BSc Nursing Practice (CPD) / Course details

Year of entry: 2023

Course unit details:
Research Dissertation

Course unit fact file
Unit code NURS9328C
Credit rating 40
Unit level Cont Education/Prof Developmen
Teaching period(s) Variable teaching patterns
Available as a free choice unit? No


This unit builds on your knowledge and practice experience that you have acquired so far  in your career and will enable you to complete an in-depth exploration of a topic of your choice.

Most of the unit is delivered virtually with a variety of resources and modes of learning supported via this medium. There are  two face to face sessions in semester 1.

For you to work on your dissertation the unit has a large amount of independent study time, however this will be supplemented by individual supervision. There are specific learning activities to complete on- line during semester 1 and these are designed to help you incrementally build your dissertation the unit lead will provide feedback. Your supervisor will help guide through the stages of your dissertation  related to the  option you have selected. 

The dissertation unit  promotes self-regulated learning, students taking an active role in managing their own learning. On  successful completion of the dissertation this implies that if given the opportunity, you could competently deploy the chosen recommendations, research or change management techniques to complete a research or change project, with little supervision. 

This course unit guide will provide you with an overview of what is expected for the completion of an undergraduate dissertation. It can also be used as a guide during the preparatory stages.

The research dissertation constitutes the equivalent of 40 credits at FHEQ level 6.

Dissertation Options:

  1. An in-depth appraisal of literature related to a topic of your choice  
  2. A research-based proposal for changing practice 
  3. A research proposal for conducting empirical research (you will not undertake any active research for this dissertation) 

Guidelines for each format are included in this course unit guide.

At the beginning of your dissertation studies, you will be allocated a supervisor. The roles and responsibilities of the supervisor, and your engagement in the process as a student are described in this course unit guide.


  • To provide course unit participants with an opportunity to pursue a topic of professional interest in some depth, from a research-based perspective.
  • For course unit participants to demonstrate breadth and depth of reading, critical evaluation and synthesis of assumptions, research methods, and theoretical propositions in the literature related to their chosen topic.
  • To assist course unit participants to develop their research literacy skills and enhance their application of research findings to provide evidence-based clinical practice.

Learning outcomes

  • Critically analyse a specific area of nursing/midwifery/professional practice which presents a need or challenge for maintaining or developing clinical standards.
  • Evaluate and critically appraise the scientific value of research evidence and judge its validity and relevance to their specific area of practice.
  • Evaluate and discern between research methods and their application in the literature.
  • Critically evaluate the scientific rigour associated with qualitative and quantitative research methods.
  • Evaluate the outcomes of research and propose recommendations for policy, further research and/or changes in practice (format 1 only).
  • Evaluate the outcomes of research and prepare a proposal for changing an aspect of clinical practice (format 2 only).
  • Evaluate the outcomes of research and prepare a proposal for research (formats 3a and 3b only).

Assessment methods

Method Weight
Written assignment (inc essay) 100%

Feedback methods

Students will normally receive feedback on formative work submitted prior to the summative assessment.

As noted above there are several activities during semester one for you to complete. This will help you develop your dissertation and offer constructive feedback. Other feedback opportunities will also be available from your individual supervision and online journal log.

Formative Assessments
There are two formative submission points during the creation of your dissertation, December and March and feedback will be available via Grademark  for this work.

Provisional feedback
Based on internal marking will be made available prior to the Exam Board on the basis that these marks are yet to be ratified at the Exam Board and therefore may be subject to change. A standard feedback mechanism in Grademark is utilised across all postgraduate programmes within the school which provides detailed and constructive feedback on each component and aspect of assessment and identifies areas of strength and those aspects which could be enhanced.

Student Feedback
Student feedback is obtained through open discussion forums on blackboard, in class discussions, via formal University unit evaluation forms and qualitative, in-house evaluations at the end of the unit.

Recommended reading

Study hours

Scheduled activity hours
Lectures 14
Seminars 6
Tutorials 4
Independent study hours
Independent study 376

Teaching staff

Staff member Role
Heather Sigley Unit coordinator

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