Advanced Qualitative Research Methods


Advancing skills and knowledge of complex issues in qualitative research

This module will provide students with the knowledge, insights and techniques relating to the more advanced aspects of qualitative research. This will include providing students with a comprehensive understanding of the theoretical perspectives within qualitative research designs, specific qualitative methodologies and analyses, advanced data collection methods and complex issues in qualitative research (e.g. critical appraisal). Students will be taught the knowledge and skills needed to critically engage with complex concepts relevant to the more advanced aspects of qualitative research. 

By the end of this module, students will be able to understand and deal with complex issues associated with qualitative research. They will demonstrate critical engagement with theoretical concepts, methodological approaches, and critical challenges in conducting and appraising qualitative research, and be able to apply this knowledge within their research or practice. They will be able to:

  • Appraise a range of different methodological approaches in qualitative research to evaluate quality and to aid in the design of a qualitative research study
  • Discriminate between and compare a range of different methodological approaches to choose an approach most suited to a qualitative research question
  • Understand the challenges and complexities associated with qualitative research and recognise their implications for conducting qualitative research
  • Describe epistemological stances and how these inform the design of a qualitative research study 
  • Understand how theory informs the analysis in a qualitative research study
  • Describe and apply advanced methods of qualitative data collection
  • Determine the different types of bias in qualitative research and how they impact on the findings
  • Understand the challenges associated with reflexivity and how it impacts on qualitative research
  • Develop the critical skills required to publish written reports of qualitative research

Students will need to have basic prior knowledge of:

  • Sampling and recruitment in qualitative research
  • Data collection methods (interviews, focus groups, ethnography)
  • Thematic analysis or another methodological approach
  • The ethical issues raised in undertaking qualitative research

If you do not have these pre-requisites, the Qualitative Research Methods course is recommended.

For a detailed comparison of these two courses please click here.

Programme details

This accredited short course is run over an eight week cycle where the first week is spent working on introductory activities using a Virtual Learning Environment, the second week is spent in Oxford for the face to face teaching week (this takes place on the dates advertised), there are then four weeks of lower intensity learning activities (delivered through the VLE) which are designed to help you write your assignment. You then have a week of personal study and you will be required to submit your assignment electronically the following week (usually on a Tuesday at 14:00 UK Local Time).

The last date for receipt of complete applications is 5pm Friday 14th March 2025. Regrettably, late applications cannot be accepted.



Description Costs
Short Course in Health Sciences £3175.00
Students enrolled on PG Cert Qualitative Health Research Methods £2570.00


Details of funding opportunities, including grants, bursaries, loans, scholarships and benefit information are available on our financial assistance page.


If you are an employee of the University of Oxford and have a valid University staff card you may be eligible to receive a 10% discount on the full stand-alone fee. To take advantage of this offer please submit a scan/photocopy of your staff card along with your application. Your card should be valid for a further six months after attending the course.


Dr Marta Wanat

Module Coordinator

Marta Wanat is a Post-Doctoral Researcher at the Department of Primary Care Health Sciences, Oxford. She works in the Oxford Infectious Diseases Research Group where she specialises in synthesising qualitative research with quantitative data.

Assessment methods

Assessment will be based on submission of a written assignment which should not exceed 4,000 words.

Academic Credit

Applicants may take this course for academic credit. The University of Oxford Department for Continuing Education offers Credit Accumulation and Transfer Scheme (CATS) points for this course. Participants attending at least 80% of the taught course and successfully completing assessed assignments are eligible to earn credit equivalent to 20 CATS points which may be counted towards a postgraduate qualification.

Applicants can choose not to take the course for academic credit and will therefore not be eligible to undertake the academic assignment offered to students taking the course for credit. Applicants cannot receive CATS (Credit Accumulation and Transfer Scheme) points or equivalence. Credit cannot be attributed retrospectively. CATS accreditation is required if you wish for the course to count towards a further qualification in the future.

A Certificate of Completion is issued at the end of the course.

Applicants registered to attend ‘not for credit’ who subsequently wish to register for academic credit and complete the assignment are required to submit additional information, which must be received one calendar month in advance of the course start date. Please contact us for more details.

Please contact if you have any questions.


This course requires you to complete the application form and to attach a copy of your CV. If you are applying to take this course for academic credit you will also be required to provide a reference. Please note that if you are not applying to take the course for academic credit then you do not need to submit a reference.

Please ensure you read the guidance notes which appear when you click on the symbols as you progress through the application form, as any errors resulting from failure to do so may delay your application.

Selection criteria

To apply for the course you should:

  • Be a graduate or have successfully completed a professional training course
  • Have research or professional work experience in the health service or health-related field
  • Be able to combine intensive classroom learning with the application of the principles and practices of evidence-based health care within the work place
  • Have a good working knowledge of email, internet, word processing and Windows applications (for communications with course members, course team and administration)
  • Show evidence of the ability to commit time to study and an employer's commitment to make time available to study, complete course work and attend course and university events and modules.
  • Have completed an introductory course in qualitative research methods or have experience of conducting qualitative research projects. This course will not provide teaching on how to conduct fundamental aspects of qualitative research (e.g. sampling, data collection and analysis). For an introductory module on qualitative research apply for Qualitative Research Methods. For information on how these two courses compare, click here.
  • Be able to demonstrate English Language proficiency at the University’s higher level


Accommodation is available at the Rewley House Residential Centre, within the Department for Continuing Education, in central Oxford. The comfortable, en-suite, study-bedrooms have been rated as 4-Star Campus accommodation under the Quality In Tourism scheme, and come with tea- and coffee-making facilities, free Wi-Fi access and Freeview TV. Guests can take advantage of the excellent dining facilities and common room bar, where they may relax and network with others on the programme.

IT requirements

Please ensure that you have access to a computer that meets the specifications detailed on our technical support page.