Continuing Professional Development

Qualitative Health Research


The details
Qualitative Health Research
15 credits
Level 7
17 January 2022
Colchester Campus

High quality research is very important in modern health and social care and as such research training is an important component of our CPD provision.

This module is for masters and PhD students. It will provide you with a general introduction to qualitative research with reference to how it might be applied to the study of issues of health and illness. It focuses on the processes and practices of qualitative research.

Throughout the course you will be expected to develop your knowledge through reading as well as practical tasks and engage in discussion about the principles of research design, making the explicit link between research questions and research methods.

By the end of the course you will understand the benefits of qualitative research in terms of gaining a deeper qualitative understanding of health processes, whilst also recognising some of the central limitations and ethical considerations. You will also have developed skills in selecting and carrying out appropriate data collection and analysis methods.

This module is likely to be of particular interest if you intend to engage in qualitative research in the future, particularly in regard to your dissertation.

Learning outcomes

After the course students will have:

  • Comprehension of basic principles of qualitative research, including the processes involved in generating and application of qualitative research questions
  • Competence in understanding and applying a range of qualitative research methods
  • Ability to manage qualitative data and conducting and disseminating research in a way that is consistent with both professional practice and the normal principles of research ethics
  • Understanding of the significance of qualitative epistemological positions, and how they relate to quantitative research design and mixed method research design.

Our expert staff

Dr Ewen Speed is Medical Sociologist and a Senior Lecturer in the School of Health and Social Care. In this module he draws on his own experience of research, both in terms of primary research in the sociology of health and illness, as well as supervising a number of students’masters and PhD projects across a range of health topics.


Module Outline

Lectures, seminars and data analysis workshops. Students will be required to collect primary qualitative data collection and primary or secondary qualitative data analysis.

Teaching and learning disclaimer

Following the impact of the pandemic, we made changes to our teaching and assessment to ensure our current students could continue with their studies uninterrupted and safely. These changes included courses being taught through blended delivery, normally including some face-to-face teaching, online provision, or a combination of both across the year.

The teaching and assessment methods listed show what is currently planned for 2021 entry; changes may be necessary if, by the beginning of this course, we need to adapt the way we’re delivering them due to the external environment, and to allow you to continue to receive the best education possible safely and seamlessly.

Assessment strategy

  • Presentation (20%)
  • Summative assignment (80%)

Fees and funding

Our CPD Funding page has more information on fees for our modules and potential funding sources.

What's next

We have guidance on making your application and the forms to download on our how to apply page.

Get in touch

If you require further details about this module, including future course dates, please email