Qualitative Methodologies and Study Design (QUAL5002)


Qualitative methodologies are historical traditions and systems for planning and justifying research methods. This intermediate unit assumes a basic understanding of qualitative research and focuses on qualitative methodologies. Qualitative methodologies are informed by theories from sociology, anthropology, philosophy and other disciplines. They shape the research questions, objectives, design and outcome of a qualitative study. This course begins with general principles of qualitative methodology and study design. We examine several qualitative methodologies in detail, including: narrative inquiry, community based participatory research, ethnography, grounded theory, arts-based, and qualitative synthesis. We consider their historical and theoretical roots, the research practices they encourage, and their current status. The final session considers how we can use methodologies as resources rather than recipes, maintaining both flexibility and coherence in our study designs.

Our courses that offer this unit of study

Further unit of study information


2x3 full day workshops


Group presentation (2x15%); peer review (2x10%); 4000wd assignment (50%)

Faculty/department permission required?


Unit of study rules

Assumed knowledge

Basic understanding of the nature of qualitative knowledge and the processes of qualitative research.



Additional Information

Departmental permission is required for students who have not completed PUBH5500.

Study this unit outside a degree

Non-award/non-degree study

If you wish to undertake one or more units of study (subjects) for your own interest but not towards a degree, you may enrol in single units as a non-award student.

Cross-institutional study

If you are from another Australian tertiary institution you may be permitted to underake cross-institutional study in one or more units of study at the University of Sydney.