The MA dissertation provides an opportunity to extend the research base of the students' field of practice. The dissertation will allow students to demonstrate a critical and constructive awareness of their professional practice from the wider philosophical, theoretical and social contexts within which health and social care operates. The dissertation will enable students to reflect their individual interests and to demonstrate some originality of thought and analytical creativity in the study of their chosen area. The application of practical, intellectual and problem solving skills will facilitate the development of an in depth understanding of a research topic. The dissertation will also provide a mechanism for the continuing development of autonomy and self-direction.
There is a degree of overlap, the terms projects, dissertation and research activity will be defined as follows:
Project: a set of activities focusing on the students' work place. Such activities aim to directly influence some aspects of practice or policy in the student's work place and will be rigorously planned and evaluated.
Dissertation: is a predominantly literature-based analytical exploration of a chosen area, often developing a theoretical position.
Research Activity: a rigorous and systematic investigation into some aspects of a discipline/profession. Research activity is expected to involve the collation of primary data and have clear implications for the student's area of study, but not necessarily applied to his/her workplace. A student intending to undertake primary research will be required to submit their proposal to their local NHS Trust Research and Development Committee.