HP4F4E      Half Unit
Dissertation in Evaluation of Healthcare Interventions and Outcomes

This information is for the 2019/20 session.

Teacher responsible

Dr Huseyin Naci COW.3.01

Course leader and individually assigned Academic Advisers


This course is compulsory on the Executive MSc in Evaluation of Health Care Interventions and Outcomes, in collaboration with NICE. This course is not available as an outside option.

Course content

The dissertation could be on any topic in the field of health services research and health policy. It should attempt to integrate approaches and knowledge learned across courses and present results to address a health policy or economic issue or a problem identified through the use of either primary or secondary data. It must demonstrate adequate knowledge of relevant theoretical and empirical literature in the field. In addition, careful analysis of the policy implications and formulation of policy recommendations is essential. The main body of the dissertation should, in principle, include the background to the research, method of investigation, results of the analysis, discussion and policy implications and recommendations.


5 hours of lectures and 16 hours of seminars in the ST.

To enable students to investigate an original research question to the standards of scientific enquiry, the dissertation module will detail methodological and academic criteria when producing a piece of original work in the context of health care interventions and outcomes research. The week-long course will include taught sessions as follows:

  • Departmental expectations for a dissertation;
  • Developing a research question;
  • Critical appraisal of the literature;
  • Overview of different methodological approaches;
  • Scientific writing workshop;
  • Communication of dissertation findings: policy and practice implications

The taught sessions will introduce the content and provide theoretical framework for topics to be disseminated in seminars. Through teaching and learning, students will be able to develop a poster highlighting a potential dissertation research question and methodology, which they will present at the end of the course. We will use this opportunity to assign expertise-based supervision to students, who will in turn receive support and guidance on academic matters as well as the progress of their research. Students will be entitled to arrange 3 x 30-minute one-to-one meetings with their supervisors over the course of their study to receive feedback and bespoke support throughout the dissertation process.

Formative coursework

Students will be expected to produce 1 presentation in the ST.

Students will develop a poster setting out a proposed research question and methodology for presentation in the closing session of the week's teaching for comment and appraisal by faculty. The project presented in the poster will be a starting point for the student's research project; therefore, it may or may not be developed further and to form the basis for the dissertation itself.

Indicative reading

  • Dunleavy, P. (1986) Studying for a Degree in the Social Sciences, Macmillan. (See Chapter 5: Writing a Dissertation)
  • Denscombe, M. (2007) The Good Research Guide: for small-scale social research projects. Maidenhead: Open University Press. H61 D41
  • Kotz, D. and Cals J.W.L. (2013) Effective writing and publishing scientific papers – part 1: how to get started. Journal of Clinical Epidemiology. Vol 66, no 4, p 397.
  • Grix, J. (2004) The Foundations of Research. Houndmills : Palgrave Macmillan LB2369 G87
  • Rudestam, K. and Newton, R. (2001) Surviving Your Dissertation: a comprehensive guide to content and process. London: Sage. LB2369 R91


Dissertation (100%, 5000 words) in the MT.

Please note that teaching on this course shall commence in September 2020. The first dissertations are to be submitted by MT 2021.

Key facts

Department: Health Policy

Total students 2018/19: Unavailable

Average class size 2018/19: Unavailable

Controlled access 2018/19: No

Value: Half Unit

Guidelines for interpreting course guide information

Personal development skills

  • Leadership
  • Self-management
  • Problem solving
  • Application of information skills
  • Communication
  • Application of numeracy skills
  • Commercial awareness
  • Specialist skills