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DRPS : Course Catalogue : School of Social and Political Science : Postgrad (School of Social and Political Studies)

Postgraduate Course: Dissertation (MSc Global Health Policy - Online Learning) (PGSP11516)

Course Outline
SchoolSchool of Social and Political 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
SummaryAll students will undertake a dissertation of no longer than 15,000 words on a topic related to global health policy to be submitted by a date specified in the University Regulations. The dissertation is an extended piece of scholarship in which a student is expected to formulate and sustain a substantive piece of independent research in global health policy. The dissertation will explore an academic topic related to global health policy through secondary and library sources or through independent fieldwork. The work is expected to engage critically and analytically with the literature in the field, building upon the relevant concepts and theories introduced in the taught courses of the degree. The dissertation will use a range of primary and secondary sources as well as appropriate data-analytic and bibliographic skills. Each student will be allocated a research supervisor to advise on and oversee her or his research progress.
Course description 1. Academic description
The dissertation is an extended piece of writing of up to 15,000 words, based on independent study of a topic largely of the student's choosing and in discussion with the Programme Director. It tests students' ability to conduct research autonomously, to organise effectively larger quantities of information, and to communicate their research findings in a fluent and structured fashion. Students are expected to engage with the expert literature on global health policy, and to reference adequately.

2. Outline content
The course largely consists of self-study and research. Here is an indicative overview of the dissertation writing and supervision process:

September: Dissertation workshop via Collaborate
October: Submission of initial ideas (3-5 bullet point outline) submitted to Course Organiser
December: Group meeting 1
January/February: Methods workshop and Librarian Sessions
February: Group meeting 2
April: Submit Project Plan (2 pages, assessed 10%) . Supervisor assigned.
May-early August: 3 Skype meetings with supervisor
August: Submission deadline

3. Student learning experience
This is a dissertation course. Therefore, the primary form of student experience consists of students conducting their own research and writing on an in-depth project of their own choice. However, students can expect the following from their supervisor in the dissertation project:

5 skype meetings (2 group skypes August and December, 3 with supervisor between January and July)
Feedback on a project plan, ahead of submission for assessment
Feedback on dissertation writing
Ongoing help with specific queries sent by email
Advice on ethical implications of the research.

The supervisor will:

Advise on methodology, coherence and relevance of the dissertation and help the student to define the research problem
Discuss mutual availability and methods of contact etc.
Give basic advice on relevant bodies of literature to get the research started and/or refer the student to another member of staff for suggestions on sources
Discuss and approve draft outline and timetable of work
Provide diagnostic comment and constructive suggestions
Help with issues of thesis and dissertation structure.
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Co-requisites
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements None
Course Delivery Information
Academic year 2023/24, Not available to visiting students (SS1) Quota:  0
Course Start Block 5 (Sem 2) and beyond
Timetable Timetable
Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info) Total Hours: 600 ( Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 12, Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours 588 )
Assessment (Further Info) Written Exam 0 %, Coursework 100 %, Practical Exam 0 %
Additional Information (Assessment) The components of assessment are as follows:
90% assessed by a 15,000 word dissertation
10% assessed by a two-page project plan
Feedback Students will receive ongoing feedback as they develop their project ideas and undertaking the writing of their thesis, via the group meetings initially, and later from their supervisor. Written feedback on the draft project plan will be offered in the second year. Written feedback on drafts of the thesis itself, along with verbal discussion of its development, will be given at various points during the third year.
No Exam Information
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. Engage critically and analytically with the significant literature in the field of their specialist interest and to construct logical and theoretically informed arguments based on this literature.
  2. Extend the research skills, training and knowledge acquired as part of the programme and apply these to a substantive piece of independent work within the disciplinary fields of global health policy.
  3. Demonstrate and consolidate their personal skills including self-motivation, collegiality, research planning and time management as well as their presentation skills.
  4. Employ professional standards in referencing and master key research techniques relevant to the field.
Reading List
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills Students will develop a range of cognitive and communicative skills including:
- Ability to design and implement a research project, applying specialised methods knowledge
- Ability to critically analyse and interpret research, and to apply this to a research question
- A critical understanding of a range of data source and methodological tools used in health policy research
- Effective written communication skills.
KeywordsNot entered
Course organiserDr Amrit Virk
Tel: (0131 6)50 4282
Course secretaryMs Maria Brichs
Tel: (0131 6)51 3205
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