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NU8007 Dissertation (30 ECTS)


Learning Outcomes

Following completion of this module the student should be able to:


Plan, design and conduct a research study/systematic review that has relevance for their area of practice.


Discuss the theoretical underpinnings of their chosen research study/systematic review.


Demonstrate coherence in their chosen research study/systematic review approach


Justify all decisions/choices made at every stage of the research study/systematic review.


Present, discuss and evaluate their study findings within the context of their practice discipline and the existing literature.


Outline an appropriate plan for dissemination of the findings from their research study/systematic review.

Methods of Teaching and Student Learning

Lecture/group discussion, Student-led discussion, e-learning

Module Learning Aims & Rationale

Masters’ graduates require a thorough grounding in research study/systematic review methods in order to plan, undertake and evaluate a research study/systematic review and promote the provision of contribute to evidence-based health care.  This module is designed to build on students’ knowledge and prior learning gained during the first year of the MSc programme while undertaking the module ‘Enquiry Methods for Health Care’. The aim of the module is to provide students with the skills and knowledge required for undertaking a research study/systematic review.

Recommended Reading List

Indicative Resources

  • Arthur J., Waring M., Coe R. Hedges L. (2012) Research Methods and Methodologies in Education. Sage, Los Angeles
  • Bettany-Saltikov J. (2012) How to do a Systematic Literature Review in Nursing. Open University Press, Berkshire.
  • Bryman A, Cramer D. (2008) Quantitative Data Analysis with SPSS 14, 15 and 16: A Guide for Social Scientists. Routledge, London.
  • Burns, N., Grove, S.K. & Gray J. (2013) The practice of nursing research: appraisal, synthesis and generation of evidence. 7th edn. Saunders Elsevier, St Louis.
  • Creswell J.W. (2014) Research Design: Qualitative, Quantitative and Mixed Methods Approaches. 4th edn. Sage, London.
  • Cronin, P., Coughlan, M., Smith, V. (2015) Understanding Nursing and Healthcare Research. Sage, London.
  • Curtis E.A. & Drennan J. (2013) Quantitative Health Research: Issues and Methods. Open University Press, Berkshire.
  • Higgins, JPT. Green, S. (2011). Cochrane Handbook of Systematic Reviews of Interventions. Version 5.10. The
  • Cochrane Collaboration, Oxford, UK. (also available online at
  • Kvale S., Brinkmann S. (2009). Interviews: Learning the Craft of Qualitative Research Interviewing. 2nd edn. Sage,
    Thousand Oaks, CA.
  • Lincoln Y. S., Guba E. G. (1985) Naturalistic Inquiry. Sage, Newbury Park, CA.
  • Pettigrew M. & Roberts H. (2006) Systematic Reviews in the Social Sciences A practical Guide. Blackwell Publishing, Oxford.
  • Polit D.F. & Beck C.T. (2012) Nursing Research: Generating and Assessing Evidence for Nursing Practice. 9th edn.
    Wolters Kluwer/Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Philadelphia.
  • Redmond R., Curtis, E. (2008) Research Success in Nursing and Healthcare: A Guide to Doing a Research Degree.
    Blackhall, Dublin.
  • Robson C. (2011) Real world research. 3rd edn. Blackwell, Oxford.
  • Salkind N. (2010) Statistics for People Who Think They Hate Statistics. 2nd edn. Sage, California.

Online Resources

General Medical Council: Consent to research: Research involving vulnerable adults available at

  • http://www/g,
  • A useful online resource for statistics at:
  • Useful online resources for Systematic Review:;
  • The EQUATOR Network website - the resource centre for good reporting of health research studies

* Additional readings will be given for each unit of learning.