CQ courses consistently receive high ratings from students. Based on available evaluations, on average, students agree or strongly agree with all positive measures of CQ instructor evaluations (i.e. the instructor is accessible to students, clearly communicates concepts and connections, stimulates critical thinking and creates positive learning experiences).
Furthermore, based on available evaluations, on average, students agree or strongly agree on all positive measures of CQ course evaluations. This indicates that the course met stated objectives, was relevant to student learning and future careers, provided appropriate resource materials, and employed appropriate methods of evaluation.
Descriptions of courses in the EQR course series can be viewed below. To view curriculum maps for Master’s (MSc) and PhD students, click here
‘Essentials of Qualitative Research’ Courses
CHL5107 - 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. There are no prerequisites for this course. CHL5107 is a requirement for MPH Health Promotion, Occupational and Environmental Health and Community Nutrition students. Students from other programs and fields will be admitted space permitting with the permission of the instructor. A small number of places in this course are reserved for students in the EQR series from contributing CQ partners. The course is offered through the Dalla Lana School of Public Health, taught by Dr. Clara Juando-Prats. View the Fall 2020 syllabus here.
JRP1000 - Theory and Method of Qualitative Health Research
This course is offered in alternate years within the Dalla Lana School of Public Health (DLSPH) and the Graduate Department of Rehabilitation Sciences (GDRS). 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. The course has no prerequisites, although some knowledge of social theory is preferred. Priority will be given to students from the two units collaborating in its teaching (GDRS and DLSPH) and to students from other CQ ‘contributing’ departments/programs. The instructors for Winter 2024 are Drs. Naomi Thulien and Cheryl Pritlove. See the course outline here.
For the Winter 2023 course outline, taught by Dr. Janet Parsons see here:
“The course was perfect for allowing me to get back into the theory of qualitative research and helping me create a more solid foundation of qualitative research methods. The readings and discussion were very useful, and I felt that you facilitated an optimal learning environment. As I mentioned in class, we were so fortunate to have a small class and two excellent teachers.”
CHL5131- Theoretical Foundations of Qualitative Health Research (previously NUR1024 - Foundations of Qualitative Inquiry)
“I really enjoyed the class. I am happy that I took it because it has offered me a good foundation for future qual pursuits.”
CHL5115 - 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). Preference will be given to those who have taken other courses in the Essentials series, and to those from programs that are contributing members of CQ. The course is designed primarily for PhD students. Auditors are generally not accepted. Permission of instructor is required for enrollment. This course is offered through the Dalla Lana School of Public Health. Taught by Dr. Brenda Gladstone. Course Outline
“It has opened my eyes to significant elements of analysis that I previously did not even know existed or that I’d be able to fathom. This course has tremendously contributed to my learning.”
CHL5122H - Advanced Qualitative Research: Framing, Writing and Beyond
This course provides a structured opportunity for PhD students to talk about their own doctoral work and to receive feedback from the instructors and other students. It is intended that the course topics will meet the practical needs and interests of individual students completing their dissertation, yet stretch them beyond where they might otherwise go on their own. It will help prepare students for some key research and career challenges and the debates that await them after graduation, particularly as qualitative health researchers. The course will counter the isolation and potential stalling of thesis work at this stage, and provide mentorship to address the particular challenges of qualitative inquiry and scholarship in the health sciences and in other settings. This course also facilitates the formation of networks that can serve as resources to students as they complete their theses and move out into professional careers. This course will be taught by Dr. Clara Juando-Prats, you can contact her at email@example.com. The course syllabus is available here.
CHL5134H - Institutional Ethnography
This new graduate course is designed to provide an in-depth overview of Institutional Ethnography (IE). The course is suitable for graduate students interested in gaining an understanding of this critical research tradition. As a method of inquiry, IE provides an analytic tool box to help researchers map social relations and explicate how individuals are governed. IE, at its heart, is about working towards a more equitable society and is analytically concerned with exploring the ways in which power is exerted in practices of ruling. IE is committed to discovery and is a highly empirically-driven form of social research which draws principally from primary interview, observational, and text-based data sources. This approach to critical social science focuses on the material actualities of people’s lives in order to help develop analytic descriptions of ruling practices. We begin the course by reading some of the foundational writings of Dorothy Smith on the development of IE. After understanding the social ontology of this critical research strategy, we turn to a discussion of how one may actually go about conducting an institutional ethnographic study. We pay focused attention to the role of interviews and the analysis of texts to investigate ruling relations. We discuss activist ethnography and the ways in which IEs may be put into practice. In our final weeks, we critically discuss how IE may be used along with other theoretical and methodological traditions. Throughout the course, we draw on examples of IEs that have been conducted to explore diverse research problematics in and beyond the field of public health. Taught by Dr. Daniel Grace. See the winter 2021 course outlines here: Course Outline.
PHM1137 - Introduction to Qualitative Research Methods in the Health Sciences
This graduate seminar course will introduce students to qualitative research methods in the health sciences, with an emphasis on the interpretive and critical traditions. It will anchor qualitative research in ways that will help students articulate its relationship with other forms of research, its strengths and limitations, and emphasize the continuous questioning that is characteristic of interpretive and critical qualitative research. Students will also learn about specific tools for qualitative data collection and different ways to analyze data. Each class will include a critical discussion of the readings, didactic sessions with hands-on activities and small- and large-group discussions. Examples from the qualitative health sciences literature and from the instructor’s own research will help students connect methods texts to published empirical articles, and to demystify the research and publication process.
KIN5510 - 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 will 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, but there are no formal course prerequisites. A small number of places in this course are reserved for students in the EQR series from contributing CQ programs. This course is offered through the Faculty of Kinesiology and Physical Education. Taught by Dr. Michael Atkinson
KIN5536 - 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 will examine foundational issues of epistemology, ontology, and paradigms, methods of data collection, analysis, and forms of representing qualitative research findings. This course has no prerequisites. This course is offered through the Faculty of Kinesiology and Physical Education and taught by Dr. Katherine Tamminen. Course Outline
KIN5540 - Narrative Methods in Health Research
Narrative methodologies and their associated techniques of research practice have ascended to popularity in health-related research across the social sciences, humanities, and medical sciences. In this course, we examine the rise of narrative methods in the pursuit of phenomenological and existential accounts of pain, illness, disease, and more patient-oriented modes of healthcare. Specific attention is given to the ontological and epistemological underpinnings of narrative methods, and several narrative-producing methodologies such as narrative interviewing, life history analysis, discourse analysis, arts-based narratives, visual and documentary approaches, and narrative ethnography. Emphasis is also given to the complex and evolving relationship between narrative methods, the field of narrative (bio)ethics, and the practice of narrative medicine by healthcare practitioners. The use of case studies, first-hand or experiential assignments, writing workshops, and the analysis of patient accounts of pain, illness, and suffering will highlight the personal significance and translational impact of narrative approaches within healthcare. This course is being offered through the Faculty of Kinesiology and Physical Education and will be taught by Dr. Michael Atkinson.
PMH1137 - Introduction to Qualitative Research Methods in the Health Sciences
This graduate seminar will introduce 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. Students are expected to complete the readings (methods text and exemplar study) each week, and to come to class ready to participate in discussions. 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. The maximum enrolment for this course is 15 students, priority given to MSc students. This is offered through the Leslie Dan Faculty of Pharmacy. Course Outline
NUR1025 - Doing Qualitative Research: Design and Data Collection
This course addresses theory and practice of qualitative research fieldwork and data gathering. Picking up issues of research design started in CHL5131, 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. Prerequisites: Students must have taken CHL5131, JRP1000 or an equivalent doctoral-level introductory qualiative research course prior to taking this course. Enrollment is by ROSI on a first-come-first serve basis, with preference to those who have taken other courses in the Essentials series, and to students in ‘contributing’ CQ programs. The course is intended for PhD students. This course is offered through the Lawrence S. Bloomberg Faculty of Nursing. To be taught by Dr. Denise Gastaldo in Fall 2018. Course Outline.
“The course material was very helpful in my understanding of the issues and considerations in undertaking qualitative research. The assignments and class facilitation were great ways to apply the knowledge learned from the readings.”
SOC6713 - Qualitative Research Methods II: Qualitative Interviewing
This course addresses both the technical and theoretical aspects of qualitative interviewing. It examines the roles of qualitative interviewing in knowledge production and reproduction, the constructive and inter-subjective nature of qualitative interviewing, the practices of reflexivity, hearing data, and interpreting silences. Using primary interview data from immigrant families from the Caribbean, China, Italy, and Sri Lanka, students will learn what types of interview data are needed to understand experiences of immigrant families, how to conduct qualitative interviews to elicit such types of data, how to analyze conceptual baggage in qualitative interviewing, and how to transcribe and analyze interview data. Students will acquire skills in qualitative interviewing by reading good examples and mistakes from transcripts of the 38 immigrant interviews, commenting on and revising the good examples and the mistakes, conducting and transcribing interviews of one’s own, and analyzing the interview process, coding interview transcripts, and writing reflective essays. The course is an introductory level course and does not require prior methodological experience. However, because it is a course designed for sociology graduate students, prior experience with social science or completion of JRP 1000 is preferred. Permission of the instructor is required to enroll. The course accepts Master’s and PhD level students. This course has a limited enrollment of 10 students, with priority being given to Sociology students. For non-Sociology students, please contact the instructor to be included in a waiting list. It is essential to attend the first class when enrollment-related issues will be sorted out. This course is offered through the Department of Sociology. Taught by Dr. Ping-Chun Hsiung. Not offered in 2016-17. Course Outline
“This course made me know and master the technique of qualitative interviewing, and learn more about methodology. Additionally, it made me to think in a more logical way.”
SWK4512 - 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 will 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 will focus 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. This course is required for MSW students in the Social Justice & Diversity Field of Study, and is also cross-listed with the Centre for Critical Qualitative Health Research at the University of Toronto. The current instructor for this course is Dr. Stephanie Begun. Course Outline
SWK 6007 - Advanced Qualitative Research Methods in Social Work: Grounded Theory Method and Phenomenology: From Design to Data Analyses
Please note the change in course title for the Spring/Summer 2023 semester. The previous course title and description are included below.
Prior graduate coursework in qualitative methods is required (e.g. SWK 6307)
This advanced research methods course will delve into two major qualitative designs –constructivist grounded theory method and phenomenology. Students will learn key assumptions and methods of these two approaches to facilitate ethical engagement with vulnerable research participants on sensitive topics, while also working towards the highest standards of qualitative rigor. The course will provide students opportunities to familiarize themselves with the nuances of these methodologies, and implications for data collection and analysis. Textual data will be the units of analyses. Open, axial and selective coding will be taught as practiced in the grounded theory tradition, as well as how to conduct thematic analysis for phenomenological based data. Interpretive methods and trustworthiness will be covered as part of the research process. Further, hands on practice will be required for research interviewing and in using NVivo software. Students will be provided data for analyses or may use their own.
This course will be delivered in a seminar style format therefore, students should be comfortable in participating in class discussions, as well as in self-directed learning outside of the classroom. Creative thinking and brainstorming will be encouraged for engaging in this discovery oriented, inductive paradigm.
April 24-June 26, 2023
Course information prior to Spring/Summer 2023:
SWK 6007: Advanced Qualitative Research Methods in SW: Critical Discourse and Narrative Approaches for Interpretive Policy Analysis
This methodology course will focus on critical discourse and narrative approaches to interpretive policy analysis. We will examine the contemporary debates in the area of interpretive research and ground these debates in relation feminist, post-colonial, and critical race methodologies. In particular, we will examine the ‘linguistic turn’ in social science and how theories of language complicate the research process. We will also explore the ‘cultural turn’ in social science which reflect debates of how human life is lived across multiple cultural contexts. And finally, we will address the ‘critical turn’, which engages how power and knowledge are embedded in the process of research. In addition, 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 work and health science doctoral students to develop appropriate research designs and research proposals for either their comprehensive paper or their doctoral dissertation research. Prior coursework in epistemology and introductory level qualitative methods are required.
SWK6307 - Designing and Implementing Qualitative Social Work Research
This introductory course to qualitative research is part of the foundation curriculum for first year PhD students in Social Work. The course will begin with an overview of the history of qualitative research in social work and the health sciences. We will 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 will also focus 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. Major assignments will include: 1) developing a research proposal and ethics protocol, 2) preparing a sample of data for analysis (i.e. field notes and transcript of an in-depth interview), and 3) preparing an analysis report of key findings.
There are two spaces reserved in this seminar course for doctoral students from CQ participating programs. This course is offered through the Factor-Inwentash Faculty of Social Work, and is taught by Dr. Rupaleem Bhuyan. Course outline
“Most valuable learning in course: How to incorporate issues of reflexivity and responsibility into research, engage with dissemination of knowledge.”
Recommended Social Theory Courses
These courses are highly recommended to students enrolled in the Essentials of Qualitative Research (EQR) Course Series because of the importance of social theory to qualitative health methodologies. These courses are not formally part of the EQR series (i.e., not subject to priority enrolment for CQ contributing member students and not eligible for the Certificate in Qualitative Health Research Methodology). Students should inquire of the course instructors regarding enrolment.
CHL5101 - Social and Behavioural Theory and Health
This course is an introduction to key theoretical contributions of sociology to accounts of health and illness. Emphasis will be on a critical analysis of competing discourses on health, including those based on structural functionalism, interpretive perspectives, political economy, social constructionism, feminist perspectives, Foucauldian perspectives, Pierre Bourdieu’s work, sociology of the body and sociology of emotions. The focus of discussion will be core concepts of the sociology of health arising from theoretical interpretations of what it means to be healthy or ill in western industrialized nations. Concepts include, but are not limited to, the sick role, labelling, lay health beliefs, the experience of illness, medical dominance, the medical industrial complex, social causation of disease, medical social control, medicalization, surveillance medicine, risk, discipline and the body, the social construction of medical knowledge, habitus, capital, and body projects. The course is offered through the Dalla Lana School of Public Health.
CHL5102 - Social and Political Forces in Health
The underlying premise of this course is that health care systems do not develop in a vacuum, that is, they can only be understood in terms of the (always) historically contingent social, political and economic context within which they emerge and exist. In other words, health care systems are social systems within larger social systems. The course will consist of weekly three-hour seminars at which summary critiqueparticipants will take turns in leading the group in 1) a close reading of and 2) a discussion of the required texts. The purpose of the course is to explore theoretically some of the major factors and forces influencing the development and nature of health care systems. This course, taught by Dr. Amaya Perez-Brumer, is offered through the Dalla Lana School of Public Health.