Durham University
Programme and Module Handbook

Postgraduate Programme and Module Handbook 2012-2013 (archived)


Department: Health [Queen's Campus, Stockton]


Type Tied Level 4 Credits 60 Availability Available in 2012/13 Module Cap None.


  • Students must have undertaken at least one Health Research Methods module from the Integrated Health suite prior to commencing the dissertation.


  • None

Excluded Combination of Modules

  • None


  • The objective of the dissertation if to allow the student to conduct, as an individual initiative, a substantial piece of academic work in their chosen academic programme, write it up and present it in a scholarly fashion.


  • The content will be dependent upon the student's chosen topic and research method. This will be decided in discussion with the student's dissertation supervisor. As a general principle, the content and method of the dissertation will be restricted to research topics that do not require the obtaining of ethical consent for the research.

Learning Outcomes

Subject-specific Knowledge:
  • The student should demonstrate within thesis awareness of interprofessional matters and an assessment of their significance for either the design of the thesis project, the generation and analysis of data, the drawing of conclusions and making of recommendations, and/or implementation of their findings and conclusions.
Subject-specific Skills:
  • This dissertation will both extend the student's analytical and written communication skills, and contribute to the extension of knowledge in their field and demonstrate the interprofessional context of the piece of work.
Key Skills:
  • Key skills are embodied in the subject specific skills. These include:
  • Research skills - especially in utilising library or other facilities databases
  • Knowledge management - collating and synthesising material from different sources
  • Critical thinking - critiquing existing knowledge in the light of others' work and own research findings and the application of advanced knowledge to specialised topic of own choice,
  • Presentation - preparing and presenting complex material in an accessible manner
  • Managing a research project - including time management and process management.

Modes of Teaching, Learning and Assessment and how these contribute to the learning outcomes of the module

  • Independent study, research and analysis - Focuses student knowledge more deeply by pursuing aspects of the module that are of special interest to themselves and exploring specific application in their field of study.
  • Library research - Promotes independent lifelong learning skills as well as promoting learning from a variety of sources.
  • Written assessment will test students' critical knowledge and understanding of key concepts, their ability to argue coherently and communicate effectively in writing, and to reflectively assess their proficiency in thinking through the complexity of health-related issues, the challenges of policy development, policy implementation and policy evaluation, and how these may impact health and health related services from a systems perspective.

Teaching Methods and Learning Hours

Activity Number Frequency Duration Total/Hours
Regular agreed contact Approximately 10 contacts A minimum of three weeks apart max 2 hrs 20

Summative Assessment

Component: Dissertation Component Weighting: 100%
Element Length / duration Element Weighting Resit Opportunity
dissertation 10000 words max 100% resubmission

Formative Assessment:

Formative assessment comprises the supervisor's written comments on draft chapters

Attendance at all activities marked with this symbol will be monitored. Students who fail to attend these activities, or to complete the summative or formative assessment specified above, will be subject to the procedures defined in the University's General Regulation V, and may be required to leave the University