Postgraduate Certificate in Qualitative Health Research Methods

Course details

Developing future leaders in qualitative research

This course aims to develop future leaders in qualitative research. It will equip students with the skills they need to conduct high quality, robust qualitative research. Through face-to-face and online sessions, students will develop excellence in the design, conduct and critical appraisal of qualitative research. All sessions are led by expert tutors with significant experience in research and teaching. 

This course will suit novices to qualitative research and those who have some experience, but want to hone their skills. It is designed for both busy professionals and full-time students. 

This is a joint programme between the Nuffield Department of Primary Care Health Sciences and the Department for Continuing Education. The Programme works in collaboration with the renowned Centre for Evidence-Based Medicine in Oxford.

Course Director: Anne-Marie Boylan, Nuffield Department of Primary Care Health Sciences

Watch the video below for more information about the course and the student experience:



Student opinion

You can also watch former student Mike Tringale discussing why qualitative research methods are so important in evidence-based medicine and how they provide transferrable skills for real-world decision-making on YouTube here.

Coronavirus update

The admissions cycle for this programme is progressing as planned, and the University is committed to ensuring that offer holders can take up their place as expected. Information will be made available as the situation develops. Find out more here.

Quick links

Programme details

The Postgraduate Certificate in Qualitative Health Research Methods is a part-time course. There are three compulsory modules which can be taken over 1–2 years.


Each module 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 post-Oxford 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).

Assessment methods

Assessment for each module will be based on a written assignment, which shall not be of more than 4,000 words.

Course aims

This course aims to provide holistic training in qualitative methods, developing students’ ability to design, conduct and critically appraise qualitative research, and their ability to engage with theory and wider debates.

By the end of this course, students will be able to:

  • Independently develop, design and conduct primary qualitative research, confidently adopting a flexible approach as per the philosophical underpinnings of this mode of naturalistic inquiry;
  • Critically reflect on their role (and the role of the research team) in the research process, appreciating the consequences this has on the research they conduct, whilst endeavouring to mitigate its impact;
  • Critically engage with all aspects of qualitative research, including various methodological approaches and quality appraisal;
  • Critically engage with theory and wider debate in qualitative research (including on elements associated with rigour, such as critical appraisal)

Fees and funding

Fee rates for the academic year 2022-23*

*Rates for 2023/24 to be confirmed.

These rates (in pounds sterling) are for students joining in the 2022-23 academic year and will increase annually.

Illustration for full programme (completing in one year):

  • Annual award fee: £7,125*
  • Module fees: £2,165 (per taught module)*

Total fee = £13,620*

The annual award fee is due for every academic year (or part-year) attended; module fees are due in advance as invoiced. Fees must be paid in accordance with the Terms and Conditions for the programme.


  1. The fee rates listed are for the academic year shown, and you should be aware that these rates will increase annually.
  2. The Illustration is based on the fee rates for the academic year shown; however, fee rates for attendance in future years will increase, so students attending for more than one year should expect the total to be higher than is shown in the Illustration. The exact amount will depend on the fee rates set annually, and upon the years you are in attendance; these are normally published well before the start of each academic year, but for your own budgetary purposes you may wish to estimate a 4% annual increase on fee rates.


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

Application details

Levels and demands

For the full Selection Criteria please refer to the Graduate Admissions and Funding website.

How to apply

Applications for this course should be made via the University of Oxford Graduate Admissions website. This website includes further information about this course and a guide to applying.

Early application for the programme is advised. Applications which have not been fully completed before the application deadline cannot be considered, so please ensure any applications are received by us in good time so that we may advise of missing or incorrectly completed elements. Shortlisted applicants will be invited to telephone interview, and asked to provide evidence of their funding for the programme.

Applications open in September for entry in the following academic year.  To see if this course is still open for applications for admission please visit the University of Oxford Graduate Admissions website. Courses with a green admission status are open for applications, amber means the course will be closing at 12 noon on the following Friday and red means it has closed to new applications.

For further information on applying, please refer to the Application Guide. Please read our Terms and Conditions before submitting your application. If you would like to discuss your application or any part of the application process before applying please contact:

Tel: +44 (0)1865 270453 - Email:



Central accommodation for visitors and students at the Department for Continuing Education