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Dissertation (Public Health) - HEA00166M

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  • Department: Health Sciences
  • Module co-ordinator: Prof. Alexandra Smith
  • Credit value: 60 credits
  • Credit level: M
  • Academic year of delivery: 2024-25
    • See module specification for other years: 2023-24
  • Notes: This is an independent study module

Module summary

In this module, you will undertake an independent research project in the field of public health. Supported by supervisors, you'll apply the research methodologies, skills and knowledge acquired from taught modules during your programme, specialising in an area of knowledge and research relevant to your studies.

Module will run

Occurrence Teaching period
A Semester 1 2024-25

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

By the end of the module, students will be able to:

  1. Systematically plan and structure a public health project.

  2. 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.


Task Length % of module mark
Graduate/Postgraduate Dissertation
Postgraduate dissertation
N/A 100

Special assessment rules




Module feedback

Written feedback for the summative assessment is provided on the standard proforma, within the timescale specified in the programme handbook.

Indicative reading

Completing a masters’ dissertation in the department of Health Sciences, University of York.

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.