Applied qualitative research methods (MCR701)
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Key features

This 20 credit module enables the student to acquire the knowledge and skills to design and conduct a qualitative research project. The students will have advanced understanding of different qualitative research methods, data collection strategies, qualitative data analysis approaches, writing skills in qualitative research proposals and final manuscripts.
This module may be used as a standalone option as formal training in research methods to support personal fellowships e.g. those offered by NIHR ACFs, NIHR-HEEPCAFs and internship schemes. 

Module code




FHEQ Level 

Level 7 - masters degree


Blended learning approach with face to face delivery at Plymouth 


Combined laptop and book


MCR701 module details (masters level) 

This module will introduce you to qualitative data theory, gathering and analysis through a series of interactive tasks and workshops.
Topics include the epistemological, philosophical and theoretical foundations of different qualitative methodologies; appropriateness of specific qualitative methods to address research questions; data collection skills including observational analysis, topic guide development and facilitation techniques, conducting interviews and focus groups methods; analysis techniques and approaches including coding and categorizing and reflexivity, ethnographical, discourse and conversational analysis, narrative enquiry and grounded theory and the use of data analysis software (e.g. NVivo). 
Taught and practical sessions will be based around real-world Faculty of Health research data produced by the research teams at the University. Practical sessions involve qualitative data collection techniques with fellow students within taught sessions.
This module will:
  • Furnish you with an advanced understanding of the different methodological approaches to qualitative research. 
  • Further develop core skills in interviewing, running focus groups, conducting ethnographic observation, data analysis (including the use of NVivo) and oral presentation. 
  • Give you access to world-leading researchers using their own methods, making the module practical and realistic. 
Upon completion the learner will be expected to be able to:
  • Critically analyse the theoretical backgrounds and ethical principles of qualitative research methods. 
  • Critically discuss the relative strengths, weaknesses and purpose of different qualitative techniques and data collection methods related to research questions. 
  • Undertake the collection of critical interpretation of qualitative data collection techniques and fieldwork. 
  • Critically analyse qualitative data using computerised data management packages. 
  • Critically discuss qualitative research findings and issues associated with the translate of findings into clinical practice. 

Admissions information 

Additional information and documentation required for the application process.
  • Application forms. 
  • Change of name forms.
  • Pre-course information.
  • Downloadable guides.
  • Student card.

</p><h2>Admissions information </h2><p>Additional information and documentation required for the application process.</p><p>Access to application forms, download guides and confirmation information. </p><p>Visit our <a href="//">admissions homepage</a>. </p>


Module dates

Dates for 2023 / 24 to follow soon. 
Occasionally delivery dates might be subject to change - always check with the module lead or Professional Development Unit.
Please be aware that all modules run to minimum numbers.
In the event that there are low numbers, this module may be rescheduled to an alternative date.
Some modules are also subject to maximum numbers.

Entry requirements

You will normally be a healthcare professional with a first degree or a related academic degree. BSc (Hons) at 2:2 or above, or European first cycle equivalent. Clinicians without a degree but with appropriate experience may be eligible to apply. Overseas students require IELTS score of 6.5 or equivalent required.


Module lead

The lead for this module is Professor Jos Latour
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You can contact the Professional Development Unit with any queries

Prospective student enquiries:
Current student enquiries:
Professional Development Unit, Level 4 Rolle Building, University of Plymouth, Drake Circus, Plymouth, PL4 8AA, United Kingdom.
Monday – Thursday 8:30–17:00 and Friday 8:30–16:30.