Qualitative Research Methods for Public Health

The use of qualitative research methods in public health research, such as program evaluations and clinical trials, is increasingly common. The aim of this short course is to introduce participants to the theories, concepts and practice of qualitative research. Participants will gain practical skills in employing qualitative research designs, data collection and analysis. In particular, participants will learn how to meaningfully incorporate qualitative research with other research methods and study designs.

Participants may register for one, two, or all three days of this course.

Learning objectives

Day 1: Research Designs Day 2: Data Collection Day 3: Coding
  • Principles and concepts of qualitative research
  • Overview of qualitative research designs
  • Overview of mixed methods research designs
  • Ethics in qualitative research
  • Practical application of data collection techniques (practice interviews, focus groups and participant observation)
  • Rigour in qualitative research
  • Introduction to qualitative analysis (frameworks, coding)
  • Coding workshop
  • Making sense of your analysis
  • Communicating your findings (writing for publication)

Participants will be asked to submit a brief overview of current or intended research to help inform the development of practical exercise for the course.

SPHPM Doctoral students wishing to register for this course must contact sphpm-doctoral-admin@monash.edu.


Scholar testimonials

The last Qualitative Research Methods for Public Health course taught by Darshini Ayton received an average rating of 4.8 / 5 on the participant evaluation form assessing the overall quality of the course. Some sample comments from participants:

"The whole course has exceeded my expectations. I have had some experience of qualitative research so came with a foundational knowledge – I now feel more confident in applying and developing my skills."

"Darshini was engaging and enthusiastic. Easy to ask questions, and willing to help during breaks / after course session ends. Overall, I found this very useful and will refer to the notes as my research progresses."

Who should attend

This course is suitable for clinical and allied health professionals, psychologists, public health researchers, and PhD candidates interested in using qualitative research methods.

Course Directors

Dr Darshini Ayton

Dr Darshini Ayton is a senior research fellow and lecturer at the School of Public Health and Preventive Medicine. She is a mixed methods health services researcher with expertise in qualitative research methods, survey design and clinical quality registries. Dr Ayton has current projects in dementia, antimicrobial stewardship, patient-reported outcome measures, clinical quality registries and volunteer programs.

Dr Ayton is a Monash Partners Fellow and is developing a workforce capacity building program to strengthen consumer and community involvement (CCI) in health research.

Register your interest for this course

Fill out my online form.