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The University of Southampton

HLTH6212 MSc Dissertation (apprenticeship)

Module Overview

This module will provide you with the opportunity to plan, undertake and report on an independent, original project which is relevant to your role as an Advanced Clinical Practitioner. This version of the dissertation module is specifically designed for students undertaking the MSc Advanced Clinical Practice (Apprenticeship) - as due to the End Point Assessment a smaller 40 credit version of the dissertation is required. The normal duration of the dissertation will be 10 months.

Aims and Objectives

Learning Outcomes

Learning Outcomes

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • Act autonomously to plan and implement a project which enables you to create and interpret knowledge at the forefront of your area of professional practice
  • Demonstrate self-direction, originality and creativity to deal with complex situations
  • Demonstrate a critical awareness and understanding of knowledge, current insights and problems within your practice setting, which may include current research, policy, audit outcomes and guidelines.
  • Critically discuss the ethical, governance and data protection dimensions of the project
  • Critically synthesize and apply a practical understanding of established techniques of research and inquiry to your area of professional practice
  • Clearly articulate the rationale for undertaking your project which will influence the health and wellbeing of the people (patients, clients, families and others) for whom you work.
  • Articulate the ways in which the findings of the project will be applied to your professional practice as an Advanced Clinical Practitioner


The two alternative dissertation formats are provided to give you the opportunity to undertake an independent project which can be applied to your current area of practice as an Advanced Clinical Practitioner. Your choice of topic must be relevant to your programme of study and your Apprenticeship, and agreed as such by your Programme Lead. You will be advised by your supervisor and/or the Dissertation module lead as to which dissertation format is suitable for your topic choice. You can select ONE of the two following dissertation formats: A literature review – you will systematically search for and critically review a wide range of evidence relevant to your topic/clinical issue. From this basis you will present your findings in a variety of formats relevant to different audiences and explain the implications for current or future practice. A service improvement project/audit – you will plan and undertake a service evaluation or audit in your area of practice. From this basis you will present the findings and actions emerging from the project in ways which are relevant to stakeholders, for example patients and staff, managers and commissioners.

Learning and Teaching

Teaching and learning methods

Independent, self-directed learning is a key component of this module. You are required to draw on the learning, knowledge and skills achieved in the Programme taught modules and apply these to an original project. You will be supported by; Online resources available via Blackboard A plenary session Group supervision (in groups of about six students) Individual supervision Advice from the Module lead and your personal tutor/programme lead

Preparation for scheduled sessions48
Completion of assessment task200
Independent Study220
Project supervision25
Total study time500

Resources & Reading list

Aveyard,H; Payne,S; Preston,P. (2016). A Postgraduate's Guide to Doing A Literature Review in Health and Social Care. 

Gotwald,M Landsdown,G. (2014). Clinical Governance: Improving the Quality of Healthcare For Our Patients and Service Users. 

Ovretviet,J (2014). Evaluating Health Interventions and Changes to Healthcare. 

Murphy,M., Staffilino,B., Foreman,M. (2017). Research For Advanced Practice Nurses. 

Hart,C. (2018). Doing a Literature Review: Releasing the Research Imagination. 



Formative Assessment


MethodPercentage contribution
Journal Article  (4000 words) 80%
Supporting material 20%

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