Studying online

There are now 2 possible online modes for units:

Units with modes Online timetabled and Online flexible are available for any student to self-enrol and study online.

Click on an offering mode for more details.

Unit Overview


The overall aim of this unit is that students acquire the theoretical and practical knowledge and skills to enable them to develop a proposal, undertake sound qualitative research and critique qualitative research. The content and activities will enable students to understand philosophical assumptions of, and approaches to, qualitative research and engage in related theoretical debates around qualitative research, with particular reference to health. The topics include an introduction to qualitative research; the role of qualitative research in health and public health; ethics in qualitative research; paradigms and interpretive frameworks; designing and critically reviewing qualitative research proposals; approaches to qualitative research; data collection and instrument development; rigour and sampling in qualitative research; in-depth interviews, participant observation, group discussions and focus groups; qualitative data analysis; qualitative research with marginalised groups; qualitative evaluation research; writing and publishing qualitative research; and the future strengths and challenges of qualitative research.

6 points
(see Timetable)
Semester 2UWA (Perth)Face to face
Semester 2OnlineOnline flexible

Students are able to (1) demonstrate an understanding of philosophical assumptions of and theoretical debates in qualitative research; (2) apply different approaches to qualitative research; (3) critically appraise qualitative research articles/reports; (4) design a qualitative research proposal; (5) plan qualitative data collection methods appropriately; (6) conduct simple data analysis and reporting related to small-scale qualitative data sets; (7) evaluate ethics issues in qualitative research; and (8) construct appropriate qualitative research proposals and reports.


Indicative assessments in this unit are as follows: (1) ethics and qualitative research assignment; (2) critique of qualitative research paper(s); and (3) qualitative research proposal assignment. Further information is available in the unit outline.

Student may be offered supplementary assessment in this unit if they meet the eligibility criteria.

Unit Coordinator(s)
Professor Colleen Fisher
Contact hours
seminar: 3 hours per week
This unit is available both face-to-face and online. Please choose carefully when enrolling.
  • The availability of units in Semester 1, 2, etc. was correct at the time of publication but may be subject to change.
  • All students are responsible for identifying when they need assistance to improve their academic learning, research, English language and numeracy skills; seeking out the services and resources available to help them; and applying what they learn. Students are encouraged to register for free online support through GETSmart; to help themselves to the extensive range of resources on UWA's STUDYSmarter website; and to participate in WRITESmart and (ma+hs)Smart drop-ins and workshops.
  • Unit readings, including any essential textbooks, are listed in the unit outline for each unit, one week prior the commencement of study. The unit outline will be available via the LMS and the UWA Handbook one week prior the commencement of study. Reading lists and essential textbooks are subject to change each semester. Information on essential textbooks will also be made available on the Essential Textbooks. This website is updated regularly in the lead up to semester so content may change. It is recommended that students purchase essential textbooks for convenience due to the frequency with which they will be required during the unit. A limited number of textbooks will be made available from the Library in print and will also be made available online wherever possible. Essential textbooks can be purchased from the commercial vendors to secure the best deal. The Student Guild can provide assistance on where to purchase books if required. Books can be purchased second hand at the Guild Secondhand bookshop (second floor, Guild Village), which is located on campus.
  • Contact hours provide an indication of the type and extent of in-class activities this unit may contain. The total amount of student work (including contact hours, assessment time, and self-study) will approximate 150 hours per 6 credit points.