Skip to main content

Unit information: Dissertation in 2022/23

Please note: It is possible that the information shown for future academic years may change due to developments in the relevant academic field. Optional unit availability varies depending on both staffing, student choice and timetabling constraints.

Unit name Dissertation
Unit code BRMSM0009
Credit points 60
Level of study M/7
Teaching block(s) Academic Year (weeks 1 - 52)
Unit director Dr. Wade
Open unit status Not open
Units you must take before you take this one (pre-requisite units)


Units you must take alongside this one (co-requisite units)


Units you may not take alongside this one
School/department Bristol Medical School
Faculty Faculty of Health Sciences

Unit Information

The aims of this unit are to:

  • Provide students with the opportunity to apply the knowledge and skills they have learnt in previous units in order to design and conduct a research project in an epidemiology or public health related topic of interest. This will be carried out through undertaking analysis of previously collected data, collecting and analysing their own data, an evidence synthesis project, or undertaking qualitative research (MSc Public Health only).
  • Demonstrate that the student understands how to: frame research questions, scope relevant literature, analyse data, present the results of analysis in an appropriate written format, interpret the findings, and identify key strengths and limitations of the study

Candidates will be able to select a topic from a central list or design their own project in collaboration with their personal supervisor and/or co-supervisor.

Your learning on this unit

By the end of the course students will be able to:

  1. Develop and frame suitable research questions
  2. Show evidence of critical thinking with respect to choosing appropriate research methods for their research question(s)
  3. Identify ethical issues and considerations for a specific study
  4. Undertake a scoping literature review
  5. Analyse data, interpret and draw appropriate conclusions
  6. Independently plan and carry out a substantial piece of research
  7. Produce a coherent report that is appropriately referenced

How you will learn

Most of the work for this unit will be carried out by the student independently, appropriately guided and supported by the supervisor(s), including through face-to-face or online meetings. The research colloquium will provide an opportunity for students to present their project and gain feedback from tutors and peers.

How you will be assessed

Formative assessment: Students will receive feedback for learning in the form of:

  • Outline of project, 1 page – for approval by unit lead(s)
  • Oral poster presentation of their research project in a research colloquium with feedback from tutors and peers

Students will be required to engage with the above activities to successfully complete the unit. However, they will not be formally assessed and will not contribute to the overall unit mark.

Summative assessment: The unit will be assessed using a single piece of coursework:

  • Students will produce a project report in the form of an academic paper for a target journal (with appendices) 5,000 minimum and up to 10,000 words (the word count includes tables, references, and appendices) (ILOs 1-7; 100% of total unit mark).

A mark of 50% is required to pass the unit.


If this unit has a Resource List, you will normally find a link to it in the Blackboard area for the unit. Sometimes there will be a separate link for each weekly topic.

If you are unable to access a list through Blackboard, you can also find it via the Resource Lists homepage. Search for the list by the unit name or code (e.g. BRMSM0009).

How much time the unit requires
Each credit equates to 10 hours of total student input. For example a 20 credit unit will take you 200 hours of study to complete. Your total learning time is made up of contact time, directed learning tasks, independent learning and assessment activity.

See the Faculty workload statement relating to this unit for more information.

The Board of Examiners will consider all cases where students have failed or not completed the assessments required for credit. The Board considers each student's outcomes across all the units which contribute to each year's programme of study. If you have self-certificated your absence from an assessment, you will normally be required to complete it the next time it runs (this is usually in the next assessment period).
The Board of Examiners will take into account any extenuating circumstances and operates within the Regulations and Code of Practice for Taught Programmes.