MSc Occupational Medicine

Year of entry: 2024

Course unit details:
Dissertation for Occupational Medicine and Occupational Hygiene

Course unit fact file
Unit code POPH69000
Credit rating 60
Unit level FHEQ level 7 – master's degree or fourth year of an integrated master's degree
Teaching period(s) Full year
Available as a free choice unit? No


The Dissertation unit directs the student to evaluate and undertake an independent research study, demonstrating synthesis and contextualisation of knowledge in a chosen topic relevant to their field. The unit offers the opportunity to design a study, collect data, and disseminate findings with the support of an academic supervisor.

Teaching and guidance on ethics for scientific research is included. Students are supported to develop their scientific writing and critical appraisal skills by presenting their thesis in the manner commensurate with standard practice in the relevant discipline. University-wide study support is available for writing and statistical analysis throughout the year.

Students may undertake one of a number of dissertation formats, for example an adapted systematic review, or an empirical study into a chosen topic involving the collection of new data or analysis of secondary data. All formats will demonstrate research methods and data analysis knowledge. The expectations and assessment criteria for the MSc Dissertation are set out in the Dissertation Guide.

There is a workshop at the beginning of the academic year to support the learning objectives of this unit, with emphasis on the options for the dissertation and study design. Students present a brief outline of their dissertation proposal, for peer reviews. This is an opportunity for the student to meet the academic team and to discuss their ideas with the course tutors and other students. A Dissertation Supervisor is allocated following the workshop. Information on supervisory process is provided in the Dissertation Guide. A second workshop is provided at the start of Semester 2 which provides guidance on statistical analysis and writing your dissertation. Students are supported by approximately 20 hours of supervisor guidance.



MSc Occupational Medicine: 
POPH68881, POPH68861, POPH68832, POPH68821, POPH68811, POPH68802, POPH68892 plus one further 15 credit unit 

MSc Occupational Hygiene: 
POPH68881, POPH68861, POPH68842, POPH60161, POPH68821, POPH63182, POPH68802, POPH68892 


The unit encourages the detailed exploration of the evidence-base relevant to professional practice, expressly aiming to inculcate a culture of scientific enquiry and innovation for problem solving and solution generation. The Dissertation unit prepares the student in respect of conceiving, preparing and submitting the Dissertation. The student should demonstrate ability in the design and conduct of research in a professionally relevant topic.

Learning outcomes

The intended learning outcomes expect the student to be able to: 
• formulate and justify a specific research question regarding a professionally relevant 
• select and justify the most appropriate study design and methods for the research 
• undertake independently a study of a specific research topic with periodic supervision; 
• demonstrate synthesis and evaluation of literature relevant to the research question; 
• critically evaluate study methodologies and results in the context of relevant literature and evidence; 
• evaluate and propose appropriate solutions applicable to practice; and 
• present the independent study in an organised and professional format appropriate for a scientific audience. 

Teaching and learning methods

The unit is delivered through a blend of written and online materials and workshops. Student progress is monitored by Dissertation Supervisors. 

Knowledge and understanding

Upon completion, students should be able to:

• demonstrate a comprehensive knowledge of evidence-based practice including the investigation, preparation and analysis of data to inform professional and/or clinical decision making;
• demonstrate knowledge of the techniques of scientific enquiry and appropriate methodology for the chosen topic; and
• demonstrate a working knowledge of relevant statistical methodology.

Intellectual skills

Upon completion, students should be able to: 

• present a coherent rationale for the topic of choice; 
• critically analyse policy and practice relevant to the chosen topic;  
• demonstrate the ability to conceive and plan a scientific enquiry or adapted systematic review; and 
• undertake literature search and critically analyse that literature. 

Transferable skills and personal qualities

Upon completion, students should be able to: 

• critically evaluate scientific and clinical literature; 
• be capable of designing a systematic review/scientific enquiry; 
• be capable of selecting statistical methodology appropriate to the line of enquiry; 
• organise and manage the independent study with periodic supervision; and 
• present the independent study in an organised and professional format appropriate for a scientific audience.

Assessment methods






Between 10,000 and 15,000 words

Feedback methods

Written and any other feedback (aural, recorded etc) provided 30 working days after submission by supervisor and second marker.

Study hours

Scheduled activity hours
Practical classes & workshops 18
Independent study hours
Independent study 582

Teaching staff

Staff member Role
Melanie Carder Unit coordinator
Anne Clayson Unit coordinator

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