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Qualitative Reasoning in Public Health


1st term
2 credits
Academic Year:
2021 - 2022
Instruction Method:
Auditors Allowed:
Yes, with instructor consent
Grading Restriction:
Letter Grade or Pass/Fail
Course Instructors:
Caitlin Kennedy

Introduction to Online Learning is required prior to participating in any of the School's Internet-based courses.


Qualitative research is increasingly becoming a foundational approach in public health. This course is for students who want to be engaged consumers of qualitative research in public health or participate in team-based qualitative projects, but do not see themselves leading qualitative research studies in the future.

Provides students with a broad overview of qualitative methods and concepts used in the public health sciences. Emphasizes the conceptual foundations of qualitative research and how it is used in public health.

Learning Objectives:

Upon successfully completing this course, students will be able to:

  1. Explain the basic concepts of iterative design, purposive sampling, and reflexivity
  2. Distinguish between objectivist and constructivist epistemologies
  3. Provide examples of different types of qualitative data arising in public health studies
  4. Identify when qualitative or quantitative methods are best suited to address a given research question
  5. Describe key features of study quality (rigor) for qualitative studies
  6. Examine and contrast different approaches to qualitative data analysis
  7. Describe ways in which qualitative research is incorporated into research projects
Methods of Assessment:

This course is evaluated as follows:

  • 40% Quizzes
  • 20% In-class Exercises
  • 40% Written Assignment(s)

Instructor Consent:

No consent required

Jointly Offered With: