Quantitative/Positivist and Qualitative/Interpretivist methodological approaches, Design, and Causation

a) Describe and discuss quantitative/positivist and qualitative/interpretivist methodological approaches; include examples of their research methods of data collection. [750 words]

b) Traditionally epidemiology (prevalence, distribution and determinants of disease) has focussed on quantitative research for the types of research designs that are associated with Part 2 (a). Can social epidemiology (prevalence, distribution and social determinants of disease) include both quantitative and qualitative methodological approaches? – Critically discuss [750 words]

Part 2
a) Based on your reading of books such as Beaglehole (1993) describe what you know about observational epidemiology as a research approach and compare it to experimental studies. Describe some of the designs within each, e.g. RCT, Case-Control studies, etc
[500 words]

b) Discuss why ‘causation’ is important in the field of epidemiology? Why must researchers be cautious to say that Variable A causes Variable B? What can epidemiologists do in terms of providing evidence that a particular risk factor causes a specific disease? [500 words]

Assessment criteria
• Demonstrate an understanding of quantitative/positivist and qualitative/interpretive methodological approaches and their methods
• Demonstrate a critical analysis of whether both quantitative and qualitative approaches can be used in social epidemiology
• Demonstrate an understanding of what observational epidemiology is in relation to experimental studies
• Demonstrate the importance of causation
• Conform to accepted academic standards, including appropriate referencing
• Clearly written with accurate spelling and grammar. Must have well constructed sentences and paragraphs

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