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Unit information: Dissertation in 2015/16

Please note: you are viewing unit and programme information for a past academic year. Please see the current academic year for up to date information.

Unit name Dissertation
Unit code VETS30019
Credit points 40
Level of study H/6
Teaching block(s) Teaching Block 4 (weeks 1-24)
Unit director Dr. Mickey Tivers
Open unit status Not open

All 1st, 2nd and 3rd year units


All other 4th year units

School/department Bristol Veterinary School
Faculty Faculty of Health Sciences

Description including Unit Aims

An individual in-depth exploration of one aspect of Veterinary Nursing or Bioveterinary Science, involving the planning and execution of a piece of original research. Each student completes an individual piece of research under the supervision of one or more members of academic staff.


The dissertation will be expected to be in the style of a research thesis and a high first-class mark would indicate that the work was of publishable quality. Students are also required to give a 15 minute (plus 10 minutes for questions) powerpoint presentation of their work.

Intended Learning Outcomes

At the end of this unit students will be able to:

1. Select an appropriate research topic with guidance

2. Shown evidence of extended knowledge and understanding of the specific area

3. Critically evaluate published research in related areas

4. Generate and test hypotheses using an appropriate experimental, observational or critical review approach.

5. Analyse data and produce an overall synthesis and evaluation of the project work

6. Demonstration of suitable oral and written communication skills including appropriate referencing.

Teaching Information

During term 1:

  • Descriptions of possible project topics sent to students.
  • Staff presentations of possible project topics
  • Projects and supervisors allocated to students
  • Series of lectures and case-study seminars introducing research-specific skills (including critical reasoning, experimental design, research ethics, and statistics consolidation), coupled with formative DSE work.

Weeks 10-12: Background reading, preparation of review essay

Week 12: Introductory project talks

Weeks 12-18: Data collection and analysis

Weeks 18-20: Dissertation writing

Final project talks  timetabled with other final year exams

Assessment Information

Formal Assessment:

  • Preliminary literature review : - 20%
  • Practical performance during project work : - 20%
  • Dissertation - 60%
    • Abstract : - 5%
    • Materials and Methods :- 10%
    • Results :- 15%
    • Discussion :- 15%
    • Reference List/Bibliography:-5%
    • Final Viva Voice : - 10%

The students’ performance will be assessed against some or all of the following criteria, as appropriate:

1) Industry and technical ability in the practical work.

2) Overall quality of presentation.

3) Appropriate experimental design and statistical analyses.

4) The ability to process, reduce, analyse and present data.

5) Creativity displayed in the study design and implementation.

6) Critical appraisal of the experimental design, the methods used, the results obtained, and the conclusions drawn.

7) Appreciation of how the results contribute to current understanding in the field, and an awareness of their limitations.

8) The ability to select the essential features of the experiments for discussion.

9) Appreciation of how the work can be developed, including realistic suggestions for future experiments.

10) Ability to explain the purpose, execution, results and significance of the project.


A referred Dissertation must be resubmitted by the middle of August in the year of original submission. In this event the practical performance mark (20%) will be carried forward whereas, Preliminary Literature Review (20%) dissertation (50%) and the final viva voce (10%) will be reassessed.

Reading and References

Specific to individual projects: supervisors will provide guidance.