Postgraduate taught 

Global Mental Health (online) MSc/PgDip/PgCert: Online distance learning

Qualitative Research Methods for Public Health MED5436

  • Academic Session: 2023-24
  • School: School of Health and Wellbeing
  • Credits: 20
  • Level: Level 5 (SCQF level 11)
  • Typically Offered: Semester 2
  • Available to Visiting Students: Yes
  • Taught Wholly by Distance Learning: Yes

Short Description

This Qualitative Research Methods course aims to enable students to explore the purpose and appropriate use of qualitative research methods in public health through recorded lectures and practical sessions. 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.


10 week online course comprising of lectures and accompanying practical exercises. The lectures will be 45 mins/1 hr in duration and the exercise associated with each lecture 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

MED5077 Qualitative Research Methods




The assessment will require students to critically address a topic relevant to the course's learning outcomes in a 2,500 word assignment (50%). Students will also be required to record a 15 minute presentation with slides (50%), which presents their analysis of data collected and analysed from previous course activity. This will include an un-assessed question and answer session with other students.

Course Aims

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

Intended Learning Outcomes of Course

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


Critically appraise qualitative research designs relevant to public health.


Analyse the assumptions that underpin the qualitative research paradigm and its methodologies in relation to the evidence base of modern public health practice.


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


Propose qualitative research designs in response to public health knowledge gaps.


Effectively code, categorise and analyse qualitative data.


Critically analyse the role of qualitative research in the developing evidence base of public health practice.

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.