SHE Level 5
SCQF Credit Points 60.00
ECTS Credit Points 30.00
Module Code MMC122350
Module Leader Steven Patterson
School School of Health and Life Sciences
Subject Biological and Biomedical Sciences
  • A (September start)
  • B (January start)
  • A (September start)-B (January start)
  • C (May start)

Pre-Requisite Knowledge

Standard programe entry requirements.

Summary of Content

The dissertation is an extended written assignment based upon research carried out by the student following successful completion of the previous modules. The dissertation will allow the student to study in depth, an aspect of practice or of pathophysiology which is of particular professional relevance. It will also enable them to integrate previous studies within a sustained, independent piece of scholarship and to demonstrate the research abilities which will have developed during the preceding modules. The topic of the dissertation will be discussed and negotiated between the student and staff.


Informal seminars will be offered on a range of 'project dissertation issues'. Examples of topics could be; - setting up a bibliographic database - ethical issues in research - writing 'blocks' and how to overcome them - guidelines for presentation of an MSc Dissertation - writing for publication in professional journals The student will be required to submit a dissertation or report of an empirical project in which the student describes a project which s/he has undertaken during the course of the programme. The project/ dissertation should be an original piece of work presented in a logical and coherent style and written in an appropriate format. It should include the following (fully referenced): - an abstract. - an introduction explaining the objective and broad background of the topic. - a critical appraisal of current information. - reasoned proposals for future development. - a list of references. - acknowledgements. This is not an exhaustive or restrictive list but for guidance and its use should lead to a logical, progressive exposition of the selected topic. Further guidance will be given in the module handbook

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of the module, the student should be able to:- Analyse and reflect on professional practices within his /her specialism.- Critically appraise the scientific literature and other appropriate sources of information relevant to the topic.- Undertake sustained scholarly research- Demonstrate an advanced understanding and detailed knowledge of a selected area of study- Demonstrate advanced writing skills suitable for Masters¹ level- Present the outcomes of their scholarly research in the form of an oral presentation and question and answer session.

Teaching / Learning Strategy

The Project/Dissertation is largely an independent piece of work by the student, however the student will have appropriate academic support. Supervisors and students will discuss the development of the work at mutually agreed frequencies. A short series of seminars will be offered by learning services to introduce students to the principles of preparation of reports, information retrieval, guidelines for presentation of the report and required skills for scientific writing. Students undertaking an empirical project will do so under the joint supervision of a member of staff of GCU and GCU honorary Professor of Diabetes Professor Andrew Collier. The empirical project will be undertaken at University Hospital, Ayr.

Indicative Reading

Recommended: B. Bassot (2015) The Reflective Practice Guide Routledge Sue Thompson and Neil Thompson (2008). The Critically Reflective Practitioner. Palgrave Rudestam, K Newton, RR (2014) Surviving Your Dissertation: A Comprehensive Guide to Content and Process. London Sage Bulman C Schulz S Reflective Practice in Nursing Wiley Blackwell 5th. Edition 2013 Schon D A The Reflective Practitioner Ashgate Publishing Limited (1991) Thompson S Thompson N (2008). The Critically Reflective Practitioner Palgrave Macmillan Stephen Rollnick, William R. Miller and Christopher C. Butler (2012). Motivational Interviewing in Health Care: Helping Patients Change Behavior. Guilford Publications E-sources Individual supervisors may give further directed reading

Transferrable Skills

- Advanced information retrieval - Critical Analysis - Synthesis of knowledge from a range of sources - Problem solving and integration of new knowledge within professional practice. - Information Technology - use of word processing, statistics, graphs, spreadsheets. - Information Retrieval - use of internet website and library - Logical planning and presentation of scientific writing. - Communication - written and oral.

Module Structure

Activity Total Hours
Independent Learning (FT) 540.00
Assessment (FT) 54.00
Tutorials (FT) 6.00

Assessment Methods

Component Duration Weighting Threshold Description
Coursework 1 n/a 80.00 45% Project/Disseration
Coursework 3 n/a 10.00 45% Outline Plan
Coursework 2 n/a 10.00 45% Presentation