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The University of Southampton

HLTH6214 MSc Dissertation 10 month

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 current or future area of practice and is appropriate to the Award you are following. This version of the Dissertation module enables full time Master's students, and any other student who chooses it, to plan, undertake and complete a project within ten months. The module will commence in December and submission will be expected in the September of the next year. For example, December 2020 - September 2021.

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 discipline or area of professional practice
  • Demonstrate self-direction, originality and creativity in the process of undertaking the project, including how you deal with complex situations
  • Demonstrate a critical awareness and understanding of knowledge and current insights and problems at the forefront of your academic discipline or area of professional practice which may include current research, policy, audit outcomes and guidelines
  • Critically discuss the ethical, research governance and data protection dimensions of empirical research activity
  • Demonstrate a comprehensive understanding and application of techniques relevant to your academic discipline or area of professional practice
  • Critically synthesise techniques of research and inquiry relevant to your academic discipline or area of professional practice.
  • Clearly articulate how the project will influence the health and well-being of the people (patients, clients, families and others) with whom you work.
  • Communicate your findings and conclusions in a manner appropriate to non-specialist audiences.


The different dissertation formats are provided to give students across a range of Master’s programmes the opportunity to undertake an independent project which can be applied to their current or future area of professional practice. Your choice of topic and dissertation format must be relevant to your programme of study and agreed as such by your Programme Lead. You can select ONE of the following dissertation formats: A literature review – you will systematically search for and critically review a wide range of evidence relevant to your topic or 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 (including audit) - you will plan and undertake a service improvement project 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. Empirical project - you will plan and undertake a piece of original research on a small scale. This format will require careful planning to ensure you have ethical approval and the time to undertake the collection and analysis of data. Drawing conclusions from the data you will present the findings of the project in ways which are relevant to stakeholders, including the participants. This dissertation type is not applicable to all Awards - see the Programme handbook.

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 An introductory seminar Group supervision Individual supervision Advice from the Module lead and your personal tutor/Programme Lead Remote engagement with the module will be possible.

Independent Study725
Project supervision7
Total study time750

Resources & Reading list

Helen Aveyard (2016). A Postgraduate's Guide To Doing A Literature Review In Health And Social Care e-book. 

Boland, Cherry & Dickson  (2017). Doing a Systematic Review . 

Polit D & Beck C (2014). Study guide for Essentials of Nursing research: appraising evidence for nursing practice. 


Assessment Strategy

Your research proposal is a formative component of this module. The proposal will set out your topic, the format for your project and your plans for dissemination of the findings. The summative dissertation comprises an article for publication and a project file.


Completion of Research Proposal


MethodPercentage contribution
Journal Article  (5000 words) 70%
Supporting material 30%

Linked modules

Please note that, as per University guidelines, third attempts are not permitted.

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