Course Outline

HLT701 Qualitative Research: Approaches and Practice

Course Coordinator:May El Haddad ( School:School of Health - Nursing

2023Semester 2

UniSC Sunshine Coast

Blended learning Most of your course is on campus but you may be able to do some components of this course online.


Online You can do this course without coming onto campus.

Please go to for up to date information on the
teaching sessions and campuses where this course is usually offered.

What is this course about?


Qualitative research is used in everyday settings to answer questions related to issues of interest and their underpinning phenomena. You will attain a sound grounding in applying appropriate qualitative research methods. Theoretical content covers: qualitative methodologies, qualitative research methods, and presenting qualitative results. Course workshops promote critical thinking and provide opportunities to practice using qualitative research methods. While learning is self-directed, workshops and online forums allow discussion of theoretical and practical questions throughout the course.

How will this course be delivered?

Activity Hours Beginning Week Frequency
Blended learning
Learning materials – Online asynchronous learning and teaching materials consisting of 5 modules. 3hrs Week 1 5 times
Tutorial/Workshop 1 – On campus tutorial (synchronous and in-person) 2hrs Week 1 13 times
Information session – Lecturer and peer to peer collaborations, and lecturer and peer zoom drop ins. 1hr Week 1 13 times
Online – Online asynchronous learning and teaching materials. 3hrs Week 1 5 times
Tutorial/Workshop 1 – Online tutorial (synchronous) 2hrs Week 1 13 times
Information session – Lecturer and peer to peer collaborations, and lecturer and peer zoom drop ins. 1hr Week 1 13 times

Course Topics

Perspectives, principles , underlying assumptions and application to methodologies and methods

Collecting Qualitative Data (process and practice)

Analysing Qualitative Data

Reporting and Dissemination



What level is this course?

700 Level (Specialised)

Demonstrating a specialised body of knowledge and set of skills for professional practice or further learning. Advanced application of knowledge and skills in unfamiliar contexts.

What is the unit value of this course?

12 units

How does this course contribute to my learning?

Course Learning Outcomes On successful completion of this course, you should be able to... Graduate Qualities Completing these tasks successfully will contribute to you becoming...
1 Critically appraise different qualitative methodologies. Knowledgeable
Creative and critical thinker
2 Apply a research method to a qualitative research topic. Knowledgeable
Creative and critical thinker
3 Effectively communicate an informed argument on a qualitative research topic area. Knowledgeable
Creative and critical thinker

Am I eligible to enrol in this course?

Refer to the UniSC Glossary of terms for definitions of “pre-requisites, co-requisites and anti-requisites”.


Enrolled in any PGRD level Program or SC420 or SC423


Not applicable


Not applicable

Specific assumed prior knowledge and skills (where applicable)

Fundamental research methods knowledge and understanding of research procedures including ethics in human research.

How am I going to be assessed?

Grading Scale

Standard Grading (GRD)

High Distinction (HD), Distinction (DN), Credit (CR), Pass (PS), Fail (FL).

Details of early feedback on progress

Feedback will be provided to assist with subsequent assessment tasks.

Assessment tasks

Delivery mode Task No. Assessment Product Individual or Group Weighting % What is the duration / length? When should I submit? Where should I submit it?
All 1 Written Piece Individual 25%
1000 words
Week 4 Online Submission
All 2 Artefact - Technical and Scientific Individual 25%
1000 -1250 words
Week 8 Online Submission
All 3 Plan Individual 50%
3000 words
Week 12 Online Submission
All - Assessment Task 1:Written assignment. Qualitative research fundamentals
The goal is for you to present your formative understanding of fundamental principles and underlying assumptions of qualitative research. You will receive feedback and guidance to develop your knowledge and skills in the course and to support your completion of assessment tasks 2 and 3.
Product: Written Piece
Choose two published qualitative research papers that address a topic/issue of interest to you. They should use different methodologies to investigate the topic/issue. 

For each paper briefly summarise the aim, research question and rationale for undertaking the study. 

Provide an overview of the principles and underlying assumptions that inform the aims, question(s) and methodologies used in the two studies and critically appraise the application of these in the reports presented.

Briefly identify what your review contributes to your plan for investigating a topic/issue using a qualitative approach
No. Learning Outcome assessed
Description of principles and underlying assumptions for each study
Critique of the application of the principles and underlying assumptions to the methodologies used to investigate the topic/issue
Reflection on learning for own qualitative research plan
Information literacy skills: use of sources and citations
Written presentation including structure, grammar, application of referencing protocol (APA 7th edn.)
All - Assessment Task 2:Digital presentation. Data collection and analysis
The goal is for you to represent your engagement and learning about qualitative data collection and analysis approaches and practices.
Product: Artefact - Technical and Scientific
You will produce a short PowerPoint presentation designed to share with peers which sets out your understanding of principles/ assumptions and procedures in qualitative data collection and analysis.

You will produce one slide for each of the following content items: 

Preparing to collect data

Data collection process and procedures 

Preparing to analyse data 

Analysis process and procedures 

You will also include a title slide and a reference slide. 

Notes: For each content slide you will complete 'notes' to illuminate and explain the slide content. Each content note is to be written using academic written communication structure and grammar and include appropriate citations. Each content note is to be no longer than 200 words in length.
No. Learning Outcome assessed
Knowledge and understanding of principles/ underlying assumptions relating to qualitative data collection
Alignment and explanation of procedures with the data collection approach
PowerPoint communication - Clarity and accuracy of information, visual quality
Information literacy skills: use of sources and citations
Written presentation including structure, grammar, application of referencing protocol (APA 7th edn.)
All - Assessment Task 3:Written assignment. Plan for a qualitative research study
The goal is for you to apply qualitative research principles, underlying assumptions, methods and procedures to a plan for a research study.
Product: Plan
In your plan you will: 

Set out a research aim and question, and provide a case for the conduct of a qualitative study to investigate the question 

Set out a suitable methodology for the proposed study and justify the use of this methodology 

Set out the research method and procedures that would be used to conduct the study including: 

Population and sample 
Analysis approach and procedures 
Reflexivity and rigor
No. Learning Outcome assessed
Clarity of research question
Presentation and appraisal of methodology
Application in methods and procedures
Information literacy skills: use of sources and citations
Written presentation including structure, grammar, application of referencing protocol (APA
6th edn

Directed study hours

A 12-unit course will have total of 150 learning hours which will include directed study hours (including online if required), self-directed learning and completion of assessable tasks. Student workload is calculated at 12.5 learning hours per one unit.

What resources do I need to undertake this course?

Please note: Course information, including specific information of recommended readings, learning activities, resources, weekly readings, etc. are available on the course Canvas site– Please log in as soon as possible.

Prescribed text(s) or course reader

Please note that you need to have regular access to the resource(s) listed below. Resources may be required or recommended.

Required? Author Year Title Edition Publisher
Required Virginia Braun,Victoria Clarke 2013 Successful Qualitative Research n/a SAGE Publications Limited

Specific requirements

You will require a computer headset with a microphone and audio for web conferencing activities.

How are risks managed in this course?

Health and safety risks for this course have been assessed as low. It is your responsibility to review course material, search online, discuss with lecturers and peers and understand the health and safety risks associated with your specific course of study and to familiarise yourself with the University’s general health and safety principles by reviewing the online induction training for students, and following the instructions of the University staff.

What administrative information is relevant to this course?

Assessment: Academic Integrity

Academic integrity is the ethical standard of university participation.  It ensures that students graduate as a result of proving they are competent in their discipline.  This is integral in maintaining the value of academic qualifications. Each industry has expectations and standards of the skills and knowledge within that discipline and these are reflected in assessment.

Academic integrity means that you do not engage in any activity that is considered to be academic fraud; including plagiarism, collusion or outsourcing any part of any assessment item to any other person.  You are expected to be honest and ethical by completing all work yourself and indicating in your work which ideas and information were developed by you and which were taken from others. You cannot provide your assessment work to others. You are also expected to provide evidence of wide and critical reading, usually by using appropriate academic references.

In order to minimise incidents of academic fraud, this course may require that some of its assessment tasks, when submitted to Canvas, are electronically checked through Turnitin.  This software allows for text comparisons to be made between your submitted assessment item and all other work to which Turnitin has access.

Assessment: Additional Requirements

Your eligibility for supplementary assessment in a course is dependent of the following conditions applying:

The final mark is in the percentage range 47% to 49.4%
The course is graded using the Standard Grading scale
You have not failed an assessment task in the course due to academic misconduct

Assessment: Submission penalties

Late submission of assessment tasks may be penalised at the following maximum rate: 
- 5% (of the assessment task's identified value) per day for the first two days from the date identified as the due date for the assessment task. 
- 10% (of the assessment task's identified value) for the third day - 20% (of the assessment task's identified value) for the fourth day and subsequent days up to and including seven days from the date identified as the due date for the assessment task. 
- A result of zero is awarded for an assessment task submitted after seven days from the date identified as the due date for the assessment task. Weekdays and weekends are included in the calculation of days late. To request an extension you must contact your course coordinator to negotiate an outcome.


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Study help

For help with course-specific advice, for example what information to include in your assessment, you should first contact your tutor, then your course coordinator, if needed.

If you require additional assistance, the Learning Advisers are trained professionals who are ready to help you develop a wide range of academic skills. Visit the Learning Advisers web page for more information, or contact Student Central for further assistance: +61 7 5430 2890 or

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