HP431      Half Unit
Dissertation in Health Policy

This information is for the 2021/22 session.

Teacher responsible

Dr Pepita Barlow, Dr Mylene Lagarde, Dr Olivier Wouters, Dr Ranjeeta Thomas and Dr Joan Costa-Font


This course is compulsory on the MSc in Global Health Policy, MSc in International Health Policy and MSc in International Health Policy (Health Economics). This course is not available as an outside option.

Course content

The dissertation could be on any topic relevant to topics studied in the student MSc. It should attempt to integrate approaches and knowledge learned across courses and present results to address a health policy 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. 


6 hours of workshops in the LT.

These will be complemented by sessions of individual supervision.

The course comprising a total of 3 2-hour lectures that will focus on issues pertaining to the dissertation (topic selection, structure, methods, result reporting, ethics approval), as well as general guidance on potential methodological approaches. The course will serve as a means to assist students with the preparation and finalisation of their dissertation proposals.  In this context, students will also receive feedback and assistance from their supervisors, with whom they will need to meet separately.



Formative coursework

Students will be expected to produce 1 piece of coursework in the LT and ST.


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

Dunleavy, P. (2003) Authoring a PhD: how to plan, draft, write and finish a doctoral thesis or

dissertation. Basingstoke: Palgrave-Macmillan. LB2369 D92

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%, 6000 words).

Course selection videos

Some departments have produced short videos to introduce their courses. Please refer to the course selection videos index page for further information.

Important information in response to COVID-19

Please note that during 2021/22 academic year some variation to teaching and learning activities may be required to respond to changes in public health advice and/or to account for the differing needs of students in attendance on campus and those who might be studying online. For example, this may involve changes to the mode of teaching delivery and/or the format or weighting of assessments. Changes will only be made if required and students will be notified about any changes to teaching or assessment plans at the earliest opportunity.

Key facts

Department: Health Policy

Total students 2020/21: 133

Average class size 2020/21: Unavailable

Controlled access 2020/21: No

Value: Half Unit

Guidelines for interpreting course guide information