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Dissertation (Masters)

Institution code: 


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.

Although 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.

Location of Study: University of Suffolk Ipswich

Dates for 2023/24 are TBC.  For further queries please email:

Please note it is your responsibility to check module dates prior to commencing your studies. The correct dates can be found by following the relevant module page.

For all queries including applying please email: 

Course modules

Aims of the Module:

  • To enable the students to demonstrate mastery of a subject relevant to their own practice through the process of research.

  • To facilitate the students to execute the stages of the research process.

  • To enable students to critically evaluate the impact of research on own professional practice, policy and further research.

  • To provide the opportunity for the student to make a contribution to the body of knowledge and research within their own profession.

Learning Outcomes:

Following successful completion of the dissertation, the students will have:

  • Planned and executed a research project relevant to their field of practice.

  • Recognised their ethical responsibilities in undertaking their chosen research topic.

  • Demonstrated evidence of critical analysis and discussion of relevant literature and comparisons of theoretical approaches and methodologies (where appropriate).

  • Discussed the wider implications of the research findings to their field of practice. 

  • Drawn conclusions which have been derived from the data obtained and discussed the reliability and validity of their findings.

  • Demonstrated an understanding of the theoretical significance of the research undertaken.

Full downloadable information regarding all University of Suffolk courses, including Key Facts, Course Aims, Course Structure and Assessment, is available in the Definitive Course Record.