Medicine, Nursing and Allied Health Professions



Module titleDissertation
Module codeHPDM000
Academic year2021/2
Module staff

Dr Tim Taylor (Convenor)

Dr Sarah Bell (Convenor)

Duration: Term123
Duration: Weeks

11 weeks

11 weeks

11 weeks

Number students taking module (anticipated)


Description - summary of the module content

Module description

This module is the dissertation associated with the Masters programme and is designed to enable students to produce a project dissertation under supervision, and to support project design, development, evaluation and synthesis skills development

Module aims - intentions of the module

The aim of the dissertation is to enable you to demonstrate their ability to design, conduct, evaluate and write up a project on a topic that is of relevance to the title and aim of their award and in doing so, to demonstrate self-direction, originality and an ability to act autonomously in the planning and implementation of project skills at an advanced professional level.

Intended Learning Outcomes (ILOs)

ILO: Module-specific skills

On successfully completing the module you will be able to...

  • 1. Provide evidence of skills in the formulation of research questions, identification of aims and objectives and clarification and justification of choice of methodological approach
  • 2. Demonstrate understanding of the role of ethics in study design and implementation.
  • 3. Critically analyse, evaluate and synthesise a project’s findings and interpret their relevance within the context of established or emerging theories, policies and/or professional practice

ILO: Discipline-specific skills

On successfully completing the module you will be able to...

  • 4. Demonstrate self direction and originality in tackling and solving problems in the conduct of a project that is methodologically and ethically sound
  • 5. Present a logically argued and clearly written project report that will aim to enhance knowledge and understanding of an area of practice at an advanced level

ILO: Personal and key skills

On successfully completing the module you will be able to...

  • 6. Critically evaluate and reflect upon their own strengths, limitations and performance with reference to the design, development, organisation and write up of the project

Syllabus plan

Syllabus plan

Whilst the module’s precise content may vary from year to year, an example of an overall structure is as follows:

Students will work under the supervision of a member of staff who is able to guide the student through the dissertation process.


Initial discussions are held with module leads on scope of dissertation, with a one page description sent to module lead to allow allocation of supervisors. All students must complete an ethics application, including description of methods and interview guides where appropriate (questionnaires for quantitative, interview/focus group guides for qualitative). Feedback is given by both the module lead and the supervisor on the design.


Learning and teaching

Learning activities and teaching methods (given in hours of study time)

Scheduled Learning and Teaching ActivitiesGuided independent studyPlacement / study abroad

Details of learning activities and teaching methods

CategoryHours of study timeDescription
Scheduled Learning and Teaching Activities15Interactions with Dissertation leads and possible supervisors to discuss topics and question formation. Discussions on ethics forms and feedback from supervisors and leads. Face-to-face meetings with dissertation supervisors may be replaced by meetings supported by email/phone/Teams/Zoom; and some primary data projects may be replaced by literature or secondary data projects only.
Scheduled Learning and Teaching Activities40Dissertation supervision meetings (scheduled by arrangement between individual students and supervisors). Face-to-face meetings with dissertation supervisors may be replaced by meetings supported by email/phone/Teams/Zoom; and some primary data projects may be replaced by literature or secondary data projects only.
Guided Independent Study15Use of online resources on topics including dissertation format and writing, working with supervisors and the assessment guidance and criteria
Guided Independent Study100Resource gathering and in-depth reading
Guided Independent Study250Project design and implementation
Guided Independent Study180Preparation and writing of dissertation


Formative assessment

Form of assessmentSize of the assessment (eg length / duration)ILOs assessedFeedback method
Feedback and discussion with supervisorMonthly (approx. 30 hours)1-6Verbal, written and online
Feedback and discussion with module lead (including ethics)Proforma ethics form + supporting documents (2-40 pages depending on study design) 1,2,4Verbal, written and online

Summative assessment (% of credit)

CourseworkWritten examsPractical exams

Details of summative assessment

Form of assessment% of creditSize of the assessment (eg length / duration)ILOs assessedFeedback method
Project report10012-18,000 words1-6Written feedback


Details of re-assessment (where required by referral or deferral)

Original form of assessmentForm of re-assessmentILOs re-assessedTimescale for re-assessment
Project report (100%)Project report (12,000- 18,000 words)1-6Typically within 12 weeks of the result

Re-assessment notes

Please refer to the TQA section on Referral/Deferral:


Indicative learning resources - Basic reading

Bonner, A. (2011) How to Argue. London, Pearson.


Boynton, P. (2016) The Research Companion: A Practical Guide for those in the Social Sciences, Health and Development. Routledge.


Hart, C. (2002).  Doing a Literature Review  .  London, Sage Publications.


Hart, C. (2005).  Doing Your Masters Dissertation  . London, Sage Publicatios. 


Lock, D. (2007).  The Essentials of Project Management (3  rd  edition).  Aldershot, Gower Publishing


Oliver, P. (2004).  Writing Your Thesis  . London, Sage Publications.


Rudestam, K. and Newton, R.  (2007).  Surviving your Dissertation: A Comprehensive Guide to Content and Process (3  rd  edition).    London, Sage Publications.


Swetnam, D. (2005). How to Plan, Prepare and Present Successful Work (3  rd  edition).  Trowbridge, Cromwell Press Ltd.

Indicative learning resources - Web based and electronic resources

A full list of recommended resources will be available on the University of Exeter’s electronic learning environment (ELE,


Web based and electronic resources:

ELE – HPDM000 2020/21 Module 


Module has an active ELE page

Key words search

Research project, dissertation

Credit value60
Module ECTS


Module pre-requisites

Stage 1 and Stage 2 modules in the linked programme(s).



Module co-requisites


NQF level (module)


Available as distance learning?


Origin date


Last revision date