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

Undergraduate Course: Dissertation (MA in Health, Science and Society) (SHSS10008)

Course Outline
SchoolSchool of Health in Social Science CollegeCollege of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 10 (Year 4 Undergraduate)
Course typeDissertation AvailabilityNot available to visiting students
SCQF Credits40 ECTS Credits20
SummaryThis dissertation gives students the opportunity to do an original piece of research to deepen their knowledge on a topic related to the themes of the MA programme: societies and communities; individuals, personhood and experience; and healthcare, social care and professional development.

Research can be wholly or largely library or document-based, it can use secondary data sources, or it can involve a small, delimited empirical data collection process.

The design of the research, how it is to be carried out, including reflecting on and minimizing any potential ethical issues related to the research, will be undertaken in close consultation with a dissertation supervisor and with the advice of the dissertation course organiser.

This is a compulsory course for students in the fourth year of the MA (Hons) in Health, Science and Society.
Course description The dissertation is an independent piece of research that a student undertakes over two semesters, in order to produce a document of no more than 10,000 words. The dissertation course builds upon the core course, Understanding and Investigation: Methods for Health (SHSS10004).

During the two semesters in which students undertake their dissertation research, they will be supported by an academic supervisor. In addition, they will be provided with four, two-hour seminar meetings; each meeting will focus on a particular element of the research and dissertation writing process.

Consistent with the learning outcomes of the MA in Health, Science and Society, the honours dissertation seeks to demonstrate the ability of the students to independently appraise relevant literature, and plan, undertake and present a piece of research.
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: 400 ( Seminar/Tutorial Hours 8, Dissertation/Project Supervision Hours 10, Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 8, Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours 374 )
Assessment (Further Info) Written Exam 0 %, Coursework 100 %, Practical Exam 0 %
Additional Information (Assessment) Coursework 100% (dissertation)
Feedback Formative feedback is provided to students by their supervisors at various points in the research process. This could include refining your research question and focus; literature searching; discussion of methods; research ethics; structure, timetabling of work, and reading some drafted material, as agreed with the student. Students may submit a full or partial draft of their dissertation by a specified date and receive feedback.
No Exam Information
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. Students will develop their ability to critically review and synthesize existing literature
  2. Students will develop their ability to make informed decisions about the appropriate methodology to investigate a particular topic, as well as their ability to assess potential ethical consequences
  3. Students will develop their ability to analyze primary or secondary data sources in order to give an insightful account of this material.
  4. Students will develop their ability to reflect on the strengths and limitations of their research design and the execution of their research
  5. Students will develop their ability to manage the development of a project from initial ideas to final project report
Reading List
Allison, B. (1997) Preparing Dissertations and Theses London, Kogan Page.

Bell, J. (1999) (3rd ed.) Doing Your Research Project Buckingham, Open University Press.

Humphries. B (2000) Research in Social Care and Social Welfare, London: Jessica Kingsley.

Mason J (2002) Qualitative Researching (2nd Ed) Sage,

Robson, C. (2016) Real world research: a resource for social scientists and practitioner-researchers, Oxford, UK: 4th ed. Madden, Mass.: Blackwell.

May, T (2011) Social Research: Issues, Methods and Process, 4th Ed. Oxford University Press (Available online through the library)
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills The following main graduate attributes will be enhanced:
Ability to critically evaluate published research evidence
Understanding of the stages of research and the contingent nature of evidence
Ability to learn independently and to reflect on project learning
Effective use of communication to exchange knowledge and ideas
Project management within time and resource constraints
Keywordsresearch,methodology,ethics,health,data collection,analysis
Course organiserDr Marion Smith
Tel: (0131 6)51 3966
Course secretaryMiss Morven Sutherland
Tel: (0131 6)51 3972
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