Continuing Professional Development

Research Dissertation


The details
Research Dissertation
60 credits
Level 7
13 October 2021
Colchester Campus, Southend Campus

This final module consolidates your learning and equips you to take your career forward with a range of skills and knowledge relevant to your professional practice. It is an opportunity to undertake an independent research project relevant to your field of practice.

You will formulate a research question, plan and carry out the project, analyse and write up the results. You can undertake primary or secondary research, or audit/service evaluation or a library based critical literature review research project. If you are undertaking the MSc in Health Research you will undertake a primary or secondary research project, engaging with empirical data.

This module fits well within our MSc Medical and Clinical Education pathway or our MA Professional Practice pathway.

Learning outcomes

  • Acquisition of an in-depth good understanding of an area of study and practice
  • Undertaking a systematically planned literature search and a thematic analysis of material accessed following the literature search
  • Acquisition and insight into ethical and governance considerations
  • Production of an appropriate methodology for the study and Analysis of data generated by the study
  • Creation of critically robust conclusions and recommendations for practice

Our expert staff

The module is led by Penny Hodgkinson, the Co-ordinating Lead for Interprofessional Learning for the School; academic and research supervisors are drawn from across our expert team of staff from nursing, allied health and social care professions well as from those with research backgrounds. All have considerable background in professional experience, service management and leadership as well a quality improvement delivery.

Entry Requirements

You must have successfully achieved 120 credits on the relevant Masters programme before undertaking this Dissertation:

  • MSc Health Care Practice
  • MSc Medical and Clinical Education
  • MA in Professional Practice
  • MSc Health Research
  • MA Health and Organisational Research
  • MSc Advanced Periodontal Practice
  • MSc Periodontology.


Module Outline

In this module you will work independently under the supervision of an academic. Throughout the year of your study, there are a number of workshops and online resources to support you. You will build on content from previous modules including:

  • Working with a supervisor
  • Building on critical appraisal skills
  • Developing an appropriate and feasible research question
  • Designing a research project and protocol
  • Ethical and Governance considerations
  • Quantitative and qualitative data reporting
  • Evaluation of the research process/evidence
  • Presentation skills
  • Authorship/writing skills
  • Dissemination strategies
  • Project and Time management.

Teaching and learning disclaimer

Following the impact of the pandemic, we made changes to our teaching and assessment to ensure our current students could continue with their studies uninterrupted and safely. These changes included courses being taught through blended delivery, normally including some face-to-face teaching, online provision, or a combination of both across the year.

The teaching and assessment methods listed show what is currently planned for 2021 entry; changes may be necessary if, by the beginning of this course, we need to adapt the way we’re delivering them due to the external environment, and to allow you to continue to receive the best education possible safely and seamlessly.

Assessment strategy

A 12,000 word dissertation with associated appendices and documents. You will be encouraged to submit a poster to the annual student research conference in the School.

Fees and funding

Our CPD Funding page has more information on fees for our modules and potential funding sources.

What's next

We have guidance on making your application and the forms to download on our how to apply page.

Get in touch

If you require further details about this module, including future course dates, please email