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Dissertation (Public Health) - HEA00041M

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  • Department: Health Sciences
  • Module co-ordinator: Dr. Amanda Mason-Jones
  • Credit value: 60 credits
  • Credit level: M
  • Academic year of delivery: 2018-19
  • Notes: This is an independent study module

Module will run

Occurrence Teaching cycle
A Autumn Term 2018-19 to Summer Vacation 2018-19

Module aims

  • To provide students with the opportunity to pursue an independent project in a public health-related area.
  • To provide students with the opportunity to apply the research methodologies, skills and knowledge acquired from taught modules to a substantive piece of work.

Module learning outcomes

At the end of the module a student should be able to:

  1. Understand how to plan and structure a public health project.
  2. Demonstrate the ability to select and apply appropriate research methodologies to design and conduct an independent piece of research including a systematic literature review or critical review of the literature.
  3. Be able to formulate and refine research questions.
  4. Demonstrate an ability to source relevant information related to their dissertation topic.
  5. Critically appraise and interpret existing literature.
  6. Organise and structure research findings.
  7. Demonstrate the ability to communicate and present research.
  8. Demonstrate the ability to present complex arguments and synthesise complex ideas.
  9. Critically evaluate their own work.
  10. Organise and manage workload effectively.

Module content

Information relating to dissertations is presented at induction, in the student handbook, on the student intranet and on the specific dissertation VLE module site.

There are number of different types of dissertation that you can undertake including primary research (e.g. primary data collection, including interviews or focus groups etc.); secondary data-analysis of quantitative or qualitative data (e.g. analysis of datasets or qualitative interview data previously collected); systematic reviews, (both quantitative and qualitative); critical literature reviews and critical reviews of policy/practice. Information about the different types of dissertation are available on the student intranet and the dissertation VLE site.

In summary students are assigned a dissertation in one of two ways. You can either:

  • Select a specific dissertaton project from the list provided by staff and available on the dissertation VLE site.


  • Put together your own proposal in consultation with a member of academic or research staff.

Information about choosing a dissertation topic including a timeline for full-time and part-time students can be found on the student intranet (


Task Length % of module mark
Graduate/Postgraduate Dissertation
Dissertation - 16,000 words
N/A 100

Special assessment rules



Task Length % of module mark
Graduate/Postgraduate Dissertation
Dissertation - 16,000 words
N/A 100

Module feedback

  • Feedback on the dissertation will provided by allocated dissertation supervisors during the ongoing supervision process.
  • Written feedback for the summative assessment (the dissertation) will be provided on the standard proforma, within the timescale specified in the programme handbook.

Indicative reading

As each dissertation topic differs key texts and journal articles will be recommended by your dissertation supervisors. However, you are also directed towards the following useful textbook:

  • Biggam, J. (2018). Succeeding with your master's dissertation: a step-by-step handbook. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

The information on this page is indicative of the module that is currently on offer. The University is constantly exploring ways to enhance and improve its degree programmes and therefore reserves the right to make variations to the content and method of delivery of modules, and to discontinue modules, if such action is reasonably considered to be necessary by the University. Where appropriate, the University will notify and consult with affected students in advance about any changes that are required in line with the University's policy on the Approval of Modifications to Existing Taught Programmes of Study.

Coronavirus (COVID-19): changes to courses

The 2020/21 academic year will start in September. We aim to deliver as much face-to-face teaching as we can, supported by high quality online alternatives where we must.

Find details of the measures we're planning to protect our community.

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