Qualitative research is becoming increasingly popular in health-related fields including medicine, public health, nursing, allied health, dentistry and health policy. Qualitative health research provides evidence to policymakers, clinicians, health promotion professionals and consumers to understand the perspectives people bring to their health, the values people hold, and the actions people take.
Qualitative research aims to provide a deeper knowledge of how health fits into people’s everyday lives and how health and medical organisations work. Qualitative researchers observe people as they go about their usual activities, interview people, conduct focus groups and examine documents and images. They systematically analyse the resulting data to gain a better understanding of issues as they arise in the ordinary social world.
Qualitative research offers a demanding but extremely rewarding career for proficient communicators who love language and ideas, and are interested in textual rather than statistical analysis. Early career researchers and those considering a PhD will gain the experience, skills and knowledge required for future endeavours. Experienced researchers interested in advancing their career or moving into new areas will broaden their skills and develop new and deeper understandings of qualitative methodology The Sydney Qualitative Health Research Program is Australia’s only purpose-designed postgraduate program providing qualitative research skills and knowledge in this growing area of research inquiry.