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Session: 2022/23

Last modified: 14/04/2022 14:21:09

Title of Module: Master of Public Health Dissertation

Code: BIOL11021 SCQF Level: 11
(Scottish Credit and Qualifications Framework)
Credit Points: 60 ECTS: 30
(European Credit Transfer Scheme)
School:School of Health and Life Sciences
Module Co-ordinator:Jane  Tobias

Summary of Module

This module aims to provide students with an opportunity to undertake a sustained independent investigation of an advanced or specialised topic relevant to the field of Public Health. The dissertation should consist of original work and should be informed by the theoretical and practical knowledge that the student has developed through other modules or work experience. It should focus on a relevant local, national or global theme, topic or problem.

The dissertation will require a critical and systematic review of the published literature, hypothesis, analysis, interpretation and presentation of data, where available. The resulting dissertation should not only present and interpret research findings but also critically evaluate the research design and methodology employed, and identify the outcomes of the research in terms of possible developments and changes.

Students will be expected to take responsibility for their own work under the guidance of a named supervisor or supervisory research team. Assessment includes formative feedback throughout the dissertation, via regular meetings and critical examination of progress and summative assessment of the literature review by the supervisory research team.

Module Delivery Method
Face-To-FaceBlendedFully OnlineHybridCHybridOWork-based Learning
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Term used to describe the traditional classroom environment where the students and the lecturer meet synchronously in the same room for the whole provision.

A mode of delivery of a module or a programme that involves online and face-to-face delivery of learning, teaching and assessment activities, student support and feedback. A programme may be considered “blended” if it includes a combination of face-to-face, online and blended modules. If an online programme has any compulsory face-to-face and campus elements it must be described as blended with clearly articulated delivery information to manage student expectations

Fully Online
Instruction that is solely delivered by web-based or internet-based technologies. This term is used to describe the previously used terms distance learning and e learning.

Online with mandatory face-to-face learning on Campus

Online with optional face-to-face learning on Campus

Work-based Learning
Learning activities where the main location for the learning experience is in the workplace.

Campus(es) for Module Delivery
The module will normally be offered on the following campuses / or by Distance/Online Learning: (Provided viable student numbers permit)
Paisley:Ayr:Dumfries:Lanarkshire:London:Distance/Online Learning:Other:




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Term(s) for Module Delivery
(Provided viable student numbers permit).
Term 1check markTerm 2check markTerm 3check mark

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Learning Outcomes: (maximum of 5 statements)

On successful completion of this module the student will be able to:

L1. Critically evaluate and summarise current understanding of a selected aspect of Public Health in the form of a written literature review.

L2. Evidence capacity to develop and confirm relevant hypotheses by demonstrating breadth and depth of reading, critical evaluation, integration of prior modular learning and confident ability in argumentation.

L3. Generate a formatted, structured, critical report detailing the background of the research, research aims, methods and analysis and a critical assessment of the research in terms of current understanding of that research area.

Employability Skills and Personal Development Planning (PDP) Skills
SCQF Headings During completion of this module, there will be an opportunity to achieve core skills in:
Knowledge and Understanding (K and U) SCQF Level 11.

Critical and integrated understanding of current public health literature, available research techniques and practice, applicability of appropriate statistical approaches and methods to the project.

Practice: Applied Knowledge and Understanding SCQF Level 11.

Application of research techniques using databases to conduct logical and thorough literature searches, critical analysis and review.

Generic Cognitive skills SCQF Level 11.

Critically reviewing current, literature relevant to the research topic.
Making judgements where information comes from a number of sources.
Demonstrating a high degree of originality in dealing with professional level issues relating to the research project.

Communication, ICT and Numeracy Skills SCQF Level 11.

Interpreting, using and evaluating a unique range of numerical or graphical data. Presentation of public health knowledge through report writing, poster and oral communication skills.

Autonomy, Accountability and Working with others SCQF Level 11.

Designing a work profile, meeting deadlines for reports and presentations. Attend meetings as arranged with supervisory team.

Pre-requisites: Before undertaking this module the student should have undertaken the following:
Module Code:
Module Title:
Co-requisitesModule Code:
Module Title:

* Indicates that module descriptor is not published.

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Learning and Teaching
The aim of this module is to experience a short independent investigation written as a formal dissertation and this can be in the form of a systematic review. This module is student-led in so far as students are responsible for the planning and implementation of the research work, in consultation with relevant staff members/supervisors. Planning will require a review of the appropriate literature and identification of the project aims.
This may be a literature-based project or there may be data available for analysis.
Students will have regular face to face/online support sessions which will include many aspects of academic writing, data base searching and carrying out and writing systematic reviews. Where possible the online material will be recorded and added to a list of available resources to further support students in this blended module.
Learning Activities
During completion of this module, the learning activities undertaken to achieve the module learning outcomes are stated below:
Student Learning Hours
(Normally totalling 200 hours):
(Note: Learning hours include both contact hours and hours spent on other learning activities)
Independent Study588
Lecture/Core Content Delivery12
600 Hours Total

**Indicative Resources: (eg. Core text, journals, internet access)

The following materials form essential underpinning for the module content and ultimately for the learning outcomes:

Access to library; electronic journals, advanced textbooks.
Access to VLE for resources

Relevant journals and ejournals such as Journal of Public Health and Public Health.

Day, Trevor. Success in Academic Writing 2018 Palgrave Macmillan EAN9781352002058
Available online

Kornuta, Halyna M.A concise guide to writing a thesis or dissertation: educational research and beyond 2019 Routledge EAN9780429616211
Avialable online

(**N.B. Although reading lists should include current publications, students are advised (particularly for material marked with an asterisk*) to wait until the start of session for confirmation of the most up-to-date material)

Engagement Requirements

In line with the Academic Engagement Procedure, Students are defined as academically engaged if they are regularly engaged with timetabled teaching sessions, course-related learning resources including those in the Library and on the relevant learning platform, and complete assessments and submit these on time. Please refer to the Academic Engagement Procedure at the following link: Academic engagement procedure

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Supplemental Information

Programme BoardBiological Sciences and Health
Assessment Results (Pass/Fail) No
Subject PanelHealth L7-11
ModeratorFiona Henriquez
External ExaminerP Anyanwu
Accreditation Details
Version Number


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Assessment: (also refer to Assessment Outcomes Grids below)
Literature review 15% 2500-3000 words
This will allow students to present their research around the selected topic and the current literature , with justification for the selected topic, including their aims for the main dissertation
Presentation 15% (approximately 10 slides for 10 minutes)
This will allow students to present their ideas and assess their understanding of the selected topic, while building towards the final dissertation
Dissertation 70% 15,000-20,000 words
This should build on the literature review and deepen the discussion of the topic, presenting future directions and potentially novel ideas.
(N.B. (i) Assessment Outcomes Grids for the module (one for each component) can be found below which clearly demonstrate how the learning outcomes of the module will be assessed.
(ii) An indicative schedule listing approximate times within the academic calendar when assessment is likely to feature will be provided within the Student Handbook.)

Assessment Outcome Grids (Footnote A.)

Component 1
Assessment Type (Footnote B.) Learning Outcome (1) Learning Outcome (2) Learning Outcome (3) Weighting (%) of Assessment ElementTimetabled Contact Hours
Dissertation/ Project report/ Thesischeck mark  150
Presentation check mark 155

Component 2
Assessment Type (Footnote B.) Learning Outcome (1) Learning Outcome (2) Learning Outcome (3) Weighting (%) of Assessment ElementTimetabled Contact Hours
Dissertation/ Project report/ Thesis check markcheck mark700
Combined Total For All Components100% 5 hours

A. Referred to within Assessment Section above
B. Identified in the Learning Outcome Section above

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  1. More than one assessment method can be used to assess individual learning outcomes.
  2. Schools are responsible for determining student contact hours. Please refer to University Policy on contact hours (extract contained within section 10 of the Module Descriptor guidance note).
    This will normally be variable across Schools, dependent on Programmes &/or Professional requirements.

Equality and Diversity
In line with current legislation (Equality Act, 2010) and the UWS Equality, Diversity, and Human Rights Code, our modules are accessible and inclusive, with reasonable adjustment for different needs where appropriate. Module materials comply with the University guidance on inclusive learning and teaching, and specialist assistive equipment, support provision and adjustment to assessment practice will be made in accordance with UWS policy and regulations. Where modules require practical and/or laboratory-based learning or assessment required to meet accrediting body requirements the University will make reasonable adjustment such as adjustable height benches or assistance of a ‘buddy’ or helper.
Please refer to the UWS Equality and Diversity Policy at UWS Equality and Diversity Policy

UWS Equality and Diversity Policy
(N.B. Every effort will be made by the University to accommodate any equality and diversity issues brought to the attention of the School)

2014 University of the West of Scotland

University of the West of Scotland is a Registered Scottish Charity.

Charity number SC002520.