MSc Contemporary Healthcare dissertation (masters level)

Key features

This 60 credit module enables you to demonstrate your ability to design and undertake a systematic review or research project. You will be able to apply the knowledge gained in earlier modules about research methodology and methods, and thereby develop a deeper understanding of how to design and undertake a research project within a specified time.

Module code




FHEQ level

Level 7 - masters degree


Blended learning approach with face to face delivery in Plymouth - please see course details for further information

Course details

By the end of this module you will be expected to present a dissertation, showing that you can:

  • identify a relevant research topic
  • design a qualitative or quantitative research project based upon a critical review of your topic
  • show evidence of your knowledge and skills in critical appraisal, data collection, data analysis and synthesis, presentation and interpretation of research findings
  • critically evaluate your research and consider the relevance to theory policy and/or professional practice
  • show learning through the process.

The assessment will be in the form of an 18,000 word dissertation report. 

This module is the final core module for the MSc Contemporary Healthcare (Education) programme. 

Workshops and presentation days

In addition to working with your supervisor, you will be expected to attend three workshops plus a presentation day during the course of the year. These will be held on the Drake Circus campus. For distance learners, resources will be available via Moodle for the workshops; and the presentation can be organised remotely with prior agreement from the supervisor and dissertation co-ordinator.

Module dates


The dates 9 September, 14 October, 12 November 2019, 10 March 2020.

The first contact day will provide an overview of the research process throughout the academic year, together with a workshop focusing upon the development of critical thinking, critical writing and their relationship in formulating a literature review. The remaining workshops will be aligned with your specific needs as you progress through the research process. 


The dates are 2 and 9 June 2020 (student only present one day).

Occasionally delivery dates might be subject to change, always check with the module lead or Professional Development Unit.

Please be aware that all modules run to minimum numbers. In the event that there are low numbers, this module may be rescheduled to an alternative date. Some modules are also subject to maximum numbers.

Admissions information 

Additional information and documentation required for the application process.

Access to: 

  • application forms 
  • change of name forms
  • pre-course information
  • downloadable guides
  • student card.

Visit our admissions homepage for full details.

Entry requirements

To be considered for a place on the module:

  • you must have completed 120 credits in modules linked to the MSc Contemporary Healthcare (Education) programme, including the core modules MCH513, APP702 and APP703.

Each student will be considered and advised individually (where required) by the programme team and Professional Development Unit. Please contact the PDU or programme lead if you have any queries regarding your situation

Fees and funding


Please see our professional development module fees page.


Funding for this module may be available through your employing trust. Please contact your trust’s education coordinator in the first instance. If you work in the private, independent or voluntary sector, please contact your employer who will advise you accordingly.

Student insight

"Undertaking the dissertation was a fantastic opportunity to experience the research process first hand. This included refining my research question to achieve a manageable study, the ups and downs of gaining the required permissions, data collection, analysis, writing up... the lot!

The best bit for me was meeting with my supervisor once a month to discuss, refine, share frustrations and successes, and generally keep on track. Completing the dissertation really helped to put theory into practice and so gain a deeper understanding of research.

I thought it might put me off further research but in fact it has taken the "fear factor" out of it for me and I am currently in the process of writing a paper for publication before considering further research opportunities for the future."

Student Tracey Viney

Tracey Viney, presenting her research 'Prescribing decisions of non-medical prescribers in type 2 diabetes' at the Postgraduate Society Research Showcase on the 21 June 2018.

Her study explores influences behind the prescribing decisions made by non-medical prescribing nurses within general practice. Tracey will be submitting her dissertation for the MSc Contemporary Healthcare award in August.