Timetable information in the Course Catalogue may be subject to change.

University Homepage
DRPS Homepage
DRPS Search
DRPS Contact
DRPS : Course Catalogue : Deanery of Molecular, Genetic and Population Health Sciences : Public Health Research

Postgraduate Course: Dissertation (MSc Epidemiology) (PUHR11119)

Course Outline
SchoolDeanery of Molecular, Genetic and Population Health Sciences CollegeCollege of Medicine and Veterinary Medicine
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 11 (Postgraduate)
Course typeOnline Distance Learning AvailabilityNot available to visiting students
SCQF Credits60 ECTS Credits30
SummaryThe dissertation course is the final element of the MSc Epidemiology programme, delivered in year 3 and worth 60 credits. It takes the form of a self-directed quantitative research project. Students are required to develop a research question, apply their epidemiological and statistical learning to address this question, and present and discuss their work in the form of a 12,000 word thesis.
Course description The final year of the MSc Epidemiology culminates in students undertaking an independent applied epidemiological research project. Students will apply learning from the Research Design for Epidemiology course to identify a research topic, develop and refine a research question, translate their question into feasible aims and objectives, and design an appropriate epidemiological study. Successful completion of the project requires students to apply their epidemiological and statistical learning from earlier in the programme to successfully design the project, conduct analyses, present the findings and critically discuss their work at the appropriate level of academic writing. Students will acquire further applied research skills throughout the year.

Students are encouraged to identify a project area and research question that interests them and that is feasible and achievable within the boundaries of the dissertation year. Research projects should take the form of a data analysis project, an infectious disease modelling project or a systematic review with a meta-analysis component. Students will be supported by the programme team to identify and access suitable existing data on which to perform secondary data analysis. Supervisors will be matched to students based on mutual topic/methods interests.

The dissertation will assess the students ability to independently conduct a quantitative epidemiological research project, critically reflect on and evaluate their work and communicate effectively in a structured piece of academic writing.

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:  None
Course Start Flexible
Course Start Date 18/09/2023
Timetable Timetable
Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info) Total Hours: 600 ( Seminar/Tutorial Hours 10, Dissertation/Project Supervision 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 take the form of a 12,000 word thesis.
Feedback Students will be required to submit a research proposal during semester 1 to the Dissertation team, who will provide formative feedback on their proposal. In addition to meeting with their assigned supervisor(s), students will have the opportunity to attend live collaborate and tutorial sessions with the dissertation leads and will have access to dedicated statistical analysis support.

Students will receive oral and written feedback on their work from their supervisor throughout the supervision period.
They will receive feedback on their final submitted dissertation from the assigned markers.
No Exam Information
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. Demonstrate a critical understanding of the chosen health topic and relevant literature
  2. Apply appropriate epidemiological study design and statistical analyses to address the research question
  3. Apply epidemiological and statistical learning to critically interpret and evaluate research findings
  4. Present the research project as a well-structured, clear and coherent thesis in line with the expected standards of academic writing
Reading List
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills The following generic and transferable skills are expected to be developed during this course:

1) Generic cognitive skills
Students will further develop skills in critical analysis, evaluation and synthesis in relation to epidemiology.
Students will learn to critically review, consolidate and extend knowledge, skills, practices and thinking in relation to epidemiology.
Students will also learn to manage complex epidemiological issues and make informed judgements in situations in the absence of complete or consistent data/information.

2) Communication, numeracy and IT skills
Students will learn to communicate with peers and senior colleagues in the context of applied epidemiological research. They will further develop their skills in academic writing and in lay language communication.

3) Autonomy, accountability and working with others
Students will exercise substantial autonomy in order to complete an independent research project. Students will take responsibility for their own work.
KeywordsDissertation,applied epidemiology,data analysis,quantitative
Course organiserDr Kevin Wing
Course secretaryMiss Lucy Courage
Tel: (0131 6)51 7111
Help & Information
Search DPTs and Courses
Degree Programmes
Browse DPTs
Humanities and Social Science
Science and Engineering
Medicine and Veterinary Medicine
Other Information
Combined Course Timetable
Important Information