1 x 50-minute supervised study monthly
PHCA9512A - Public Health Research Dissertation (9/18 units)
Enrolment not permitted
1 of PHCA8512, PHCA8512B, PHCA8928B, PHCA9526 has been successfully completed
Course context

This topic is taught and assessed as a continuum.

Assignment 1 - Research Proposal (maximum 2000 words).

Assignment 2 - Oral presentation of research (power point presentation 30 minutes, followed by 10 minutes for questions).

Assignment 3 - Written dissertation, prepared for publication (maximum 7,000 words).
Topic description

This topic will allow students to design, develop and implement a piece of public health research, equivalent to 18 units. It facilitates the synthesis of knowledge gained during the whole course within a single piece of supervised research, cumulating in the production of a dissertation. Throughout the dissertation, students will develop an understanding of both the research process and research skills required to undertake supervised research. The dissertation will demonstrate a thorough search and critical appraisal of current literature and previous research in the topic area. It must also provide a clear description of and demonstrate competence in, research methods appropriate to the topic. In addition, the dissertation must include justification of the use of the chosen method(s) in preference to others. Emphasis must also be given to interpreting the results of the research in terms of how they can influence policy or practice in public health.

The choice of research projects for the Dissertation topic will be dependent upon the available areas of expertise of the teaching staff.

Educational aims

This topic aims to provide students, in a supported and supervised environment, with the theory and practice of developing all stages of a research project applicable to public health policy or practice. These stages will include a critical review of published information in the topic area, description and justification of choice of research methodology, research design and method(s), collection and analysis of data, and interpretation of findings in relation to contemporary literature and theory.

Expected learning outcomes
On completion of this topic you will be expected to be able to:

  1. Develop a research proposal focused on a specified public health problem
  2. Where appropriate, prepare an ethics proposal in line with recommended research on human subjects
  3. Critically review the published literature and research reports in the area of interest
  4. Justify and defend the appropriate use of research methods and systems of collecting and analysing data
  5. Collect, interpret and analyse research data
  6. Critically relate findings from study in relation to relevant theory
  7. Effectively communicate the research in the form of a written research dissertation and an oral presentation