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DRPS : Course Catalogue : Royal (Dick) School of Veterinary Studies : Veterinary Sciences

Postgraduate Course: Food Safety Dissertation (VESC11238)

Course Outline
SchoolRoyal (Dick) School of Veterinary Studies CollegeCollege of Medicine and Veterinary Medicine
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 11 (Postgraduate)
Course typeDissertation AvailabilityNot available to visiting students
SCQF Credits60 ECTS Credits30
SummaryThe dissertation course guides students through the process of designing an independent study, exploring a food safety related topic in depth and developing research and analytical skills in a particular area of research.

Students will develop their scientific writing, communication, critical analysis, project planning and implementation skills.

The topic of the dissertation will be agreed upon with the supervisor and programme director, as will the format of the final dissertation report.
Course description The Food Safety dissertation course is core for all students who wish to obtain the MSc qualification. The dissertation course will support students developing project design, planning, data collection and analysis, critical analysis and communications skills. By the end of the course, the student will have in-depth knowledge of a specific area of food safety related research, as well as applied research skills, and the ability to reflect on their progress.

There a three types of dissertation: a) a report on a small empirical research project, b) a literary review culminating in a research proposal, or c), if appropriate, a portfolio of case studies.
a) The first will allow the candidate to collect, analyse and present new data, or analyse and present relevant research data that they have already collected (during the course of their own work).
b) Alternatively, the candidate may wish to undertake a desk study to review the literature, exploring and developing a theme of relevance to their current working environment, or in an area of interest that has arisen during their period of study on the MSc. Having analysed the existing research findings, the candidate should then present a proposal for research that could further knowledge in this field.
c) Work-based dissertations will allow some students, for example, public health veterinarians and food safety professionals in the field, to carry out case-study based dissertations. A reflective analysis of the case studies will be an element of the final presentation of the portfolio.

The format of the dissertation will depend on the nature of the project. This will be agreed with the supervisor and programme director during the proposal phase.
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 05/08/2023
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) Dissertation: 90%
Dissertation presentation: 10%

Students on the course will be able to give the presentation online, either live or recorded. If the latter, a subsequent live session will be arranged to allow questions. This will help us be inclusive and fair to those with time zone/ language/ learning/ anxiety difficulties. Students will be advised that while a recorded session might seem more desirable pressure-wise, it is actually much more time-consuming than a live- session.
Feedback Dissertation proposal: formative feedback from supervisors and peers.
Ethics assessment: formative feedback from ethics committee,
HandS: formative from HandS committee.

Supervisor: Whilst writing the dissertation, the students will receive formative written and/ or oral feedback via Turnitin, Learn or by e-mail.
No Exam Information
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. Recognise the importance of planning and preparation required to undertake a written research project (empirical or desk-based) including consideration of the ethical issues relating the proposed research.
  2. Develop and demonstrate an extensive and critical understanding of the principal theories, concepts and current issues of the chosen specialised subject area.
  3. Demonstrate the ability to collate, interpret and critically evaluate a wide range of data/literature.
  4. Develop an ability to effectively communicate knowledge in a scientific manner (written and oral).
  5. Provide recommendations based on research findings.
Reading List
The course reading list will be provided via the University's Resource List service. Additional support resources will be provided via the dissertation course on Learn and the students' supervisor, as well as those identified by the student as relevant to their own area of study.
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills Provide details of the Graduate Attributes and Skills provided by the course

A. Research and Enquiry
Graduates of the University will be able to create new knowledge and opportunities for learning through the process of research and enquiry. This may be understood in terms of the following:
- be able to identify, define and analyse problems and identify or create processes to solve them
- be able to exercise critical judgment in creating new understanding
- be ready to ask key questions and exercise rational enquiry
- be able to critically assess existing understanding and the limitations of their own knowledge and recognise the need to regularly challenge all knowledge
- search for, evaluate and use information to develop their knowledge and understanding
- have an informed respect for the principles, methods, standards, values and boundaries of their discipline(s) and the capacity to question these
- understand economic, legal, ethical, social, cultural and environmental issues in the use of information

B. Personal and Intellectual Autonomy
Graduates of the University will be able to work independently and sustainably, in a way that is informed by openness, curiosity and a desire to meet new challenges. This may be understood in terms of the following:
- be independent learners who take responsibility for their own learning, and are committed to continuous reflection, self-evaluation and self-improvement
- be able to make decisions on the basis of rigorous and independent thought, taking into account ethical and professional issues
- be able to use collaboration and debate effectively to test, modify and strengthen their own views
- be intellectually curious and able to sustain intellectual interest
- be able to respond effectively to unfamiliar problems in unfamiliar contexts

C. Communication
Graduates of the University will recognise and value communication as the tool for negotiating and creating new understanding, collaborating with others, and furthering their own learning. This may be understood in terms of the following:
- make effective use of oral, written and visual means to critique, negotiate, create and communicate understanding
- use communication as a tool for collaborating and relating to others
- further their own learning through effective use of the full range of communication approaches
- seek and value open feedback to inform genuine self-awareness
- recognise the benefits of communicating with those beyond their immediate environments
- use effective communication to articulate their skills as identified through self-reflection
D. Personal Effectiveness
Graduates of the University will be able to effect change and be responsive to the situations and environments in which they operate. This may be understood in terms of the following:
- appreciate and use talents constructively, demonstrating self-discipline, motivation, adaptability, persistence and professionalism
- be able to manage risk while initiating and managing change
- be able to flexibly transfer their knowledge, learning, skills and abilities from one context to another
- understand social, cultural, global and environmental responsibilities and issues
- be able to work effectively with others, capitalising on their different thinking, experience and skills
KeywordsFood safety,foodborne hazards,risk analysis
Course organiserMr Alessandro Seguino
Tel: (0131 6)508827
Course secretaryMs Natalie Honeyman
Tel: (0131 6)51 3194
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