 = 10 marks

Submit your own work and properly acknowledge the words and ideas of other authors. Sydney School of Public Health and the University of Sydney take academic integrity very seriously. Your assignments will be processed through Turnitin and subject to University plagiarism policies. Refer to the SPH Student Support site in LMS for materials on academic honesty and plagiarism. Material suspected of being plagiarised will not be marked and an academic misconduct investigation will commence. If you are unsure about plagiarism, contact your Course Coordinator.

Complete all assessment components. There are four compulsory assessment tasks for this Unit of Study: line by line coding (20%); candidate themes (20%), draft analysis (20%), polished analysis (40%).

You will receive a set of transcripts. Building on the work in Workshop One, you analyse these using a Thematic Analysis approach. In the final assignment you will build on the work in Workshop Four and assignments 1-3 to present a polished analysis.  This stepped approach is designed to assess your understanding of a common data analysis technique, your application of writing skills, and your ability to apply these to the process of analysis and the production of a polished piece of analysis. These are core skills for any researcher.

You will use your work on each assignment task to inform the subsequent assignment. That is, each assignment relies on the successful and timely completion of the previous assignment task. Meeting the assignment deadline will allow the marker to provide you with timely feedback so you can also use feedback to improve subsequent work.

Assessment criteria

Assessment rubrics for each assessment task can be found on Canvas

For more information see guide to grades.

Late submission

In accordance with University policy, these penalties apply when written work is submitted after 11:59pm on the due date:

  • Deduction of 5% of the maximum mark for each calendar day after the due date.
  • After ten calendar days late, a mark of zero will be awarded.

This unit has an exception to the standard University policy or supplementary information has been provided by the unit coordinator. This information is displayed below:

Submit your assignment by the deadline. Unless you have been given an extension in writing by Julie, before the assignment due date, you will lose 5% of the total possible mark for every day late down to a minimum mark of 50%. Assignments will not be accepted more than 10 days after the due date without an extension (i.e. after 10 days, you will simply get zero marks).

Special consideration

If you experience short-term circumstances beyond your control, such as illness, injury or misadventure or if you have essential commitments which impact your preparation or performance in an assessment, you may be eligible for special consideration or special arrangements.

Academic integrity

The Current Student website provides information on academic integrity and the resources available to all students. The University expects students and staff to act ethically and honestly and will treat all allegations of academic integrity breaches seriously.

We use similarity detection software to detect potential instances of plagiarism or other forms of academic integrity breach. If such matches indicate evidence of plagiarism or other forms of academic integrity breaches, your teacher is required to report your work for further investigation.

You may only use artificial intelligence and writing assistance tools in assessment tasks if you are permitted to by your unit coordinator, and if you do use them, you must also acknowledge this in your work, either in a footnote or an acknowledgement section.

Studiosity is permitted for postgraduate units unless otherwise indicated by the unit coordinator. The use of this service must be acknowledged in your submission.

WK Topic Learning activity Learning outcomes
Week 04 Basic principles; introducing analytic techniques Block teaching (8 hr) LO1 LO2
Introducing analytic techniques; Reading & Coding Block teaching (8 hr) LO1 LO2 LO3
Week 06 Themes & Mapping Block teaching (8 hr) LO1 LO2 LO3
Week 08 Interpretation Block teaching (8 hr) LO1 LO2 LO3 LO4 LO5
Week 10 Writing Block teaching (8 hr) LO4 LO5 LO6 LO7

Attendance and class requirements

This unit has been designed as a face to face unit so we assume you will attend all 5 workshops. The workshops are a balance of lecturing, student interaction and hands on work. We record the sessions via Echo360 where possible but these recordings will not replace your attendance. We do not have a particiaption mark, it is up to students to manage their learning.

As this is a six-credit point unit, you should expect to spend at least 126 hours on completing the work required, including attending workshops, participating in learning activities, reading the compulsory readings and completing assessment tasks.

Study commitment

Typically, there is a minimum expectation of 1.5-2 hours of student effort per week per credit point for units of study offered over a full semester. For a 6 credit point unit, this equates to roughly 120-150 hours of student effort in total.

Required readings

All readings for this unit can be accessed through the Library eReserve, available on Canvas

Learning outcomes are what students know, understand and are able to do on completion of a unit of study. They are aligned with the University’s graduate qualities and are assessed as part of the curriculum.

At the completion of this unit, you should be able to:

  • LO1. understand, explain and apply fundamental principles underlying qualitative analysis
  • LO2. explain the differences between key analytic methods
  • LO3. systematically implement the key steps of an analytic method to a set of data
  • LO4. develop an analytic argument in a piece of qualitative writing and use data appropriately to advance this argument
  • LO5. understand and apply feedback on your analytic work and writing
  • LO6. apply techniques to improve the quality of your academic writing
  • LO7. apply techniques to improve your academic writing productivity

Graduate qualities

The graduate qualities are the qualities and skills that all University of Sydney graduates must demonstrate on successful completion of an award course. As a future Sydney graduate, the set of qualities have been designed to equip you for the contemporary world.

GQ1 Depth of disciplinary expertise

Deep disciplinary expertise is the ability to integrate and rigorously apply knowledge, understanding and skills of a recognised discipline defined by scholarly activity, as well as familiarity with evolving practice of the discipline.

GQ2 Critical thinking and problem solving

Critical thinking and problem solving are the questioning of ideas, evidence and assumptions in order to propose and evaluate hypotheses or alternative arguments before formulating a conclusion or a solution to an identified problem.

GQ3 Oral and written communication

Effective communication, in both oral and written form, is the clear exchange of meaning in a manner that is appropriate to audience and context.

GQ4 Information and digital literacy

Information and digital literacy is the ability to locate, interpret, evaluate, manage, adapt, integrate, create and convey information using appropriate resources, tools and strategies.

GQ5 Inventiveness

Generating novel ideas and solutions.

GQ6 Cultural competence

Cultural Competence is the ability to actively, ethically, respectfully, and successfully engage across and between cultures. In the Australian context, this includes and celebrates Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures, knowledge systems, and a mature understanding of contemporary issues.

GQ7 Interdisciplinary effectiveness

Interdisciplinary effectiveness is the integration and synthesis of multiple viewpoints and practices, working effectively across disciplinary boundaries.

GQ8 Integrated professional, ethical, and personal identity

An integrated professional, ethical and personal identity is understanding the interaction between one’s personal and professional selves in an ethical context.

GQ9 Influence

Engaging others in a process, idea or vision.

Outcome map

Learning outcomes Graduate qualities
This unit was previously offered as QUAL5003, the main change is the addition of an extra workshop to allow us to introduce a variety of analytic strategies; this was due to student feedback.

Everyone is welcome in PUBH5506. However, if you have not completed PUBH5505 Qualitative Research in Health (or a similar unit) please consider carefully whether you are ready. If you complete the unit too soon in your studies, it will be frustrating and confusing. You need some basic understanding of qualitative research to benefit from this unit.

We recommend that you DO NOT take this unit if you are unsure or confused about:

  • the difference between qualitative and quantitative research;
  • the research questions that qualitative research can answer;
  • how to collect qualitative data;
  • whether qualitative researchers are biased; or
  • whether qualitative research findings are generalisable.

This is a practical unit, students are expected to engage in analysis and writing during class and between workshops. 

Additional costs

There are no additional costs for this unit.

Site visit guidelines

There are no site visit guidelines for this unit.

Work, health and safety

There are no specific WHS requirements for this unit.


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