SMED8015 - Qualitative Research Methods


Examination arrangement

Examination arrangement: Approved report
Grade: Passed / Not Passed

Evaluation Weighting Duration Grade deviation Examination aids
Approved report 100/100 B

Course content

The course focuses on giving a general introduction to the principles of qualitative research and a thorough practical experience with data collection and analysis with relevance for medicine and health science. Qualitative research methods are well suited in order to study personal experiences, understanding, reflections and reasoning. The course has a focus on the use of qualitative methods in a medical (natural science) research tradition where an empirical orientation is emphasised. It is therefore a strong focus on the practical aspects of conducting a qualitative study, with practical tasks in conducting interviews, doing analysis and writing method and result presentation. The lectures focus on practical tips and presentations of the steps in conducting a qualitative study. There are also lectures on what qualitative methods are, theoretical background, and different approaches used in qualitative studies.

Learning outcome

After passing SMED8015, the student has acquired the following skills:

  • Plan and conduct qualitative research studies (overall competency).
  • Discuss the adequacy and suitability of different approaches to doing qualitative studies (knowledge).
  • Do and lead qualitative data collection and analysis (skills)
  • Understand the role of qualitative research in medicine and health science (general competency)

Learning methods and activities

Lectures and assignments, with most of the work done in groups. The course report, which is used for the assessment of the course, is done in groups. The subject is only held if there are minimum three students registered. Lectures including part of the group work take place during one week from Monday 08.30 to Thursday 16.00, usually in week 5. A one-day compulsory exam seminar is held approximately 8 weeks later. In the time between, the students work in groups.

Compulsory assignments

  • Two written assignments and transcribed interwiew
  • Comment on exam seminar

Further on evaluation

The assessment is based on a course report which is discussed with both the other students and the examiners at an exam seminar that is compulsory to attend. To get a grade (pass/not pass), all compulsory activities must be approved.

Specific conditions

Compulsory activities from previous semester may be approved by the department.

Required previous knowledge

Masters degree. Persons admitted to a PhD program at the Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences have priority.

Course materials

Kirsti Malterud (2017). Kvalitative metoder i medisinsk forskning (4.utgave). Oslo: Universitetsforlaget. 256 sider. ISBN: 9788215028286. Kirsti Malterud (2012). Fokusgrupper som forskningsmetode for medisin og helsefag. Oslo: Universitetsforlaget. 168 sider. ISBN: 9788215020464. The set books has to be read before the start of the course due to the course being held during one week. In addition to the set books, there will be some articles provided at the start of the course.

Credit reductions

Course code Reduction From To
HLS3004 2.5 AUTUMN 2010
KLH3015 5.0 AUTUMN 2015
MH3004 5.0 AUTUMN 2019
PH3001 5.0 AUTUMN 2019
MH3008 5.0 AUTUMN 2022
More on the course



Version: 1
Credits:  7.5 SP
Study level: Doctoral degree level


Term no.: 1
Teaching semester:  SPRING 2023

Language of instruction: -

Location: Trondheim

Subject area(s)
  • Health Science
  • Medicine
Contact information
Course coordinator: Lecturer(s):

Department with academic responsibility
Department of Public Health and Nursing


Examination arrangement: Approved report

Term Status code Evaluation Weighting Examination aids Date Time Examination system Room *
Spring ORD Approved report 100/100 B INSPERA
Room Building Number of candidates
  • * The location (room) for a written examination is published 3 days before examination date. If more than one room is listed, you will find your room at Studentweb.

For more information regarding registration for examination and examination procedures, see "Innsida - Exams"

More on examinations at NTNU