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Session: 2022/23

Last modified: 12/08/2022 12:29:30

Title of Module: MSc Dissertation Project

Code: MIDW11036 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:Lyz  Howie

Summary of Module

Module Aim: To undertake a substantive piece of work to demonstrate original knowledge in the form of a Research Protocol on a contemporary midwifery topic that would be worthy of further research exploration.

Module Content: This module will consolidate students’ understanding of the research process and demonstrates the acquisition of the knowledge and skills necessary for critically appraising research within the health and social care agenda. It will foster an approach based on critical analysis, evaluation and synthesis of available evidence in order to guide practice in a specific area. This approach will culminate in the planning and implementation of a dissertation project that improves care, quality and patient safety, the focus of which is a specific contemporary issue relating to professional practice A mock ethical processes will also be undertaken during the module. This module will enable students to feel confident at conducting research and future PhD studies through the acquisition of knowledge, critical analysis and synthesis of evidence skills when designing a research protocol.

Students will review, critique and explore the following:

  • Research protocols
  • Dissertation process and roles of student and supervisor
  • Theories, theoretical frameworks and conceptual frameworks
  • Epistemology, ontology, axiology and methodology
  • Research paradigms
  • Quantitative, qualitative and mixed-methods research designs
  • The research process
  • Systematic literature review and search strategy
  • Aim(s), question(s), objective(s), hypothesis.
  • Ethical considerations
  • Access and recruitment
  • Population and sampling
  • Data collection methods and tools
  • Quantitative and qualitative data analysis
  • Dissemination
  • Aspects of research rigour
  • Critical appraisal, critical thinking, critical writing
  • Evidence-based practice process


  • The holistic promotion, support and maintenance of breastfeeding will be reviewed and assessed in relation to an overall, comprehensive and detailed knowledge and understanding of UNICEF UK Baby Friendly Initiative University Standards (UNICEF, 2019) - Theme 5: Promote positive communication.

  • This module will support students to develop characteristics which can contribute to the UWS graduate attributes which are Universal (critical thinking, analytical, inquiring, ethically and research minded); Work ready (knowledgeable, enterprising, motivated, ambitious, digitally literate and problem solving) and Successful (autonomous, incisive, resilient, driven and transformational) (I am UWS, 2018).

  • Module content maps to MSc Midwifery with Registration Programme Educational Framework (adapted from Framework for Quality Maternal and Newborn Care, Renfrew et al., 2014) to levels: • Educational Content - Professional and Personal Development; Health and Wellbeing; Midwifery Knowledge and Practice. • Teaching and Learning strategies. • Student Values. • Students.

  • NMC (2019) Proficiencies: 1.4, 1.7, 1.14, 1.23, 2.3, 4.2, 5.1, 5.3, 5.11, 5.16, 5.17.

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. Identify, conceptualise and define a contemporary practice issue/topic and undertake a research project.

L2. Appraise seminal and current evidence of principle theories, concepts and issues inherent within the chosen topic.

L3. Evaluate research paradigms, methods and designs to justify the use of appropriate research and enquiry methods.

L4. Create a critical and analytical research proposal to conduct a research project with ethical approval.

L5. Synthesise acquired knowledge in order to demonstrate new insights and perspectives on the selected specific area of practice.

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.

Demonstrating a critical understanding of evidence-based theory and apply this in delivery of safe, person-centred care.

Critically appraising and evaluating the role of the midwife in promoting health/public health throughout the childbirth continuum.

Critically reflecting on the concepts of personal and professional development including employability, reflective practice and the transition to qualified practitioner.

Critically evaluating professional practice and strategies for quality improvement.

Interpreting and evaluating numerical data in order to accurately establish client status and deliver safe care.

Practice: Applied Knowledge and Understanding SCQF Level 11.

Demonstrating and / or working with a significant range of the principal professional skills, techniques, practices and/or materials associated with the subject / discipline / sector.

Applying a range of standard and specialised research and / or equivalent instruments and techniques of enquiry.

Planning and executing a significant project of research, investigation or development demonstrating motivation, resilience and autonomy.

Generic Cognitive skills SCQF Level 11.

Applying critical analysis, evaluation and synthesis to forefront issues, or issues that are informed by forefront developments in the subject / discipline / sector.

Identifying, conceptualising and defining new and abstract problems and issues.

Developing original and creative responses to problems and issues.

Communication, ICT and Numeracy Skills SCQF Level 11.

Using a wide range of ICT applications to support and enhance work at this level and adjust features to suit purpose.

Undertaking critical evaluations of a wide range of numerical and graphical data demonstrating digital literacy.

Autonomy, Accountability and Working with others SCQF Level 11.

Demonstrating leadership and / or initiative and make an identifiable contribution to change and development and / or new thinking.

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
Students will participate in a wide range of classroom activities which will include core lectures, tutorials, group activities and problem-based learning activities. This module will use a blended learning approach and students will have access to electronic learning resources on the Virtual Learning Environment (VLE). Students will have access to direct individual and tutorial support and will participate in asynchronous discussions and be directed to wider reading, including access to electronic library and books.

To promote inclusiveness and flexibility, anticipatory adjustments have been made to teaching, learning strategies and assessment. Further reasonable adjustments can be made for students who have been assessed as requiring specific adjustments or disability support in either the academic setting or in clinical practice placement environments.
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)
Lecture/Core Content Delivery36
Tutorial/Synchronous Support Activity28
Asynchronous Class Activity24
Independent Study512
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:

Aveyard, H. (2019) Doing a literature review in health and social care: A practical guide. 4th edn. London: Open University Press.

Gerrish, K. and Lathlean, J. (eds.) (2015) The research process in nursing. 7th edn. London: Wiley-Blackwell.

Gray, D. (2017) Doing research in the real world. 4th edn. London: SAGE Publications Ltd.

Greenhalgh, T. (2019) How to read a paper: The basics of evidence-based medicine and healthcare. 6th edn. Wiley Blackwell.

Polit, D. and Beck, C.T. (2021) Essentials of nursing research: Appraising evidence for nursing practice. 10th edn. Philadelphia: Wolters Kluwer.

Biggam, J. (2015) Succeeding with your Master's dissertation: A step-by-step handbook. 3rd edn. Maidenhead: McGraw-Hill Education.

Bronson, D.E. and Davis, T.S. (2012) Finding and evaluating evidence: Systematic reviews and evidence-based practice. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Casey, D., Clark, L. and Hayes, S. (2011) Study skills for Masters level students: A health and social care workbook. Exeter: Reflect Press Ltd.

Clough, P. and Nutbrown, C. (2014) A student’s guide to methodology. 3rd edn. London: Sage Publications Ltd.

Cottrell, S. (2017) Critical thinking skills: Effective analysis, argument and reflection. 3rd edn. London: Red Globe Press.

Cottrell, S. (2019) The study skills handbook. 5th edn. London: Red Globe Press.

Creswell, J.W. (2018) Research design: qualitative, quantitative and mixed methods approaches. 5th edn. London: Sage Publications.

Dawson, C. (2019) Introduction to research methods: A practical guide for anyone undertaking a research project. 5th edn. London: Robinson.

Denscombe, M. (2017) The good research guide: For small-scale social research projects. 6th edn. London: Open University Press.

De Brun, C. and Pearce-Smith, N. (2014) Searching skills toolkit: Finding the evidence. 2nd edn. Chichester: Wiley-Blackwell.

Glasper, A. and Rees, C. (eds.) (2012) How to write your nursing dissertation. Chichester: John Wiley and Sons.

Gray, J.R., Grove, S.K. and Sutherland, S, (2016) The practice of nursing research: Appraisal, synthesis and generation of evidence. 8th edn. St Louis: Elsevier.

Grove, S.K. and Cipher, D.J. (2016) Statistics for nursing research: A workbook for evidence-based. 2nd edn. Edinburgh: Elsevier.

Heaslip, V. and Lindsay, B. (2019) Research and evidence-based practice: For nursing, health and social care students. Banbury: Lantern Publishing Ltd.

Higgins, J. and Thomas, J. (eds.) (2019) Cochrane handbook for systematic reviews of interventions. Chichester: The Cochrane Collaboration and John Wiley and Sons Ltd.

Lobiondo-Wood, G and Haber, J. (2017) Nursing research: methods and critical appraisal for evidence-based practice. 9th edn. Edinburgh: Elsevier.

Moule, P. (2018) Making sense of research in nursing in health and social care. 6th edn. London: Sage.

Parahoo, K. (2014) Nursing research: principles, process and issues. 3rd edn. Hampshire: Palgrave MacMillan

Polit, D. and Beck, C.T. (2016) Nursing research: Generating and assessing evidence for nursing practice. 10th edn. Philadelphia: Wolters Kluwer.

Rees, C. (2011) An introduction to research for midwives. 3rd edn. Philadelphia: Churchill-Livingston.

Steen, M. and Roberts, T. (2011) The handbook of midwifery research. Oxford: Wiley Blackwell.

Specific research reports and global exemplars as they are published relevant to the module content.

(**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

Where a module has Professional, Statutory or Regulatory Body requirements these will be listed here:
Students are academically engaged if they regularly participate in timetabled on-campus and online teaching sessions, asynchronous online learning activities, course-related learning resources and complete assessments which are submitted on time (UWS Academic Engagement Procedure 2020.21; UWS Regulatory Framework, section 1.64 Academic Engagement and Attendance).

It is expected that students will attend all scheduled classes or participate with all delivered elements as part of their engagement with their programme of study.
Within this module, students are expected to attend for at least 75% of the synchronous core teaching activities to be assessed. Please refer to UWS Regulatory Framework Attendance Requirements.

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Supplemental Information

Programme BoardMidwifery & Specialist Nursing
Assessment Results (Pass/Fail) No
Subject PanelMidwifery&Specialist Nursing L9-11
ModeratorDawn Cameron
External ExaminerL Lawther
Accreditation DetailsNMC
Version Number


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Assessment: (also refer to Assessment Outcomes Grids below)
Summative Assessment (1 component)
Dissertation Project – Systematic Literature Review and Research Protocol (17,000-18,000 word range).

Formative Assessment:
• Literature Review comprising Search Strategy and Aim, Question(s), Objective(s) Hypothesis, - 1,000-2,000 Word Protocol.
• Research Protocol - 1 Page Protocol.
• Research Protocol - 3,000 words.
• Mock Ethics Committee Application (Appendices comprising associated research study documentation).
• Mock Ethics Committee.
(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) Learning Outcome (4) Learning Outcome (5) Weighting (%) of Assessment ElementTimetabled Contact Hours
Dissertation/ Project report/ Thesischeck markcheck markcheck markcheck markcheck mark10015
Combined Total For All Components100% 15 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
Module content reflects societal diversity and a rights-based approach to midwifery practice. To promote accessibility, anticipatory adjustments have been made to teaching and learning strategies and assessment. Further reasonable adjustments can be made for students who have been assessed as requiring specific adjustments.
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.