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Table of Available Courses

University Department/Program Course Description
Lakehead University

Thunder Bay

Health Sciences HESC 5035 – Qualitative Inquiry. This course examines the theoretical and paradigmatic assumptions of qualitative inquiry and various approaches to qualitative research. Within the context of these approaches, qualitative methods are discussed, with specific application to health research and public health. This course also aims to prepare students to be capable of critical analysis; understanding health-related decision-making at the level of the individual, population, and government; understanding research; and possessing knowledge exchange and dissemination strategies for various audiences. Available online.
Laurentian University


Nursing NURS 5107EL – Nursing Research II. This course addresses qualitative research approaches to nursing inquiry in health care settings. Emphasis is placed on contributions to evidence-based practice.
Carleton University


Social Work SOWK 6201 – Theory and Methods. This course teaches concepts and ideas that help us to critically explore epistemological debates, theories and research methodologies as they relate to structural social work-related practice and policy research. Course materials introduce students to research paradigms and their related methodologies and methods, with particular emphasis on critical perspectives and qualitative research methodologies. We take up challenges and controversies surrounding ethical research and explore how knowledge is created, what counts as knowledge and whose knowledge counts. This course applies a structural approach to research issues – one that recognizes that the society in which we live, and of which social work is a constituent part, consists of diverse groups of people distinguished by their different and inequitable access to economic, social and political power.
Queen’s University


Kinesiology and Health Studies KHS 875 – Qualitative Research Methods. This course explores the philosophical underpinnings and practical research techniques associated with qualitative research. The course content addresses a range of issues including the relationship the ethical dimensions of qualitative research, observational and interview-based research techniques, researcher reflexivity, and the appraisal of qualitative health research. Students will be exposed to the epistemological and methodological variety of qualitative research and will be encouraged to delve into the links between the “theoretical” and “practical” dimensions of the qualitative research process. Students will also be given an opportunity to gain experience in primary data collection, interview transcription, the writing of field notes, and the coding and analysis of qualitative data.
Rehabilitation Therapy RHBS 932 – Qualitative Research Methods in Health Studies. This course prepares student to evaluate and undertake health related research using qualitative approaches. Topics addressed include the philosophical foundations of qualitative research, research design and rigour, data collection, analysis and interpretation and ethical challenges. 
Trent University


Psychology PSYC 4120H – Qualitative Research Methods. An introduction to contemporary debates and practical strategies of qualitative research focusing on arguments in critical and feminist theory which underpin grounded theory, interpretive phenomenology, and various discourse analytical approaches. Students also gain skills in the use of in-depth interviews and focus groups, content, narrative, and discourse analysis, and participatory action research. Topics include asking questions and identifying goals, strategies for designing research, ethical issues in qualitative research, field research, analysis of qualitative research, and writing up qualitative data. Students are exposed to practical, hands-on demonstrations and assignments that give them qualitative research skills.
University of Ottawa Nursing NSG 6540 – Recherche qualitative en sciences infirmières et en sciences de la santé. Étude approfondie des approches en recherche qualitative et des modalités d’analyse de données utilisées en sciences infirmières et autres disciplines de la santé.Translation: In-depth study of qualitative research approaches and data analysis modalities used in nursing and other health disciplines.
Brock University

St. Catharines

Applied Health Sciences AHSC 5P07 – Qualitative Approaches, Theories and Methods. This course provides an introduction to the philosophical foundations that guide qualitative inquiry. Students develop an introductory understanding of onto-epistemological underpinnings, theoretical perspectives, methodological approaches, methods, ethical issues, and paradigmatic criterion for high quality qualitative inquiry. Understanding of theoretical perspectives, methodological approaches (which guides research design), and methods (the collection of data) – and how they are interrelated is essential to the design, implementation and evaluation of qualitative research. While discussing the complexities of research design issues, students will be encouraged to be reflexive on how their own worldview shapes the research design process.
AHSC 5P17 – Qualitative Data Analysis and Interpretation. This course increases students’ understanding of the philosophical and theoretical underpinnings of qualitative research. We explore the range of strategies available in the practice of qualitative research, and how to design, implement and analyze a variety of qualitative research techniques. Students will develop an appreciation of the various critical aspects of interpreting ‘meaning’ in health, including reflexivity.
AHSC 7P17 – Advanced Qualitative Analysis. A critical examination of philosophical issues, current paradigms, and research methodology related to the conduct of research. Discussion of published and ongoing research from various perspectives will be explored. Topics will vary with respect to the current research and expertise of the instructor.
MPHA 5P02 – Qualitative Research: Interviewing and Beyond. This course explores the philosophical, epistemological foundations, and practical knowledge and skills of the range of approaches and methods of qualitative inquiry useful for needs assessment, program evaluation, knowledge translation, and advocacy in public health practice. Available online.
McMaster University


Health, Aging and Society HLTH AGE 714 – Qualitative and Historical Methods in Studies of Health and Aging. This course introduces graduate students to basic issues in epistemology, research design and methodological choices we face in qualitative health and aging research. The objective is to provide an opportunity for students to develop a rigorous research proposal suitable for a graduate-level thesis in the health or social sciences. The seminar is structured to help students understand and inform methodological choices, debates and issues that pertain to conducting and/or evaluating qualitative research. This includes: traditions in qualitative research; the link between theory, design and method; development of a research topic and question; reviewing and appraising literature; planning, collecting and analyzing data; representation of findings; ethical conduct of research with human participants; evaluating the quality of qualitative research.
Rehabilitation Sciences RS 772 Introduction to Qualitative Research. This course is designed for occupational therapists, physiotherapists, and practitioners in other rehabilitation disciplines who have had little or no exposure to qualitative research, wish to acquire an introductory knowledge of qualitative research philosophy and methods, and want to gain an understanding of how qualitative research is conducted. The course emphasizes the development of knowledge related to: the philosophical and theoretical foundations of qualitative research; the formulation of qualitative research questions; the major qualitative research approaches (phenomenology, grounded theory, ethnography, among others); primary techniques for gathering data including individual interviews, focus groups, participant observation, and documents; and data management, analysis, and interpretation. Available online.
Rehabilitation Sciences/Health Research Methodology/Nursing NUR/HRM/RS 745 – Qualitative Health Research Methods. This course is designed for students who have had little or no exposure to qualitative research and who want to gain an understanding of how qualitative health research is conducted, as well as used to inform practice or policy decisions. Learners are introduced to key concepts and issues relevant to qualitative research, as well as specific examples of research from six qualitative traditions: qualitative description, interpretive description, grounded theory, case study, phenomenology, and focused ethnography. By the end of the course, learners will be able to generate qualitative research questions, effectively critique qualitative research articles orproposals, write a qualitative study protocol, participate actively in qualitative research, explain how qualitative research can be used to inform practice/policy, and continue their training in more advanced courses on qualitative research.
RS/HRM/NUR 758 – Qualitative Research Methods for Collecting, Analyzing and Interpreting Data. This intermediate-level course builds on prior knowledge about qualitative research approaches and their philosophical basis. The emphasis in this course is on how the approaches affect data analysis and interpretation, as well as presenting findings in written and oral formats. The course is based on active involvement of learners through student-directed discussions and hands-on experiences, guidance and facilitation by graduate faculty with expertise in qualitative research, and interdisciplinary collaboration with faculty and classmates. Prerequisite: introductory qualitative methods course.
The University of Western Ontario


Health and Rehabilitation Sciences HS 9602A – Qualitative Research Methods in Health and Rehabilitation Sciences. This course provides a comprehensive introduction to qualitative research, as situated from various paradigms, and its current and potential applications in health and rehabilitation sciences. The philosophical assumptions that inform qualitative research will be examined from various paradigmatic positions (e.g., post-positivist, interpretivist, constructionism, critical), as will the assumptions underlying various qualitative schools of inquiry or methodologies (e.g., grounded theory, phenomenology, ethnography, action research, narrative). Key considerations in the critical appraisal and design of qualitative studies within several schools of inquiry relevant to health and rehabilitation sciences will be addressed.
HS 9730B – Philosophical Foundations of Qualitative Research. This course offers an introduction to philosophical foundations of qualitative research with a particular focus on interpretive and critical paradigms of inquiry. Assumptions about what constitutes knowledge (epistemology), the nature of existence (ontology), and means for gaining knowledge (methodology) within different knowledge paradigms are considered. Students examine philosophical and theoretical perspectives that underpin various schools to qualitative inquiry and identify perspectives relevant to the coherent and rigorous design of research. Within this course, students explore perspectives that relate to their own research interests; investigate implications for the design and evaluation of qualitative research in health and social care; enhance knowledge about the types of knowledge claims that are defensible from a qualitative research perspective; consider approaches to representing, writing and publishing qualitative research; expand familiarity with the specialized terminology adopted in qualitative research. Prerequisite: HS9602 or equivalent.
Nursing Nursing 9663 – Interpretive and Critical Research Methodologies. Health and social services frequently require research eliciting in-depth understanding of human experience. This interdisciplinary course provides theory and practice in design, sampling, data collection, analysis and authenticity strategies of interpretive and critical inquiry. The emphasis is on qualitative research methodologies.
Nursing 9684 – Advanced Qualitative Research Methodology. This course focuses on intensive study of selected qualitative research methodologies relevant to the discipline of Nursing (e.g. phenomenology, grounded theory, ethnography, participatory action research). Nursing research studies are evaluated relative to the scientific standards for qualitative research. Specific issues addressed include theoretical bases for qualitative work, sampling, interviewing techniques, qualitative analysis and interpretation of data, the nature of qualitative description and the contribution of qualitative research to theory development in Nursing.
Women’s Studies and Feminist Research WS 9464 – Feminist Methodologies.This course reviews feminist research methodologies from a variety of disciplinary traditions and theoretical perspectives. Through readings and assignments, a primary objective of this course will be to examine and articulate distinctions and relationships between epistemology, methodology and methods. Through guided practices of critical reflection, students will be able to articulate the assumptions that underlie and inform various feminist research methodologies and understand their implications for research methodology. Emphasis will also be placed on specific methodological issues that span across this range, and will include, for example: ethical issues, researcher reflexivity and positionality, sampling, and the practices and politics of data collection, interpretation and reporting.
University of Guelph Family Relations and Applied Nutrition FRAN 6020/NTRI 6020 – Qualitative Research Methods. This course introduces students to the key components of qualitative methodology, including the processes of designing studies, collecting and analyzing data. Students learn to differentiate between methodologies, data sources and theoretical approaches, along with gaining practical experience. Within the context of these approaches, specific application to family relations, applied nutrition, health research and indigenous methodologies will be profiled.
Psychology PSYC 6950 – Qualitative Methods in Psychology. The purpose of this graduate-level course is to provide students with foundational knowledge and skills to conduct qualitative research in psychology. Approaches covered may include discursive psychology, critical discourse analysis, grounded theory, thematic analysis, ethnography, and interpretive phenomenological analysis. This course provides students with a foundation in qualitative methodology, with a strong emphasis on qualitative data analysis. The approach to analysis is theory driven, with primary attention given to the epistemological foundations of qualitative analysis. Students are given an initial overview of some of the most prominent approaches to qualitative analysis in psychology, after which each student is guided through their own process of analysis. Students are encouraged to bring their own data set to the course, which form the basis for their experiential learning of qualitative analysis.
University of Waterloo Applied Health Sciences AHS 600 – Qualitative Methods in Health Research. This course introduces to students the art of qualitative inquiry. The first part of the course examines various qualitative methodologies, their philosophical roots and practical applications. During the second part of the course, students learn about grounded theory approach – the most commonly applied method of conducting qualitative studies in health research. To try themselves as qualitative researchers, students collect and analyze data. The final part of the course is devoted to learning the techniques of evaluating qualitative research. Throughout the course, students will have an opportunity to utilize their newly acquired (or refined) qualitative research skills to develop their own research proposal, qualitative research project, or academic paper. Available online.
Public Health and Health Systems HLTH 704 – Advanced Qualitative Research in the Health Sciences. The aim of this course is to equip students with advanced knowledge and skills to understand, conceptualize, design, conduct, and critically evaluate qualitative health research. It is designed for students wishing to develop their own research at the master’s or doctoral level. Emphasis is on: 1) exploring the relationship between techniques designed to gather particular kinds of data and the broader epistemological and theoretical questions underpinning qualitative health research; and 2) giving students an opportunity to practically engage with key qualitative research skills (interviewing, data analysis) and to reflect on the ethical, theoretical, and practical issues that arise in conducting qualitative research in health settings.
Recreation and Leisure Studies REC 663 Foundations for Qualitative Inquiry. This course provides an introductory overview of various qualitative research processes beginning with onto-epistemological underpinnings, and continuing through theoretical frameworks, methodologies, methods, analysis, and both traditional and creative analytic representations. Specifically, epistemological approaches of prediction, understanding, emancipation, and deconstruction are introduced and discussed in relation to current qualitative trends in social sciences. Students investigate methodological possibilities and various ways of navigating philosophical, procedural, analytical, reflective, and ethical issues related to undertaking humanist and post-humanist qualitative inquiry.
REC 673 Designing Advanced Qualitative Inquiry. This course provides a scholarly environment for graduate students working on individual qualitative research projects. It builds on foundational knowledge of onto-epistemological perspectives, theoretical frameworks, and qualitative methodologies by examining how these aspects inform and guide individual research designs. Students are expected to spend considerable time working on research ethics, theoretical perspective, literature review, methodology, data collection techniques, analysis styles, and various forms of representation.
Wilfrid Laurier University


Kinesiology and Physical Education KP 621 – Qualitative Research Design and Analysis. The varied epistemologies in qualitative research are introduced in this course, providing students with a broad understanding of interpretive methods in the field of kinesiology and physical education. An understanding of selected qualitative methods of data collection and analysis is provided. The principles of qualitative research design are discussed, and students are trained in the areas of organizing, interpreting, and presenting qualitative findings. Students have an opportunity to critically reflect upon each of the stages of qualitative research design, and engage in guided activities to further elucidate the meaning of this process. These course objectives are accomplished through instructor-led/student-led discussion, lecture content, readings, and assignments.
Social Work SK 805 – Applied Qualitative Research Methods. Application of qualitative research methods in a self or faculty-developed research project. Students acquire skills in data collection and analyses consistent with the nature of their qualitative investigations.
SK 615 – Research 2. Students acquire and develop skills in data collection and analyses in qualitative research consistent with student interest and inquiry. This can include grounded theory, case study, narrative, phenomenological and ethnographic research methodologies. Emphasis is placed on data analysis (including introductory training on N’Vivo and AtlasTi) and report writing.
Ryerson University


Psychology PS 8529 – Qualitative Research Methods. Qualitative research emphasizes the complexity and diversity inherent to psychology, and permits rigorous investigations that preserve the contexts within which cognitions, emotions, and behaviours occur. The goal of this course is to examine epistemologies, approaches, and techniques of qualitative inquiry used in the study of psychological phenomena. The course blends lecture and experiential learning in areas of data collection methods, approaches to data organization, analysis, interpretation, and presentation of research findings.
York University


Environmental Studies ENVS 6814 – Participatory Qualitative Research Methods. This course is intended to acquaint students with participatory research, its theoretical underpinnings and guiding principles, as well as some of its challenges and limitations. Participatory research (or community-based participatory research) is an approach to research that engages community as full partners in the research process. Participatory research projects are driven by community needs and priorities to answer relevant questions, build programs, and affect public policy. Participatory research is methodologically sound, rigorous research that respects and encourages varied research methods and adheres to standard ethical review processes. This course focuses particularly on using a qualitative participatory approach. Students will have the opportunity to apply participatory research theory, principles, and skills through assignments and in the community. Students will apply participatory methodologies by participating in an action-orientated group participatory research project.
Kinesiology and Health Science GS/KAHS 6030 – Qualitative Research Methods. This course provides a basic and critical survey of qualitative research methodology. It explores various qualitative strategies of inquiry and the implications of different stages of inquiry including data collection, analysis, representation and assessment.
Nursing GS/NURS 5200 – Qualitative Research Methods in Nursing. This on-line course provides students with an opportunity to gain an understanding of the philosophical underpinnings of qualitative approaches to research. Emphasis is on the ontological-methodological links in the research process. The conceptual, ethical, methodological, and interpretive dimensions of nursing knowledge development and nursing research methods are explored. Selected qualitative research designs are presented. The philosophical underpinnings and specific data collection and analysis methods associated with each design are identified, discussed, compared and contrasted, and analyzed. This course provides an opportunity for students to write a research proposal and to explore ways that qualitative nursing research can contribute to the enhancement of practice.
University of Toronto Institute of Health, Policy, Management and Evaluation HAD 5740H – Intermediate Level Qualitative Research for Health Services and Policy Research. This course will provide intermediate level instruction in the use of qualitative methods in health services research, clinical research, policy and medical education research. Students who are in the initial to mid stages of designing and conducting their thesis research will be exposed to intense instruction related to issues in field research, including: study design; data collection; analysis; and writing. Students will be expected to come to class prepared to actively engage in group discussions and to discuss their own thesis work. Students who complete this course will be able to begin conducting qualitative research.
HSR 1001H – Introduction to Qualitative Research. In this course students engage in the theory and practice of qualitative research. Students are introduced to the philosophical underpinnings of qualitative research, traditional approaches to and methods used for qualitative inquiry. This course places specific emphasis on applied, pragmatic approaches to qualitative research. Coursework draws upon strategies embedded within traditional approaches to qualitative inquiry and applies them alongside a design logic that has disciplinary relevance and is action-oriented for “practitioners” in a field (e.g. nursing, education, policy studies). Throughout the course a range of qualitative research approaches are discussed with examples that draw from health, health services and health policy research.  Students work through hands-on exercises to develop proficiencies using methodological tools that are used to conduct qualitative research.
Kinesiology and Physical Education EXS 5536 – Qualitative Inquiry in Sport and Physical Activity. Qualitative inquiry represents a diverse range of approaches to studying the experiences of individuals participating in sport and physical activity. This course seeks to examine qualitative research methods and methodologies in sport and physical activity settings. This course examines foundational issues of epistemology, ontology, and paradigms, methods of data collection, analysis, and forms of representing qualitative research findings.
EXS 5510 – Qualitative Inquiry and Physical Cultural Studies. This course is intended to prepare students interested in physical culture and health research to engage various forms of fieldwork, interviewing and visual methods, whilst highlighting the centrality of theory in research efforts. Through in and out-of-classroom learning, and assigned readings, students gain an awareness of the appropriate qualitative procedures associated with particular research questions, how to interpret and represent qualitative data in a variety of ways, how to critically assess and employ qualitative data, and how to articulate a theoretical point of view through oral/written reports. Students obtain skills in reading, comparing, critically examining, evaluating, and summarizing the research of others in the context of their work. Throughout the course, emphasis is given to understanding the role of qualitative inquiry in the study of diverse physical cultures and health issues, the importance of policy-driven qualitative research and the cultural politics of conducting qualitative inquiry. Prior exposure to qualitative research is recommended.
Nursing NUR 1025 – Doing Qualitative Research-Design and Data Collection. This course addresses theory and practice of qualitative research fieldwork and data gathering. The focus is on the practical, hands-on considerations associated with writing research proposals, entering the field, coordinating fieldwork, techniques of data collection, and data management. Students can begin development of their thesis proposals. The course is intended for PhD students.
NUR 1028H – Introduction to Qualitative Research: Methodologies, Appraisal and Knowledge Translation. Qualitative inquiry is increasingly prevalent in health research. This introduction to qualitative methodologies acquaints students with the diversity, creativity and potential contributions of these approaches. The course addresses the philosophical foundations of qualitative methodologies and equips students to read and appraise research originating from various traditions of qualitative inquiry.
Pharmacy PHM 1137H – Introduction to Qualitative Research Methods in the Health Sciences. This graduate seminar introduces students to interpretive and critical qualitative research methods in the health sciences. The course is divided into three blocks: 1. Qualitative Research in Theory and Practice; 2. Data Collection; and 3. Data Analysis. Each 3-hour class will use examples from the qualitative health sciences literature and from the instructor’s own research to help connect information from methods texts into actual, published empirical articles. It will also combine didactic sessions with hands-on activities and small- and large-group discussions. Students may use this course to start writing their thesis proposals. At the end of this course, students will be able to: 1. Conceptualize, write up and justify scientifically a research project that uses qualitative research methods; 2. Articulate how interpretive and critical qualitative research traditions differ from other forms of research in the health sciences; 3. Evaluate the rigour of qualitative research methods in health sciences research.
Public Health JRP 1000 – Theory and Method for Qualitative Researchers: An Introduction. This course provides an introduction to a range of qualitative research methods and theoretical perspectives, with particular emphasis on the role that theory plays across the different stages of the research process. It examines the underlying theoretical assumptions of using a particular qualitative research method, and the implications that these assumptions have for framing a research problem, data collection, analysis, and dissemination strategies.
CHL 5131 – Theoretical Foundations of Qualitative Health Research. This course provides the critical foundations to qualitative health research. It examines the conceptual and philosophical bases of various frameworks/approaches to qualitative research and their methodological implications. Specific debates related to theories employed in the field of health, research questions, designs, the positionality of the researcher, rigour, and ethics are discussed. The course sets the stage for the ‘how-to hands-on’ instruction that comes in the data generating and analysis courses. The course may be taken by those just entering this methodological arena, or by those familiar with techniques/methods but missing the theoretical dimension.
CHL 8001 – Generative Dialogue in Community & Research Settings: Theory, Method and Ethics. From community engagement to the semi-structured research interview, deliberative process to mediation and the learning organization, dialogue and its core elements (capacity to listen/hear, being heard, speaking one’s truth, navigating institutional agendas, storytelling, dialogue across differences) are central. What is authentic dialogue? How does it apply in research, in public health, and community development practice? This course explores the nature and lived experience of dialogue in its many forms, as well as the many methods that have sprung up around it and that offer a rich and varied toolkit for health and social care professionals, as well as the ethical and pedagogical issues arising from the instrumentalization of dialogue. This 6-week course is intended for students who have taken an introductory course in qualitative methods, or who have equivalent experience, or who seek permission of the instructor.
CHL 5115 – Qualitative Analysis and Interpretation. This course focuses on the theory, techniques and issues of data analysis and interpretation. Topics addressed include the implications of data collection for analysis and other components of the research process, problems of meaning, concept development, analytic devices, theorization, writing and representation. Students are expected to have their own data to work with, ideally from their own thesis projects, or from other or past research. Prerequisites for enrollment include grounding in the philosophical and theoretical foundations of qualitative research, qualitative research design, and data gathering. Students are expected thus to have completed at least one or two qualitative methodology courses (or the equivalent research experience). The course is designed primarily for PhD students.
CHL 5122 – Advanced Qualitative Research. Framing and Writing. This course is designed for graduate students in the late phase of their thesis research. It is a non-graded course that provides a forum for the presentation and discussion of thesis work and for advanced exploration of methodological, theoretical, and dissemination issues and activities. The typical class format consists of two parts: 1) A guided instructor-led discussion of core methodological, theoretical and analytical matters related to the practical stages and issues of thesis completion; and 2) Students’ presentation of their work and class discussion. Students will each have at least one half-class (1.5 hrs) to discuss their research. Depending on the size of the class, students will also have class time to prepare and discuss a conference presentation for a particular audience, or do a mock job interview. The course helps counter the isolation and stalling of thesis work and provides mentorship in addressing the particular challenges of qualitative research and scholarship in the health research field and in other settings where such methodological approaches can run ‘against the grain’ of conventional science. The course also facilitates the formation of networks that can serve as ongoing resources to students as they complete their theses and move out into professional careers. It also allows discussion of topics of immediate relevance to students at this stage of their studies and careers, including, defence, publication, job searching and so on.
CHL 5221 – Community Health Appraisal Methods: Introduction to Qualitative Research Methods. This is an introductory course intended for Masters students in public health with limited prior exposure to qualitative research. Students will acquire a sound introductory-level understanding of the qualitative research enterprise, become informed consumers of qualitative research, and be able to participate in the conduct of needs assessments, program evaluations and other applied qualitative public health research. Since this is an introductory course, students pursuing qualitative research for master and doctoral thesis work will need to take additional courses to acquire the required proficiency for that level of research.
Social Work SWK 4512 – Research Knowledge for Social Justice. This course explores the promotion of social justice and inclusiveness through research and evaluation in social work practice and other community-based settings. Learners will become familiar with some of the methodologies that have been developed to challenge social inequalities. Central to this course are methodologies that seek to redress power dynamics between researchers and those being “researched,” and explores models of research with, rather than on, communities. We examine the strengths and challenges of community-based research methods, also exploring insights provided by Indigenous/decolonizing, arts-based, feminist action, participatory, and other anti-oppressive approaches to research. Whereas this course focuses more on qualitative research methods in the context of community-based approaches to inquiry and knowledge production, social justice research may also be conducted using quantitative and survey-based methods, and strategies for doing so with a lens of cultural humility will be discussed. During the course, learners will have an opportunity to explore a diverse range of research methods through experiential in-class research “workshops” and applied learning exercises. Learners will then design their own research project proposal that reflects one or more of such approaches to research and evaluation as discussed in the course.
SWK 6007 – Advanced Qualitative Research Methods in Social Work. This course focuses on the philosophical underpinnings, techniques and practices that inform interpretive research design and methods in the social and health sciences. Interpretive research—conceptually distinct from the more ubiquitous term ‘qualitative’—signals an attention to the philosophical presuppositions that guide the production of knowledge and meaning making; given different understandings of the nature of human or social reality and whether and how that reality might be known. The remaining seminar meetings examine methods for pursuing interpretive research in the social and health sciences. We primarily focus on ethnographic, discourse and narrative methodologies (we may explore other methodologies depending on student interest and as time permits). In addition to addressing philosophical foundations, will discuss and practice common strategies to access and collect data (e.g. observation, interviewing, finding existing documents), methods of organizing and representing different forms/genres of data for analysis (e.g. transcripts, electronic texts, images, hand-written notes); and strategies to analyze and represent your analyses for different audiences. This advanced graduate course seeks to support social and health science doctoral students to develop appropriate research designs and proposals for either their comprehensive paper or their doctoral dissertation research.
SWK 6307 – Designing and Implementing Qualitative Social Work Research. This introductory course to qualitative research begins with an overview of the history of qualitative research in social work and the health sciences. We examine philosophical debates and paradigms that inform qualitative methodology including: positivism and scientific inquiry, the influence of interpretivism, tensions between subjectivity and objectivity, research positionality, reflexivity, ethics, participatory research, and representation of research results. The course also focuses on data collection and analysis techniques that include: defining the research question, selecting the research setting, choosing data collection methods (i.e. in-depth interviews, observation, document analysis, arts-based methods), using software for data management and data coding (i.e. NVivo, HyperResearch), and analysis writing. Each of these techniques will be discussed in relation to theoretical and methodological approaches (e.g. narrative analysis, discourse analysis, ethnography and grounded theory). The lab component will involve hands-on exercises and peer consultation to help students design and conduct original qualitative research.

Legend: Table is divided into four regions used by Employment Ontario, a department in the Ministry of Advanced Education and Skills Development.






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