GHS 201C - Social and Behavioral Science Approaches in Global Health

This course is focused on methods for addressing social and behavioral science research questions in global health. It ultimately seeks to answer the following questions: What methods can health professionals use to attain competence in socio-political-cultural environments where they work? Which methods are most appropriate for which research questions? How are social and behavioral research methods implemented? The course places a particularly strong emphasis on developing skills for conducting qualitative interviews, which are a frequently used technique for answering social and behavioral research questions.


At the conclusion of the course, students will be able to:

  • Identify social-behavioral science research methods such as qualitative interviewing, focus groups, and surveys
  • Determine which methodology is most appropriate given a particular research question
  • Utilize strategies for effectively collecting data via qualitative interviews
  • Describe the ethical considerations for field work and participant consent
  • Understand qualitative interviewing techniques
  • Understand how to code and analyze qualitative data
  • Identify standard software for qualitative analysis

Course Content

  • What distinguishes qualitative and quantitative social and behavioral science research methods?
  • When do you use qualitative methods, when do you use quantitative methods?
  • Asking questions of participants
  • Qualitative interviewing
  • Focus groups
  • Data analysis
  • Ethics and contexts of intervention
  • Final student presentations

Course Co-directors

Wayne Steward, PhD
Shannon Fuller, MS

Teaching format

Lectures and skill-building seminars

Course credits

2 units