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DRPS : Course Catalogue : Deanery of Molecular, Genetic and Population Health Sciences : Public Health Research

Postgraduate Course: Qualitative Research for Public Health (PUHR11094)

Course Outline
SchoolDeanery of Molecular, Genetic and Population Health Sciences CollegeCollege of Medicine and Veterinary Medicine
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 11 (Postgraduate)
Course typeOnline Distance Learning AvailabilityAvailable to all students
SCQF Credits10 ECTS Credits5
SummaryQualitative research is concerned with developing explanations of social phenomena, it aims to help us to understand the world in which we live and why things are the way they are. It is concerned with the social aspects of our world and seeks to answer questions about:
- Why people behave the way they do
- How opinions and attitudes are formed
- How people are affected by the events that go on around them
- How and why cultures have developed in the way they have
- The differences between social groups.
This course provides an introduction to qualitative research methods. Underlying approaches will be examined and then different methods will be looked at in more detail. Practical components will be incorporated into the course, such as carrying out in-depth interviews and participating in class exercises and discussions. Students will be expected to do background reading on the topics. Students will also learn how to analyse qualitative data, what some of the challenges of mixing methods are and how to appraise published qualitative research.
Course description Qualitative research is concerned with developing explanations of the social world. It can help us to understand how people experience different aspects of that social world and how they respond to it i.e. what they feel, think and do.
Understanding experiences and behaviour in a way that is embedded in social reality is essential to public health practice. People are the subject of public health and qualitative research aims to better understand people as individuals who are situated in, and influenced by, their social context.
Our aim during this introductory course is for you to understand the core ideas, processes and activities underpinning the qualitative approach to researching the social world and for you to be able to identify aspects of rigour and quality in studies carried out by other researchers. This knowledge will allow you to critically appraise and use qualitative research in relation to public health practice and provides a grounding for further study of qualitative methods during the MPH programme.
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Co-requisites
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements None
Additional Costs Students will be responsible for their computer equipment and internet access.
Information for Visiting Students
High Demand Course? Yes
Course Delivery Information
Not being delivered
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. Recognise the contribution that qualitative research methods make to the knowledge base for public health practice
  2. Describe the principles and processes that underpin qualitative research
  3. Apply the concepts of rigour for qualitative research and justify the use of qualitative research findings in public health practice
  4. Demonstrate the ability to reflect on your views and ideas and be transparent about where they come from.
Reading List
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills Not entered
Keywordsqualitative research,qualitative data,research methods
Course organiserMs Nicky Laing
Course secretaryMs Charlotte Munden
Tel: (0131 6)51 318
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