Methods of Qualitative Research in Health


1. Acknowledge the characteristics of the different research paradigms and to know the conceptual and methodological differences between quantitative and qualitative studies; understand the conceptual principles and contexts of application of the qualitative methodology.
2. To know the different types of qualitative studies; formulate research questions and objectives; know the sampling techniques.
3. To identify and apply the main techniques of data collection in qualitative studies.
4. To understand how to plan logistic aspects of data collection, including the role of the interviewer/moderator.
5. To know the main techniques of data analysis in qualitative research.
6. To develop competencies for conducting qualitative research.

General characterization





Responsible teacher

Isabel Craveiro


Weekly - 5

Total - 32

Teaching language

English and Portuguese


Not applicable


• BARDIN, L. (2013), A análise de conteúdo, Edições 70, Lisboa. • CRESSWELL, J. W., (2009), Research Design: Qualitative, Quantitative, and Mixed Method Approaches. 3th edition. Sage Publications, London.
• DENZIN, N and LINCOLN, Y (1994) Handbook of Qualitative Research. (eds). Sage, Thousand Oaks.
• FLICK, U. (2006) An introduction to Qualitative Research, Sage Publications.
• Green J, Thorogood N. (2009) Qualitative Methods for Health Research, Sage Publications. ISBN: 978-1-84787-073-5.
• HOLLIDAY, A. (2002), Doing and Writting Qualitative Research, Sage Publications, UK.
• MANN, P. H. (1983), Métodos de Investigação Sociológica, Biblioteca de Ciências Sociais, Zahar Editores, S.P.

Teaching method

For this curricular unit it is proposed the use of a combination of different interactive and participatory methods of teaching-learning, such as theoretical and practical sessions, exercises based on problem-solving, role-playing, tutorial supervision and other activities of contact with the teacher, preparation of papers and learning through independent work of students.

Evaluation method

The assessment will be done through the preparation of a research protocol using a qualitative approach (study design, preparation, data collection and analysis).
Assessment of individual work (research protocol using the qualitative approach - study design, data collection and analysis) - 70%.
Evaluation of oral presentation and discussion of individual work - 30%.

Subject matter

The course intends to explore concepts, methods and analysis of qualitative data.
I. Characterization and distinction between quantitative and qualitative health studies. The possibilities of combining qualitative and quantitative methods - complementarity between approaches.
II. Qualitative methods: theoretical approaches, basic conceptual principles and contexts of application.
III. Theoretical guidelines in qualitative research: different types of studies. Ethics and qualitative research.
IV. Design of a qualitative study: phases of a research protocol, formulate research questions and objectives. Different sampling techniques.
V. Techniques of data collection: Interviews; focus groups; observation; document analysis. Examples. Exercises.
VI. Planning and organization of the data collection. The role of the interviewer/ moderator. Practical exercises.
VII. Data processing and analysis. Content analysis. Examples. Exercises.
VIII. Presentation and discussion of results.


Programs where the course is taught: