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Unit information: Dissertation in 2020/21

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Unit name Dissertation
Unit code MEDIM0300
Credit points 60
Level of study M/7
Teaching block(s) Academic Year (weeks 1 - 52)
Unit director Dr. Fowler
Open unit status Not open




School/department Teaching and Learning for Health Professionals
Faculty Faculty of Health Sciences

Description including Unit Aims

The dissertation is intended to allow students to conduct more in-depth studies of a particular educational issue of interest and importance to them. The project will be supervised by a tutor at the University who will provide academic guidance and quality assurance.

Intended Learning Outcomes

The Unit will develop students’ ability to:

· Conduct literature searches and retrieve relevant sources.

· Appraise this literature critically.

· Plan and enact data collection and analyse this data appropriately.

· Plan, structure and write a thesis making appropriate use of the literature and their data.

· Construct meaningful arguments / discussion / recommendations for inclusion in their thesis.

Teaching Information

This is a 60 Credit Unit and therefore requires 600 hours work to be associated with it. This will mainly consist of individual study, data collection, analysis and writing up of the dissertation but will also include 1:1 tutorial time with supervisors.

The principle teaching and learning methods will be self-directed learning through the writing of the dissertation. The student will also be guided and taught on a one-to-one basis as appropriate by their supervisors.

Assessment Information

The dissertation shall comprise 15,000 words.

Students will need to have completed the Certificate and Diploma before registering for their dissertation.

The topic will be negotiated between the student and their supervisor(s). It must be relevant to education in the health professions and could be of the following types:

· Empirical.

This type of dissertation involves carrying out a piece of original research on a small scale. It entails planning a small research study, collecting and analysing primary data and presenting the results in a systematic way. This will naturally involve a lot of organisation of other people and yourself but this can make it an even more rewarding experience.

· Library based

A library based dissertation is probably best distinguished from an empirical study by regarding it as an investigation using secondary data which is already in the public domain. This can involve the re-analysis of an existing data set, a review of the existing research on a particular topic, the study of the development of a specific concept in the literature, or a critical investigation into an area of government policy. Library based studies must have research questions as carefully developed as any other kind of study. These properly formulated research questions which are used to critically evaluate the sources used. It also requires a clear and coherent research design which outlines and justifies the search strategy for the evidence selected.

Reading and References

· Bell, J. (2010). Doing Your Research Project: A guide for first time researchers in education and social science. 5th ed. Buckingham, Philadelphia: Open University Press. (Online version available)

· Cryer, P. (2006). The research student's guide to success. 3rd ed. Buckingham: Open University Press. (Online version available)

· Denscombe, M. (2010) The Good Research Guide 4th ed. Maidenhead, Open University Press (Online version available)

· Punch, K.F. & Oancea, A. (2014). Introduction to Research Methods in Education. 2nd Ed. London: Sage.