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DRPS : Course Catalogue : School of Health in Social Science : Nursing Studies

Postgraduate Course: Dissertation: Empirical Research (MSc Advanced Nursing) (NUST11095)

Course Outline
SchoolSchool of Health in Social Science CollegeCollege of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 11 (Postgraduate)
Course typeDissertation AvailabilityNot available to visiting students
SCQF Credits60 ECTS Credits30
SummaryThis course is one of the three dissertation options for students undertaking the MSc Advanced Nursing and will provide students with the invaluable experience of designing, conducting, analysing and presenting a research project. This course provides students with the opportunity to work in small groups on a research project of their choice and to complete a dissertation.
Course description The dissertation is an extended piece of writing of up to 10,000 words (minimum 9,000 words), based on independent study of a research topic. Students will, where possible, be encouraged to work in small groups (maximum of four), which will provide an additional element of peer learning and social support. Working in small groups will also allow students to engage in larger-scale projects, some of which may be publication worthy. However, all students will submit independent dissertations for assessment.

This course allows students to conduct research collaboratively, to organise effectively bigger quantities of information and to communicate research findings in a fluent and structured fashion. The topic is negotiated with a supervisor from within the broad field of nursing, health and social science.

This is a supervised course in which students will work autonomously, although work should be aligned with the research themes within Nursing Studies. The course consists of group study and research, under the guidance of a supervisor. The timetable is for students to negotiate with their supervisor, working from January through to the submission date of mid-August. Students will meet their supervisor regularly in that period, and receive advice on what to read, on emerging ideas, and - in due course - on drafts of the dissertation.
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Co-requisites
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements None
Course Delivery Information
Academic year 2019/20, Not available to visiting students (SS1) Quota:  None
Course Start Full Year
Timetable Timetable
Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info) Total Hours: 600 ( Lecture Hours 4, Seminar/Tutorial Hours 6, Supervised Practical/Workshop/Studio Hours 10, Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 12, Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours 568 )
Assessment (Further Info) Written Exam 0 %, Coursework 100 %, Practical Exam 0 %
Additional Information (Assessment) The summative assessment will comprise of three elements:
1) Written individual dissertation - 80%;
2) Individual reflective writing on group interaction - 10%; and,
3) Peer assessment of contribution to group work - 10%
Feedback Formative feedback will be given by dissertation supervisor during the research period.

One supervisor will supervise a group of 3 or 4 students working together on the same empirical research project.

The supervisor will meet with the students from the earliest stage of the project to completion of project (4 hours group supervision):

- help students to define the research problem and focus their argument and topic;
- advise on the methods to use, and on the coherence of the dissertation;
- give advice on relevant bodies of literature to get the research study started or refer the student to another member of staff for suggestions on sources;
- discuss and approve draft outlines and timetables of the work;
- provide comment and constructive suggestions on at least one full chapter;
- advise the student on the structure of their dissertation.
No Exam Information
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. Undertake an extended piece of empirical research in the field of nursing, health and social care or social science.
  2. Carry out a critical discussion of the empirical and theoretical literature in the field.
  3. Develop feasible research questions.
  4. Design and apply an appropriate research design, including a critical understanding of methodology.
  5. Work in a group to conduct a collaborative project.
Reading List
Andrew, S. & Halcomb, E., 2009. Mixed methods research for nursing and the health sciences, Chichester, U.K.: Wiley-Blackwell.

Clark, V.L.P. & Ivankova, N.V., 2016. Mixed Methods Research: A Guide to the Field, Thousand Oaks: SAGE Publications, Inc.

Glasper, A. & Rees, C., 2016. Nursing and Healthcare Research at a Glance. 1st ed., Chicester: John Wiley & Sons, Incorporated.

Ritchie et al., 2014. Qualitative research practice : a guide for social science students and researchers. Second edition / edited by Jane Ritchie, Jane Lewis, Carol McNaughton Nicholls, Rachel Ormston.., Los Angeles: SAGE.

Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills Develop your research knowledge that will enable you to discuss, share, present and analyse data and information in various formats and from a range of sources; develop your research methods and data analysis skills; critically reflect on approaches to collaborative or team working; develop your critical reflection and writing skills.
Course organiserDr Colin Chandler
Tel: (0131 6)51 5168
Course secretaryMr Sergio Mori Sierra
Tel: (0131 6)50 4661
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