SHE Level 4
SCQF Credit Points 40.00
ECTS Credit Points 20.00
Module Code MHB420330
Module Leader Yvonne Brogan
School School of Health and Life Sciences
Subject Human Nutrition and Dietetics
  • B (January start)
  • C (May start)

Pre-Requisite Knowledge

Completion of 3 rd year modules for BSc Hum Nutn and Dietetics or BSc (Hons)Applied Nutrition

Summary of Content

The honours project will enable students to integrate learning and skills gained in previous studies to develop an independent piece of research and to demonstrate abilities which they have developed progressively throughout the programme. The project may take various forms e.g. a practical project, clinical audit, literature review or data analysis project. The topic of the thesis may arise from academic staff, programme material or from a special interest generated during placement.


Students may choose from a list of projects proposed by potential supervisors, or may instead propose their own research topic, perhaps inspired by experience on placement, their work place or interest in a particular sport. The project may take various forms e.g. practical research projects, data-analysis projects, structured reviews, narrative reviews, clinical audits, kitchen-based menu planning, etc. Students all undertake individual project topics, but several students may work with a single supervisor on linked topics within a larger project. This has the advantage of streamlining the supervision process, while allowing students to provide peer support for others on similar projects. A series of taught sessions on appropriate research methodologies and statistics prepares students for projects. The syllabus will be informed by the British Dietetic Association ONE BLUE DOT resources on sustainable diets. Where projects involve human subjects or identifiable patient data, appropriate project protocols must be approved by one of the GCU School of Health and Life Sciences ethics committees. Information on the process and the appropriate forms are available from the School of Health and Life Sciences web pages. Research projects involving patients or patient information within the National Health Service or working with an NHS employee may require ethical permission from the NHS ethics committees Time constraints mean that this is rarely possible. However, students may undertake audit projects, retrospective case note audits, or other projects where the link clinician has NHS Research Committee permission for the student to undertake the project, and where the link clinician has evidence that full NHS ethics permission is not required.

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this module the student should be able to:1. Demonstrate original thought, resourcefulness, independence and a critical understanding of the principles of scientific enquiry, whilst enhancing skills of planning, judgement and evaluation.2 . Have a detailed knowledge, and be able to apply the principles, of audit and evaluation of practice, and qualitative and quantitative research methodologies as applied to nutrition dietetics.3. Be able to develop a research question and evaluate appropriate research design, methodology, data management, statistical analysis and interpretation to address the question.4. Understand the process of research governance and associated ethical issues. 5. Have a detailed knowledge of the application of research in changing practice with healthcare.6. Demonstrate written and oral communication skills at a professional level.The aims of the honours projects are to:1. Develop a research question and identify appropriate design and methodology to address the question2. Critically appraise and review literature relating to the project3. Undertake a programme of investigation involving critical analysis of information.4. Prepare a substantial 7000-10,000 word thesis on the project in an approved format.5. Prepare and present a poster of professional quality on their project

Teaching / Learning Strategy

The emphasis of the project is on independent study although in all cases academic staff act as project supervisors to ensure that there is appropriate direction and depth of approach in the subject being investigated. In the event of linked projects with industry or hospitals, the students will be under the professional direction of a named specialist as well as university academic supervisor. Regular meetings are held between the project supervisor and the student to support progress through the work. Students are issued a Project Handbook giving explicit details of the marking criteria for the project.

Indicative Reading

Aveyard H (2014) Doing a literature review in health and social care. A practical guide. 3 rd Edn. McGraw Hill. Open University Press. (available as e-book from university library) Aveyard H et al (2015) A beginner's guide to Critical Thinking and Writing in Health and Social Care 2 nd Edn. Maidenhead, Open University Press Bowers DA (2014) Medical statistics from scratch: an introduction for health care professionals. 3 rd Edn. Chichester, John Wiley. Bowling A (2014) Research methods in Health: investigating health and health services. 4 th Edn. Open University Press. Green J and Thorogood N (2013 ) Qualitative methods for Health Research. Sage publications London Hickson M (2013) Research handbook for health care professionals. John Wiley and Sons Holloway I and Wheeler, S (2013) . Qualitative research in nursing and healthcare. 3 rd Edn. Wiley-Blackwell Lovegrove et al (2015) Nutrition Research Methodologies. Nutrition Society Text book series. Wiley Blackwell. Polgar and Thomas (2013) Introduction to research in the health sciences 6 th Edn Churchill Livingstone Elsevier Pripp H ( 2013) Statistics in Food Science and Nutrition. Springer Silverman, D (2013) Doing Qualitative Research, 4 th Edn. Sage Websites: British Dietetic Association, The Nutrition Society, British Medical Journal, NHS Health Scotland, Critical Appraisal Skills Programme, SIGN

Transferrable Skills

IT skills Planning Evaluation skills Report writing Presentation skills Independent Learning

Module Structure

Activity Total Hours
Independent Learning (FT) 330.00
Lectures (FT) 20.00
Assessment (FT) 40.00
Tutorials (FT) 10.00

Assessment Methods

Component Duration Weighting Threshold Description
Course Work 01 n/a 80.00 40% Thesis (words 7000-10,000)
Course Work 02 n/a 20.00 40% Poster Presentation