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Social Research Methods For Public Health (Module)

Module description

This module aims to provide students with the skills and knowledge to utilise qualitative research methods effectively to answer public health related questions and to assess the quality of research they read as part of their wider studies.

This module explores the epistemological underpinnings of qualitative research and how we identify when qualitative approaches are the most suitable for the research questions we ask.  It considers, in depth, qualitative interviewing, observation, social surveys, mixed method designs as well as the analysis process.  Incorporating both theory and practice, this module is delivered through a combination of lectures, seminar discussions and exercises to help students gain the expertise to utilise these methods effectively and confidently.  It also covers other aspects of the social research process, such as literature reviewing, research ethics, reflexivity and how we assess the quality of existing research.

Module learning outcomes

After completing this module, students will be able to: 

  1. Identify when qualitative methods are appropriate to answer specific research questions.
  2. Outline the strengths and limitations of different social research methods and evaluate their suitability for different studies
  3. Design and justify a public health study using one or more qualitative research methods, being mindful of research ethics and reflexivity.
  4. Manage and analyse research data using thematic and narrative analysis techniques.
  5. Assess the quality of existing empirical public health research that uses qualitative social research methods.

Staff information

Not applicable

Teaching pattern

Lectures and seminars

Module assessment - more information

Not applicable

Key information

Module code 7MHPH021

Credit level 7

Assessment coursework written examination/s

Credit value 15

Semester Semester 1 (autumn)

Study abroad module No