MSc Advanced Leadership for Professional Practice (Allied Health Profession)

Year of entry: 2024

Course unit details:
Qualitative design and analysis

Course unit fact file
Unit code NURS60017
Credit rating 15
Unit level FHEQ level 7 – master's degree or fourth year of an integrated master's degree
Teaching period(s) Variable teaching patterns
Available as a free choice unit? No


This unit builds on the knowledge and skills acquired in the Research Design unit by examining qualitative research in greater depth in order to enhance students’ knowledge, skills and understanding of the qualitative research process and methods. Students will critically review the theoretical, philosophical, policy and practice debates of qualitative research and explore different qualitative research methodologies. This will form the basis of a critical consideration of how, when and why qualitative research can be utilized, approaches to user participation and rigour and research ethics in qualitative studies.


Students will be expected to have successfully completed the Research Design Unit or equivalent research methods unit at level 7.


  • Critically review the theoretical, philosophical, policy and practice debates of qualitative research and explore different qualitative research methodologies.
  • Advance knowledge, skills and application of the qualitative research process.

Teaching and learning methods

Teaching and learning for this unit takes place over one semester. Learning methods utilised involve e-learning via Blackboard. Methods include accessing course material online, interactive demonstrations and activities, and taking part in online discussions with students and tutors. Directed study will comprise additional exercises and specified reading related to each on line session.

Knowledge and understanding

  • Critically examine the theoretical, philosophical, policy and practice debates related to differing research methodologies in qualitative research
  • Demonstrate in-depth knowledge in data collection, and analytic strategies used in qualitative research including factors to be considered when accessing research settings
  • Critically examine facilitators and barriers to disseminating and implementing qualitative research findings in health and social care practice.

Intellectual skills

  • Discuss critically the historical and philosophical development, similarities and differences between a range of qualitative research methodologies
  • Examine critically reflexivity in the qualitative research process
  • Critically evaluate a range of factors to be taken into consideration when gaining permission to access research settings, promote good relations and effective communication with participants and other key stakeholders.
  • Critically examine the different perspectives on and application of rigour in qualitative research

Practical skills

  • Apply different qualitative methodologies to research questions, data collection and analysis
  • Utilise different types of qualitative data collection methods including: individual and group interviews, life histories recording and observation.
  • Record and generate different types of data: audio, visual, and written,
  • Analyse and interpret qualitative data using IT (Nvivo) where appropriate.

Transferable skills and personal qualities

  • Critically reflect on their own academic performance and utilise a range of strategies to improve these and overcome any particular dificulties.
  • Further develop and enhance skills in effective communication to a range of audiences in a variety of settings.
  • Demonstrate skills in working collegiately and effectively with others as a member of a team
  • Effectively utilise information technology / health informatics
  • Utilise skills in systematic and creative approaches to problem-solving and decision-making in relation to complex issues

Assessment methods

Method Weight
Written assignment (inc essay) 100%

Feedback methods

Students will normally have the opportunity to receive feedback on formative work submitted prior to the summative assessment. Other feedback opportunities will also be available in class and online discussion boards. Online feedback is provided in Grademark. Provisional feedback based on internal marking will be made available prior to the Exam Board on the basis that these marks are yet to be ratified at the Exam Board and therefore may be subject to change. A standard feedback mechanism in Grademark is utilised across all postgraduate programmes within the School which provides detailed and constructive feedback on each component and aspect of assessment and identifies areas of strength and those aspects which could be enhanced.

Student feedback is obtained through open discussion forums on Blackboard, via formal University unit evaluation forms and also qualitative, in house evaluations at the end of the unit. 

Recommended reading

Study hours

Scheduled activity hours
Tutorials 52
Independent study hours
Independent study 98

Teaching staff

Staff member Role
Susan Kirk Unit coordinator

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