SHE Level 5
SCQF Credit Points 60.00
ECTS Credit Points 30.00
Module Code MMB724468
Module Leader Ben Parkinson
School School of Health and Life Sciences
Subject SHLS - School Office
  • A (September start)-B (January start)
  • B (January start)-C (May start)
  • C (May start)
  • S-C (May start)-A (September start)
  • C (May start)-A (September start)
  • B (January start)

Pre-Requisite Knowledge

Successful completion of Masters Level Research Methods Module or equivalent

Summary of Content

The Masters Dissertation will provide the opportunity for the post-graduate student to build upon their study of research methods. In undertaking a dissertation project, the student will engage in independent and self-directed learning using established techniques of research inquiry to explore a topic of relevance/area of professional practice. Students will have the opportunity to demonstrate creativity and originality and develop a practical understanding of the application of research. The Dissertation can be completed by undertaking an 'Empirical study' or a 'Structured Literature Review'.


Whilst there is no formal syllabus for the dissertation, a briefing session will be provided and a workshop on formatting a dissertation. It is expected that both full and part-time students will utilise their learning from their respective Programme of study to inform, underpin and undertake an empirical research study or a structured literature review.

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of the module the student should be able to1. Critically utilise a range of search strategies to identify literature related to the area of interest 2. Critically evaluate related literature related to the area of interest3. Provide a systematic critical account of either an empirical research project or structured literature review4. Synthesise knowledge and theory from a range of sources 5. Reflect and critically comment on any procedural issues/problems which may have arisen in undertaking the project6. Evaluate the findings associated with undertaking an empirical research project or a structured literature review 7. Critically and creatively comment on the findings potential to contribute to the relevant areas of professional practice8. Produce, in a standard format, a comprehensive focused research report which meets the aim and objective of having undertaken an empirical research project or a structured literature review

Teaching / Learning Strategy

The dissertation module is characterised by independent study which means the student is responsible for their learning journey and resources in conducting their research project. Consequently, the teaching and learning strategy centres on supporting and facilitating effective independent learning. In this context, the module leader will provide an introductory briefing session and workshop which will provide a forum for clarifying expectations. Academic support will be provided by a designated academic supervisor whose role is to advise and guide the post graduate student. Students are entitled to a maximum of 18 hours support from their supervisor which may be face to face, by telephone, by e-mail or a combination thereof. This includes the time the supervisor requires for reading draft work.

Indicative Reading

Aveyard, H. 2014, Doing a literature review in health and social care, 3rd edn, Open Bell, J. (2010) (5th Edition) Doing Your Research Project: A Guide for First-Time Researchers in Education and Social Science. Buckingham: Open University Press. Bettany-Saltikov, B (2012) How to do a Systematic Literature Review in Nursing. Maidenhead: OUP Biggam, J. (2013). Succeeding with your master's dissertation: a step-by-step guide (2nd Ed). Maidenhead: OUP. Blaxter, L. Hughes, C and Tight, M. (2010) (4 th Edition) How to Research. Buckingham: Open university Press. Cohen, L. Manion, L. (2011) Research methods in education. London: Routledge. Dancey, C.P., & Reidy, R. (2014). Statistics Without Maths for Psychology (4th Ed). Harlow: Prentice Hall. Holly, C., Denscombe, M. (2014). The Good Research Guide for small scale social research projects (3rd Ed). Maidenhead: OUP. Fink, A. (2013). How to conduct surveys: a step-by-step Guide. London: Sage. Flick, U. (2014) An introduction to Qualitative Research (5 th Ed) London: Sage Salmond, S.W. & Saimbert, M.K. (2012). Comprehensive Systematic Review for Advanced Nursing Practice. New York: Springer. Jesson, J.K. (2011) Doing your literature review: traditional and systematic techniques. London: Sage. Doing Quantitative Research in Education with SPSS Newby, P. (2010) Research methods for education. London: Pearson. Andrew Booth, Anthea Sutton & Diana Papaioannou 2016 (2 nd Ed) Systematic Approaches to a Successful Literature Review London: Sage Purtilo, R. (2011) (5th Edition) Ethical Dimensions in the Health Professions. UK: Saunders. Rudestam, K. and Newton, R. (2014) (5th Edition) Surviving your Dissertation. UK, London: Sage. Robson, C. (2011). Real World Research (3rd Ed) Oxford: Blackwell Science. Silverman, D.(2011) (4th Edition) Interpreting Qualitative Data. London: Sage.

Transferrable Skills

-360b7 Work in a self-directed manner, taking responsibility for own learning, personal development and practice competence. b7 Work effectively with others. b7 Underpin professional development by integration of theory and practice. b7 Development of presentation and advanced communication skills b7 Analytical thought, creativity and innovation -359

Module Structure

Activity Total Hours
Independent Learning (FT) 516.00
Assessment (FT) 60.00
Seminars (FT) 6.00
Tutorials (FT) 18.00

Assessment Methods

Component Duration Weighting Threshold Description
Course Work 01 n/a 100.00 50% 15000 words Empirical Study or Structured Literature Review