Skip to main content

Unit information: Dissertation (SWDTC) in 2019/20

Please note: Due to alternative arrangements for teaching and assessment in place from 18 March 2020 to mitigate against the restrictions in place due to COVID-19, information shown for 2019/20 may not always be accurate.

Please note: you are viewing unit and programme information for a past academic year. Please see the current academic year for up to date information.

Unit name Dissertation (SWDTC)
Unit code SPOLM0053
Credit points 60
Level of study M/7
Teaching block(s) Academic Year (weeks 1 - 52)
Unit director Dr. Lucas
Open unit status Not open




School/department School for Policy Studies
Faculty Faculty of Social Sciences and Law


The dissertation is an opportunity to carry out original independent study in a field of inquiry selected by the student and relevant to health and wellbeing. It is an opportunity to apply some of the research skills, using their understanding of a topic in their field to develop a coherent argument and cogent research question.

The unit aims to:

1. provide the student with the opportunity to investigate a topic of their own choice within health and wellbeing

2. enable the student to apply some (but not necessarily all) of the research skills developed in the taught units in carrying out a short piece of research.

3. enhance the practical and transferable skills of locating and using knowledge and information, conveying ideas in written format, planning and managing their time.

Intended learning outcomes

On successful completion of the unit, the student will demonstrate, through the production of a 10,000-15,000 word dissertation:

  1. an ability to frame suitable research questions
  2. an understanding of, and ability to apply an appropriate research methodology to investigate their chosen topic
  3. an ability to analyse data, draw apposite conclusions which are integrated with wider academic debates.
  4. an aptitude to plan and carry out a sustained piece of independent research

Teaching details

Independent study

Assessment Details

A dissertation of 10,000 to 15,000 words. The dissertation should demonstrate that the student understands how to: frame research questions, develop and apply an appropriate research strategy (plan and complete primary data collection and/or identify appropriate secondary data sources), analyse data and draw conclusions that are integrated with wider academic debates. The dissertation is associated with Intended Learning Outcomes 1, 2, 3 and 4.

Reading and References

  • Babbie, E. (2013) The Practice of Social Research, 13th ed., Belmont, CA: Wadsworth.
  • Bowling, Ann (2014) Research methods in health: investigating health and health services. 4th edition, Maidenhead, GB. McGraw Hill; Open University Press, 536pp.
  • Bryman, A. (2016) Social Research Methods, 5th ed., Oxford: Oxford University Press.
  • Creswell, J.W. (2014) Research Design: Qualitative, Quantitative, and Mixed Methods Approaches, 4th ed., Los Angeles: Sage.

Others to be negotiated with the supervisor.