POPLHLTH 762 : Advanced Qualitative Health Research

Medical and Health Sciences

2021 Semester Two (1215) (15 POINTS)

Course Prescription

Applies skills and knowledge in qualitative research to data management and the examination of specific methodological approaches used in qualitative health research. Students will prepare a portfolio examining the use of a specific methodological approach in qualitative health research, and demonstrate a grasp of appropriate skills related to data management in qualitative research.

Course Overview

This is an advanced qualitative research methods course and students should ideally be taking POPLHLTH 704 concurrently OR have taken an approved qualitative research methods course within the previous 2-3 years. It may be taken towards a PhD, Master of Health Sciences, Bachelor of Health Sciences (Honours) or any other Health Sciences or Public Health programmes, especially when students are planning to continue to masters with a topic using qualitative research.

Course outline

  • Rigour, ethics, positionality and qualitative research
  • Questions and methodologies – theoretical perspectives, developing questions
  • Designing and planning data collection, interpretation and representation
  • Collecting and managing data
  • Interpreting qualitative data
  • Representing research, rigour and ethics revisited

Course Requirements

Corequisite: POPLHLTH 704 or approved equivalent

Course Contacts

Course Coordinator
Assoc Prof Janine Wiles 
Associate Professor
Email: j.wiles@auckland.ac.nz
Phone: +64 (0) 9 923 6553

Capabilities Developed in this Course

Capability 1: Disciplinary Knowledge and Practice
Capability 2: Critical Thinking
Capability 3: Solution Seeking
Capability 4: Communication and Engagement
Capability 5: Independence and Integrity
Capability 6: Social and Environmental Responsibilities
Graduate Profile: Master of Health Sciences

Learning Outcomes

By the end of this course, students will be able to:
  1. Reflect on ethical and philosophical issues relating to using qualitative methodologies in research (Capability 1.1, 1.2, 2.1, 2.2, 3.1, 3.2, 4.1, 4.2, 5.1, 5.2, 6.1 and 6.2)
  2. Identify appropriate research questions and general approaches for a given topic (Capability 1.2, 2.2, 3.1, 4.1, 5.2 and 6.1)
  3. Identify and practice strategies for data interpretation and analysis (Capability 1.2, 2.1, 2.2, 3.1, 3.2, 5.1, 5.2 and 6.2)
  4. Reflect on oral and written presentation of qualitative research (Capability 1.1, 2.2, 3.1, 4.1, 4.2 and 5.1)
  5. Critically evaluate presentation of qualitative research (Capability 1.2, 2.2, 4.1, 4.2, 5.1 and 6.2)


Assessment Type Percentage Classification
Positionality engagement 30% Individual Coursework
Presentation 10% Individual Coursework
Essay/report/think piece 30% Individual Coursework
Peer Review of drafts 10% Individual Coursework
Analysis project (in class assignment) 20% Individual Coursework
Assessment Type Learning Outcome Addressed
1 2 3 4 5
Positionality engagement
Essay/report/think piece
Peer Review of drafts
Analysis project (in class assignment)

Workload Expectations

This course is a standard 15 point course and students are expected to spend 10 hours per week involved in each 15 point course that they are enrolled in.

For this course, you can expect at least 24 hours of interactive lectures, 40 hours of reading and thinking about the content and 54 hours of work on assignments.

Delivery Mode

Campus Experience

Attendance is expected at scheduled activities including seminars to complete components of the course.
Lectures will be available as recordings where possible. Other learning activities including seminars will not be available as recordings.
The course will include live online events including group discussions.
The activities for the course are scheduled as a block delivery.

Learning Resources

The course will consist of a series of short workshops, and one day long workshop from 9am–3.30pm. Attendance at all workshops is required, except with medical certificate. The dates for the workshop will be made available at the start of the semester.
A series of introductory readings will be provided along with additional material, all accessible by internet on CANVAS. Students will be encouraged to make use of the internet and the library resources and to seek assistance when required from the campus librarians (an important component of this course is learning to search databases and literature appropriately).

Student Feedback

At the end of every semester students will be invited to give feedback on the course and teaching through a tool called SET or Qualtrics. The lecturers and course co-ordinators will consider all feedback and respond with summaries and actions.

Your feedback helps teachers to improve the course and its delivery for future students.

Class Representatives in each class can take feedback to the department and faculty staff-student consultative committees.

Because class numbers are so small, we cannot do SET evaluations. Independent anonymised evaluations suggest high levels of student satisfaction with this course, which although demanding, is also stimulating and productive for students. Students considering taking this course are encouraged to talk with their supervisors and previous students about their experiences (also encouraged to talk with the Course Director, Janine - I am happy to connect you with previous students and will not ask about their feedback). 

Other Information

The course is designed to support research-active students in preparing their proposals and thesis work. To this end, I undertake to meet individually with students and their supervision teams early in the course, to ensure we tailor the work to be most supportive for the individual student. 

Digital Resources

Course materials are made available in a learning and collaboration tool called Canvas which also includes reading lists and lecture recordings (where available).

Please remember that the recording of any class on a personal device requires the permission of the instructor.

Academic Integrity

The University of Auckland will not tolerate cheating, or assisting others to cheat, and views cheating in coursework as a serious academic offence. The work that a student submits for grading must be the student's own work, reflecting their learning. Where work from other sources is used, it must be properly acknowledged and referenced. This requirement also applies to sources on the internet. A student's assessed work may be reviewed against online source material using computerised detection mechanisms.

Inclusive Learning

All students are asked to discuss any impairment related requirements privately, face to face and/or in written form with the course coordinator, lecturer or tutor.

Student Disability Services also provides support for students with a wide range of impairments, both visible and invisible, to succeed and excel at the University. For more information and contact details, please visit the Student Disability Services’ website http://disability.auckland.ac.nz

Special Circumstances

If your ability to complete assessed coursework is affected by illness or other personal circumstances outside of your control, contact a member of teaching staff as soon as possible before the assessment is due.

If your personal circumstances significantly affect your performance, or preparation, for an exam or eligible written test, refer to the University’s aegrotat or compassionate consideration page https://www.auckland.ac.nz/en/students/academic-information/exams-and-final-results/during-exams/aegrotat-and-compassionate-consideration.html.

This should be done as soon as possible and no later than seven days after the affected test or exam date.

Learning Continuity

In the event of an unexpected disruption we undertake to maintain the continuity and standard of teaching and learning in all your courses throughout the year. If there are unexpected disruptions the University has contingency plans to ensure that access to your course continues and your assessment is fair, and not compromised. Some adjustments may need to be made in emergencies. You will be kept fully informed by your course co-ordinator, and if disruption occurs you should refer to the University Website for information about how to proceed.

Student Charter and Responsibilities

The Student Charter assumes and acknowledges that students are active participants in the learning process and that they have responsibilities to the institution and the international community of scholars. The University expects that students will act at all times in a way that demonstrates respect for the rights of other students and staff so that the learning environment is both safe and productive. For further information visit Student Charter https://www.auckland.ac.nz/en/students/forms-policies-and-guidelines/student-policies-and-guidelines/student-charter.html.


Elements of this outline may be subject to change. The latest information about the course will be available for enrolled students in Canvas.

In this course you may be asked to submit your coursework assessments digitally. The University reserves the right to conduct scheduled tests and examinations for this course online or through the use of computers or other electronic devices. Where tests or examinations are conducted online remote invigilation arrangements may be used. The final decision on the completion mode for a test or examination, and remote invigilation arrangements where applicable, will be advised to students at least 10 days prior to the scheduled date of the assessment, or in the case of an examination when the examination timetable is published.