MRes/PGDip/PGCert Health and Social Care / Course details

Year of entry: 2024

Course unit details:
MResearch Dissertation

Course unit fact file
Unit code NURS60013
Credit rating 90
Unit level FHEQ level 7 – master's degree or fourth year of an integrated master's degree
Teaching period(s) Variable teaching patterns
Available as a free choice unit? No


This unit will enable students to further develop, synthesise and apply the knowledge and skills acquired in the taught units of the programme to develop, plan, execute and critically evaluate an appropriate and ethically sound empirical study relevant to clinical/health (MClin Res) or health and social care (MRes HSC) practice. The unit will be delivered through a variety of methods including
workshops, on-line interactive resources and individual supervision. A number of key stages will be identified at which students will need to meet specific milestones towards completion of their project and written dissertation.


  • Critically assess and synthesise the evidence that underpins a selected area of clinical/health (MClin Res) or health and social care (MRes HSC) practice in order to formulate research questions or hypotheses as appropriate.
  • Design and, under supervision, conduct a research project to investigate or test clinical/health (MClin Res) or health and social care (MRes HSC) related questions or hypotheses within a sound ethical and governance research framework.
  • Generate a clinical/health (MClin Res) or health and social care (MRes HSC) research study dissertation that critically analyses the rationale, design, methodology, analysis and conduct of the study identifying implications for practice and further research.

Teaching and learning methods

The teaching and learning for this unit takes place over two semesters and will continue into the summer term – 51 weeks. Initially students will attend a face-to-face session which will introduce them to the unit. Each student will be allocated a dissertation supervisor from the beginning of the programme and for funded places a clinical mentor who will work with them initially to refine their topic area, design and methods for their project then oversee the execution of the project and the completion of the written dissertation Students will be required to engage with a range of on-line resources specifically designed to help them in the planning, refinement and execution of their study. Key milestones for achievement will be set out very clearly and students will be required to submit formatively assessed components of their developing project and present their developing ideas to academic/practice staff and peers through on-line discussion and face-face workshops (during the second campus based study school).

Knowledge and understanding

  • Critically analyse and synthesise available evidence in order to formulate appropriate aims and objectives needed to guide a research project relevant to clinical/health (MClin Res) or health and social care (MRes HSC) practice.
  • Critically evaluate and select an appropriate research design and methods in order to develop and design a research project to investigate or test a clinical/health (MClin Res) or health and social care (MRes HSC) question/hypothesis.
  • Demonstrate an in-depth and critical understanding of the chosen research methodology and justify the application of this to the aims and objectives of the their research project within an ethical/research governance framework.

Intellectual skills

  • Provide a clear and critical rationale for their choice of the research methodology used in their chosen research study.
  • Defend their choice of methodology and approach through a process of peer and tutor evaluation.
  • Critically appraise relevant ethical and governance frameworks pertinent to their study and draw on a range of strategies to ensure adherence to ethical/governance frameworks and codes of conduct for research.

Practical skills

  • Develop, design and defend a sound written research proposal and protocol based on an in-depth and critical review of existing evidence and an in-depth knowledge of research methods, processes and ethical/governance requirements.
  • Design and undertake, with an appropriate level of academic supervision, a research project which investigates or tests a clinical/health (MClin Res) or health and social care (MRes HSC) question/hypothesis, developing and submitting where required relevant research ethics and governance applications.
  • Synthesise , collect, analyse and present data from a research study within a specified timeframe, in a manner which is acceptable for a dissertation and has the potential for dissemination to wider stakeholders through quality, peer reviewed academic journals and conferences.

Transferable skills and personal qualities

  • Critically reflect on their own academic performance and utilise a range of strategies to improve these and overcome any particular difficulties.
  • Further develop and enhance skills in effective communication to a range of audiences in a variety of settings.
  • Demonstrate skills in working collegiately and effectively with others as a member of a team.
  • Effectively utilise information technology / health informatics.
  • Utilise skills in systematic and creative approaches to problem-solving and decision-making in relation to complex issues.

Assessment methods

Method Weight
Written assignment (inc essay) 100%

Feedback methods

Students will normally have the opportunity to receive feedback on formative work submitted prior to the summative assessment. Other feedback opportunities will also be available in class and online discussion boards. Online feedback is provided in Grademark. Provisional feedback based on internal marking will be made available prior to the Exam Board on the basis that these marks are yet to be ratified at the Exam Board and therefore may be subject to change. A standard feedback mechanism in Grademark is utilised across all postgraduate programmes within the School which provides detailed and constructive feedback on each component and aspect of assessment and identifies areas of strength and those aspects which could be enhanced.

Student feedback is obtained through open discussion forums on blackboard, in class discussions, via formal University unit evaluation forms and also qualitative, in house evaluations at the end of the unit. 

Study hours

Scheduled activity hours
Practical classes & workshops 360
Project supervision 40
Tutorials 80
Independent study hours
Independent study 420

Teaching staff

Staff member Role
Helen Hawley-Hague Unit coordinator

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