PSY309 Qualitative Research Methods (8)

This subject aims to facilitate students understanding of the differing philosophical, ontological and epistemological assumptions underpinning different approaches to qualitative research. Qualitative research spans a broad range of historical, philosophical and contextual assumptions and in this subject students are exposed to the various paradigms in qualitative research.  By the end of the subject, students should be able critically to evaluate a broad range of approaches to qualitative research and published material. The subject also engages students in a range of qualitative methods and methods of analysis, giving students practical experience in carrying out qualitative research.

Subject Outlines
Current CSU students can view Subject Outlines for recent sessions. Please note that Subject Outlines and assessment tasks are updated each session.


* Offering has a residential school. Please view following information for further details.

Session 2 (60)
On Campus
Bathurst Campus
Wagga Wagga Campus
Online *
Bathurst Campus

Continuing students should consult the SAL for current offering details: PSY309. Where differences exist between the Handbook and the SAL, the SAL should be taken as containing the correct subject offering details.

Subject Information

Grading System



One session


School of Psychology

Assumed Knowledge
Incompatible Subjects


Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of this subject, students should:
  • be able to identify the philosophical framework of qualitative research
  • be able to analyse the contribution of qualitative research to psychology
  • be able to critically evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of a range of qualitative research theories
  • be able to critically evaluate techniques and procedures for carrying out research methods and put these methods into practice
  • be able to generate research inquiry using one qualitative research technique
  • be able to evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of qualitative research findings
  • be able to critically evaluate and produce written accounts of qualitative research


This subject will cover the following topics:
  • Epistemology: historical, philosophical and theoretical underpinnings of qualitative research in psychology
  • Ethics: critical reflection of ethical issues and barriers in research; the place of qualitative research in psychology.
  • Subjectivity: critical and theoretical interrogation of the socially constructed nature of selves and the place of subjectivity in psychological research
  • Methodology: assumptions and principles of design and theoretical approaches to qualitative research methods
  • Methods and analyses: Designing qualitative research, producing and managing data, interpreting and analysing data text
  • Producing knowledge: writing and evaluating qualitative research

Residential School

This subject contains a 2.5 day Compulsory Residential School.

A residential school is necessary for this subject as students will learn individual and group interviewing and facilitative skills that are crucial to a number of qualitative research methods. In addition students will be given guided instruction and experience with data analysis techniques.


Current Students

For any enquiries about subject selection or course structure please contact Student Central or or phone on 1800 275 278.

Prospective Students

For further information about Charles Sturt University, or this course offering, please contact info.csu on 1800 275 278 (free call within Australia) or enquire online.

The information contained in the 2018 CSU Handbook was accurate at the date of publication: August 2018. The University reserves the right to vary the information at any time without notice.