Postgraduate taught 

Global Mental Health MSc/PgDip/PgCert

Qualitative Research Methods for Health Technology Assessment MED5454

  • Academic Session: 2021-22
  • School: Health and Wellbeing
  • Credits: 10
  • Level: Level 5 (SCQF level 11)
  • Typically Offered: Semester 1
  • Available to Visiting Students: Yes
  • Available to Erasmus Students: Yes

Short Description

This Qualitative Research Methods course aims to enable students to explore the purpose and appropriate use of qualitative research methods in HTA through recorded lectures and practical sessions. We will discuss the application of qualitative methods to conceptual modelling, informing trial design, contexts, and measures, and it's uses in HTA where uncertainty is high.


The course introduces basic orientations and epistemological research paradigms and related methodologies (including ethnography, action research and qualitative evidence synthesis), as well as methods for conducting and analysing qualitative data.


5 week online course comprising 5 lectures and accompanying practical exercises. The lectures will be 45 mins/1 hr in duration and the exercise associated with the lectures will take a notional 2 hours for the student to complete. Each week the academic lead will contribute to and answer questions on a discussion board.

Excluded Courses





The assessment will require students to critically address a topic relevant to the course's learning objectives in a 2,000 word assignment.

Main Assessment In: April/May

Course Aims

To enable students' developed understanding and acquisition of principle skills in relation to qualitative research methodologies and methods relevant to health technology assessment.

Intended Learning Outcomes of Course

By the end of this course students will be able to:


Critically appraise qualitative research designs relevant to health technology assessment.


Analyse the assumptions that underpin the qualitative research paradigm and its methodologies in relation to the evidence base for health technology assessment.


Contrast and compare the practical and methodological challenges associated with a range of qualitative methodologies and methods.


Propose qualitative research designs in response to health technology assessment knowledge gaps.


Effectively code, categorise and analyse qualitative data generated through the application of one methodology.


Critically analyse the role of qualitative research in the developing evidence base of health technology assessment.

Minimum Requirement for Award of Credits

Students must submit at least 75% by weight of the components (including examinations) of the course's summative assessment.