Qualitative Health Research


Qualitative research is becoming increasingly popular in health-related fields including medicine, public health, nursing, allied health, dentistry, and health policy. Qualitative health research can assist policymakers, clinicians, health promotion professionals and consumers to understand the perspectives people bring to their health, the values people hold, and the actions people take.

What do qualitative health researchers do? Qualitative researchers spend their time in conversation, interpretation and writing more than in calculation. They observe people as they go about their usual activities, talk to people individually and in groups, and examine documents and images. They systematically analyse the resulting data to gain a better understanding of issues as they arise in the ordinary social world. For proficient communicators who love language and ideas, qualitative research offers a demanding but extremely rewarding career, grounded in textual rather than statistical analysis.

Why should I consider the QHR Program? We are the first structured postgraduate program of training in qualitative health research in Australia. We provide practical training by industry practitioners, sophisticated engagement with theory and methodology and solid preparation in current health issues.

Training in Qualitative Health Research will enhance your application for a degree by research at the School of Public Health.

Students choosing to undertake a Qualitative Health Research program at Sydney Medical School will have the opportunity to:

  • Critically engage with qualitative methodologies and traditions;
  • Observe and interview individuals and groups including managing focus groups;
  • Connect to peers interested in qualitative inquiry and to working qualitative researchers;
  • Develop knowledge of the history of qualitative research, qualitative methodology and ethically sound research practice;
  • Gain skills in qualitative study design, data collection, data analysis and writing, including writing applications for research ethics approval and grant funding;
  • Develop confidence to reason and argue about qualitative methodology, and about the purpose and value of qualitative inquiry.

What's on offer?


Master of Qualitative Health Research
Graduate Certificate in Qualitative Health Research
➣ Three short course options:

  • Advanced Qualitative Health Research (PUBH5500)
  • Qualitative Methodologies and Study Design (QUAL5002)
  • Qualitative Research: Analysis and Writing (QUAL5003)

Contact & further information


Unit of Study coordinator: Dr Julie Mooney-Somers
Program Administrator: Jay Lee