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Concepts in Qualitative Research for Social and Behavioral Sciences

Course Status

2nd Term
Health, Behavior and Society
Academic Year
2022 - 2023
Instruction Method
Synchronous Online
Class Time(s)
Tu, Th, 1:30 - 2:50pm
Auditors Allowed
Yes, with instructor consent
Available to Undergraduate
Grading Restriction
Letter Grade or Pass/Fail
Course Instructor(s)
Contact Name
Frequency Schedule
One Year Only


Provides an overview of the development of a qualitative approach within public health research and practice, focusing on the philosophical underpinnings to qualitative research and the application of such methods to key contemporary public health questions. Considers questions such as, “What counts as knowledge?”, “What are appropriate and useful public health data?”, and “How do we learn about new issues?” Focuses on concepts, particularly highlighting the nature of qualitative questions and data. Not intended to provide training in conducting independent qualitative research.
Learning Objectives
Upon successfully completing this course, students will be able to:
  1. Summarize the epistemological and ontological bases for qualitative research
  2. Apply the main qualitative approaches to a pertinent public health research question
  3. Discuss a wide range of health-focused qualitative studies
  4. Identify many of the main journals in which qualitative public health research is published
  5. Analyze the strengths and weaknesses of adopting a qualitative approach to addressing a particular research question
Methods of Assessment
This course is evaluated as follows:
  • 30% Participation
  • 60% Assignments
  • 10% Presentation(s)
Enrollment Restriction
undergraduates not permitted