Skip Navigation

Clinical and Health Research Dissertation HEA4074


The dissertation module provides students with the opportunity to undertake in depth and extended research into their chosen area of interest. Through consultation with an appropriate supervisor (or team of supervisors), it allows students to develop a detailed and sustained line of analysis that is personal to their research interests. Developing both oral and written skills, the module will foster guided independent inquiry that will culminate in a critical work of substantial length and sustained inquiry.

Module code:HEA4074
Module credits:120
Cost for new students:TBC

If your tuition fee is being paid by a sponsor or you are a sponsor paying a student’s fee, you are required to send a copy of a purchase order to [email protected].

For further guidance please visit: Sponsored students – Edge Hill University

Who is this module for?

Students must have passed HEA 4065 and HEA 4066 or have the equivalent via RPEL.

What are the key aims of the module?

The true test of a postgraduate’s research and critical abilities is the production of a sustained piece of critical work that engages clearly and closely in a scholarly investigation of a specific area of interest. Accordingly, the Clinical & Health Research Dissertation module is designed to encourage, support and assist students to pursue independent research into the subject matter of their choice developed in consultation with their supervisor(s). They will also be expected to demonstrate a conceptual appreciation of current critical and theoretical debates in their particular research subject.

Moreover, the dissertation allows students to demonstrate how effective their learning has been and how capable they have become in ensuring the persuasiveness and cogency of their written work. It provides space for enhancing their critical thinking skills through independent and original research. In addition to honing their subject-specific research skills, students will continue to develop their transferable written and oral abilities. The development of such skills will be particularly valuable to individuals intending to disseminate their work through presentation or publication, or wishing to pursue further academic studies

How will I study?

The extended dissertation module requires students to meet on a monthly basis with their MRes supervisor (or team of dissertation supervisors). The dissertation will, however, be researched and written largely autonomously with academic guidance provided as the work progresses.Where students identify their intention to undertake a project that will require ethical approval, additional guidance will be offered by the MRes supervisor. The need for, and the process of, obtaining ethical approval will be covered in the research module(s) previously undertaken and as a consequence, it is anticipated that any ethical approval requirements will be identified at an early stage. This should expedite the process and maximise the student’s opportunity to complete their project effectively and within the allotted time.Supervision Students will be allocated an MRes dissertation supervisor from the group of supervisors who have received appropriate University based preparation for this role. The supervisor and student will negotiate the topic for research and plan the work together.Communication channels will be according to availability and preference of both student and supervisor, but is expected to normally be a minimum of monthly meetings. Full guidance for supervision will be contained within the module handbook. University policy will be followed in instances of incompatibility between the parties. In most cases it is anticipated that academic supervisors will also have expertise in the clinical and research area identified by the students. In cases when this is not possible a clinical supervisor will also be allocated. This tripartite arrangement will operate in accordance with guidance set out in the module handbook. Supervisors will recommend relevant primary and secondary material to their supervisees and will be available for consultation on dissertation.Students will be encouraged to utilise the VLE discussion boards to support each other whilst developing their projects, providing an opportunity to engage in collaboration and dialogue with other MRes students. Depending upon student numbers, it is likely that a peer support group will develop; alternatively, individuals may join MPhil and PhD students to initiate peer support.

What will I study?

As this module fosters guided independent learning, the indicative primary content will vary from student to student. The module’s content will be developed in consultation with the student’s supervisor (or team of supervisors), from initial planning through to the completion of the dissertation project. Each student’s supervisor will recommend primary and secondary material that is best suited to the student’s research interests.

How will I be assessed?

The dissertation will be examined as a 25,000 word written document and also by means of a viva voce examination. The viva will be attended by a member of staff in the appropriate discipline acting as an internal examiner (other than the student’s dissertation supervisor) and an external examiner with expertise in the subject area.

On successful completion you will:

  • Identify, plan and undertake their own piece of research or investigative enquiry related to the student’s area of professional practice.
  • Articulate knowledge and understanding of, and critically examine a range of factors impacting on, or relevant to, their MRes research topic.
  • Critically justify the choice of methodology and underpinning theory, including selection study design, methods of data collection and data analysis.
  • Synthesise findings from their own study with the research and scholarship of others, highlighting the strengths, limitations and implications for future study and/or investigation and potential impact.
  • Critically appraise the ethical considerations encountered during the course of their project demonstrating adherence to appropriate ethics and governance processes.
  • Defend academically and rigorously their dissertation through examination by viva voce.

How to apply

Module availability varies from year to year and will be subject to minimum student numbers being achieved. Places will be allocated on a first come first served basis. Due to the popularity of some modules it may be that the module is fully booked when your application is received. We will include your details on a waiting list and allocate you a place on the next available intake.

For details of how to apply, please visit the apply page.

Contact us

This module is arranged by appointment with the Module Co-ordinator, as per below.

For further information regarding module content, please contact the Module Coordinator Louise Cope on 01695 657074 or email [email protected].

Alternatively, you can contact the Medical School email on [email protected].


This module cannot be studied on a standalone basis. It is a core module on the