410.710.01 | AY 2013-2014 - 2nd Term | 3 Credit(s)
TTh 1:30:00 PM
  • Contact Information
    Katherine Clegg Smith
  • Course Learning Objectives

    Upon successfully completing this course, students will be able to:

    • describe a wide range of health-focused qualitative studies
    • have a working knowledge of many of the main journals in which qualitative public health research is published
    • identify the strengths and weaknesses of adopting a qualitative approach to addressing a particular research question
    • identify several epistemological and ontological differences between qualitative and quantitative approaches to research
    • critically appraise qualitative research studies
  • Course Description
    Provides an overview of the development of a qualitative approach within public health research and practice, focusing on the philosophical underpinnings to qualitative research and the application of such methods to key contemporary public health questions. Considers questions such as, “What counts as knowledge?”, “What are appropriate and useful public health data?”, and “How do we learn about new issues?” Focuses on concepts, particularly highlighting the nature of qualitative questions and data. Not intended to provide training in conducting independent qualitative research.
  • Intended Audience
    SBS doctoral students and those who wish to understand the value and challenges associated with adopting a qualitative approach to investigating social and behavioral public health questions.
  • Methods of Assessment
    In-class discussion and final paper.
  • Prerequisites
  • Required Text(s)

    Additional Faculty Notes:


    There is no textbook required, but there is a recommended textbook:

    Qualitative Methods for Health Research - Judith Green and Nicki Thorogood, Sage Publications, 2006.



  • Course Schedule

    Please see the course Session for a full list of dates and items for this course.

  • Academic Ethics Code

    Students enrolled in the Bloomberg School of Public Health of The Johns Hopkins University assume an obligation to conduct themselves in a manner appropriate to the University's mission as an institution of higher education. A student is obligated to refrain from acts which he or she knows, or under the circumstances has reason to know, impair the academic integrity of the University. Violations of academic integrity include, but are not limited to: cheating; plagiarism; knowingly furnishing false information to any agent of the University for inclusion in the academic record; violation of the rights and welfare of animal or human subjects in research; and misconduct as a member of either School or University committees or recognized groups or organizations.

  • Welcome Message

    Please download the course syllabus (listed under "online library files" or follow the link below).

  • Course topics

    The classes in this course are organized under 3 content sections

    Section 1: The Qualitative Stance

    Section 2: Gathering Qualitative Data

    Section 3: Analyzing Qualitative Data

  • Contact Information(from old syllabus)

    TA Kisha Coa

  • Disability Support Services
    If you are a student with a documented disability who requires an academic accommodation, please contact the Office of Student Life Services at 410-955-3034 or via email at